The Hipness of Hayes Valley

By Joseph Lucier

When San Francisco commissioned Arthur Brown Jr. to design City Hall in 1913, he went into his bag of tricks from his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and modeled this civic landmark after Paris' Les Invalides to create an architectural axis to anchor the city after the 1906 quake.  CaenLucier narrows focus this month on Hayes Valley and the fortuitous flurry around the Civic Center. When Ron Conway rattled the cages of Ed Lee's offices, Doug Shorenstein's bet on mid-Market paid off with Twitter deciding against abandoning the city. With Benchmark Capital already across the street in the Warfield Building, it was game on for the tech sector effect on residential values. In an odd way, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake followed by Art Agnos' tenacity to tear down the freeways reinvigorated two iconic San Francisco districts... The Embarcadero and Hayes Valley.

Hayes Valley has seen a renaissance like no other neighborhood in town. While the blue collar to white-ish collar transformation of Noe Valley, Potrero Hill, and Bernal Heights has been noteworthy over the past five years, Hayes Valley is truly where the action happens. Traci des Jardin and Bill Russell-Shapiro put their money down on Jardinière and Absinthe, respectively, in the late '90's. In 2012, Randall Kline gifted our city, and particularly Hayes Valley, the Mark Cavagnero designed SF Jazz Center, adding to the internationally lauded opera, symphonic, and ballet companies that culturally anchor the Civic Center. The neighborhood now bumps to a new beat, a beat that embodies hip refinement and satisfies the intellectual curiosity of San Franciscans. Like many districts in town, Hayes Valley has been a hot bed for new development. With over 300 new units in the past four years and another 500 debuting and under development, it's go time for investors and astute residents to invest in this re-imagined neighborhood

 CaenLucier investment tip: The numbers don't lie. In the last three years of this robust market, the median price of neighborhood condominiums is up 38% ($830,000 to $1,150,000) and the single family home sector has climbed 54% ($1,550,000 to $2,400,000) CaenLucier is confident that this district has a continued sustainable and attractive growth curve.  Please consult us for leading edge opportunities in this neighborhood. We look forward to sharing our expertise in your pursuit of adding real estate to your portfolio.

Pacific Heights homeowners took great care in restoring 1895 Victorian

San Francisco Chronicle  July 1, 2014

By Jeremy Schnitker

Rarely does a recently restored San Francisco home that has not been gutted and completely modernized come on the market. Enter the six-bedroom, six-bath Victorian-style home on the 1800 block of Jackson Street in Pacific Heights. The 6,650-square-foot property is filled with original detailing such as wood paneling, beamed ceilings and a number of unique windows. But the home is modern where it counts, said Sotheby's International Realty agent Joseph Lucier, who, along with Caroline Kahn Werboff of Hill & Co., is listing the property for $4.995 million.

The home was built in 1895 for Henry Lund, a native of Germany who served as royal consul for Norway and Sweden on the West Coast. To build the home, Lund hired William H. Lillie, a sought-after architect in the 1890s.The home, which occupies an oversize lot, was renovated by its current owner with help from interior designer Susan Clark. It features custom Grace Richey Clarke window coverings and Lefroy Brooks faucets, as well as a modern kitchen, an upstairs library, a top-floor media room and a lower-level guest suite with a kitchen.

"The principal level has been restored to its original grandeur," Lucier said. "And painstaking effort and care was given to the mahogany and oak woodwork throughout the entry foyer, living room and dining room. The original mantel in the living room and the built-in sideboard in the dining room are representative of the craftsmen that were commissioned when the house was built."

There is also a south garden that includes tall ferns, Japanese maples, a stone terrace, a large, level lawn, decks and a three-plus-car garage.The front of the home features large London plane trees and an expansive front deck and shelter that are set back from the street. In the entryway, there is a marble stairway, an intricate mosaic-tile landing and mahogany double-front doors that open to a grand hall with quarter-sawn oak floors.

On the main floor, the living room is accented by mahogany details, as well as linen walls, a fireplace, a glass chandelier and oak flooring. The front library, which has a fireplace, is currently used as a formal dining room. A large carved oak buffet and fireplace highlight the family room. There is also a deck off the family room. 

The kitchen holds marble counters, wainscoting, white subway-tile backsplash, Wolf range, stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator, two dishwashers and built-in La Cornue French rotisserie.

The second level has a staircase with a LaFarge stained glass piece that sits over a window seat and a Juliet balcony at the top of the stairs, as well as a copper leaf ceiling over the second-floor landing. The entry hall, complete with candle sconces, leads to a remodeled bath with marble tiles and a bathtub with a rain shower.  

The master bedroom suite comes with a fireplace and a walk-in closet, as well as heated marble floors, double sinks, a soaking tub and a separate shower.

The third floor features two bedrooms, one with a balcony and skylight, five closets and a bathroom with an antique bear-claw tub. A media room with skylights and star lighting is adjacent to the card room and deck. 

There is also a wet bar with a storied marble top, which was quarried in the 1930s and originally used in a post office. The bar has a nickel sink and custom fixtures.The lower level holds a living area, a kitchenette and French doors that open to an expansive deck with Ipe wood.

"The home has an elegance that conjures up images of San Francisco during the turn of the century," Lucier said. "Being in the home, you can imagine the large-scale entertaining that went on in the home - particularly in the dining room - which could have easily held a table for 25. There's also a sense of privacy and comfort with the ... house being situated back from Jackson Street."

Built: 1895
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 6
Size: 6,650 square feet
Agent: Joseph Lucier, Sotheby's International Realty, (415) 260-9791