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| San Francisco Chronicle
| NOVEMBER 2008
NOVEMBER 2008 | San Francisco Chronicle
| SF iS
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Living the High Life
Resort-type amenities including world-class restaurants, on-call massage and vintner programs, and locations that put residents in the heart of San Francisco, set these high-rise residences above the rest
By Gabriana Marks
Publication Date: 11/01/2008
Above: Millennium Tower, still under construction just south of Market Street, will climb 60 stories and provide residents with a bird’s eye view of the city. Above right: Homes at The Infinity boast panoramic vistas of the city and the bay, including unobstructed views of the Bay Bridge.
espite a real estate market in flux, high-rise living continues to climb in downtown San Francisco. What sets these buildings apart are their amenities and location. Close to public transportation, world-class restaurants, shopping and entertainment, these homes boast an ideal location for work and play. Many of the homes feature panoramic views and each community offers amenities comparable to five-star hotels. “These high-rises incorporate retail with housing and provide common areas for residents to socialize,” explains Jordan Sills, CEO of J2Properties, an industrial and retail developer in San Francisco. “You can’t find this elsewhere. It is truly a low-stress lifestyle.” Soma Grand, a 23-story residential tower that sells what they refer to as, “lifestyle condos,” is located at 1085 Mission St., between 6th and 7th streets. “The neighborhood is one of the reasons people buy here,” says Adam Chall, a developer for Soma Grand. “It is a rapidly transitioning neighborhood. Four new boutique hotels just opened up on the corner by Joie de Vivre hospitality. There are all sorts of cool, little stores and restaurants opening in the neighborhood.” The exterior features the city’s largest work of glass art. “Realm” is a 5,000-square-foot, colorinfused glass mural designed by Bay Area glass artist Dorothy Lenehan. The Reaves Gallery in the building’s entrance also hosts rotating art exhibitions. A generous, private outdoor space at Soma Grand provides residents with a fire pit, outdoor heating, a barbecue and plenty of seating. The landscaped deck also has a beautiful fountain wall and a hot tub. Residents here also enjoy the community room, a great place to host events or parties. It includes a chef’s kitchen, comfortable seating, a large-screen TV and a sound system equipped for iPods. A treatment room for massages or yoga classes makes it easy to unwind after work, and each machine in the fitness center has an individual TV screen so residents can watch whatever they like. Coming next spring, acclaimed chef Charles Phan of The Slanted Door fame, will open a restaurant/ lounge and lunchtime noodle bar. Still under construction, the yet-to-be-named establishment will include a bar made from a huge slab of cypress. One of Soma Grand’s most prized amenities is their partnership with Joie de Vivre Hospitality. Complimentary Peet’s Coffee and Tea is served in the lobby, and the concierge is on hand to arrange a variety of services. “They can tell you who can walk your dog, who can cater your party, who can come give you a massage, just about anything you need,” says Chall.
Many of the homes feature views spanning 210 inverted wine barrel. They even offer an on-site degrees — from the Transamerica Pyramid to Twin nutritionist. Peaks. The Tower features a 5,500-square-foot fitness Across downtown from Soma Grand sits The center operated by The Sport Club/LA. The fitness Infinity, a collection of 365 luxury condominium center includes yoga and Pilates studios, massage residences with spectacular city and bay views. The room, steam rooms, cardio equipment, free weights, two towers and two mid-rise buildings are located locker rooms and a saline (chlorine-free), 75-foot, just off the Embarcadero at the corner of Spear and indoor lap pool with skylights above. The concierge Folsom streets. can arrange for a full array of spa services, personal “The inspiration for the building is the location — training and private yoga and Pilates sessions. There is by the bay,” says Leo Medeiros, sales manager for The also a children’s playroom and a private, landscaped Infinity. “The building itself has curves; the curved terrace. windows really bring the outdoors in. There’s amazing In case that’s not enough, Millennium Towers also natural sunlight and really incredible views.” features a 2,500-square-foot owners’ lounge and an “We love the convenience,” explained Greg and exclusive, resident-only dining room serviced by Laura Klenske, who moved into their Infiniti twocelebrity chef Michael Mina’s new, wine-themed bedroom home in late May. restaurant, rn74, set to open on the “We also really liked the layout ground floor of in spring ’09. In the and the amenities are great. private dining room, residents can We use the gym and the pool a Many high-rise buildings select from the rn74 menu or order a lot.” residents-only are actually more “green” dish from the special reserve the The Infinity provides conmenu. They can also cierge services, a 75-foot private dining room for special than other buildings indoor lap pool, a club lounge, functions or even a family dinner. because they are built with private screening room, busi“The restaurant really ties into ness center, deeded underthe exceptional lifestyle of the buildenvironmental factors in ing,” says Diana Nelson, sales ground parking and a fitness center. A new 9,000-squaremind, such as maximizing executive. foot restaurant from the culiMillennium Tower sits across natural light. nary team at Boulevard is set from the soon-to-be-revamped to open on-site in spring. Transbay Terminal, which developers Distinctive model homes are calling the Grand Central of the feature the winning designs from the nationwide West. A beautiful 5.5-acre park is proposed for the Dwell Magazine Design Contest. From the hundreds top of the new transit terminal, adds Nelson. Within of designs submitted, two local students were among walking distance of all public transit — from Muni to the winners of this contest that included that incorpoBART to CalTrain — the community is set in the heart rated the design of the building. Interiors also flaunt of the Financial District. Underground parking is also views with floor-to-ceiling windows and wraparound available. decks. “The open floor plans really allow you to be Many high-rise buildings are actually more creative with your furnishings,” adds Medeiros. “green” than other buildings because they are built The most impressive and decadent of the new with environmental factors in mind, such as maximizhigh-rises, Millennium Tower is a 60-story luxury ing natural light. residential tower featuring every amenity imaginable. These buildings also adhere to San Francisco’s Currently under construction at 301 Mission Street, “transit-first” policies by providing plenty of bicycle between Fremont and Beale streets, the community is storage and easy access to a wide variety of public now 20 to 25 percent sold, and new home owners transportation. Many also house car-sharing services, can plan to move into their new homes in May or such as City CarShare or Zipcar, within their parking June. garages. Millennium Tower offers the ultimate in luxury, Soma Grand, The Infinity and Millennium Tower catering their residents’ every whim. The Club Level also benefit from their locations’ “walkability.” Not features a plethora of services. Besides a concierge, only is San Francisco rated the most “walkable” city there is a screening room with a 100-inch highin the nation (www.walkscore.com), but topping the definition projector screen, a climate-controlled wine list of the city’s most “walkable” neighborhoods are cellar where residents can securely store their collecthe Financial District, downtown and SoMa with tion and a tasting room designed to look like an scores of 99, 98 and 96, respectively.
Soma Grand offers one- to three-bedroom homes with up to three bathrooms. Prices begin in the mid-$500,000s. For more information, call (415) 252-5888 or visit www.somagrand.com. A yet-to-be-named restaurant/lounge and noodle bar from acclaimed chef Charles Phan will be opening in spring. Residents can utilize concierge services provided by Joie de Vivre Hospitality, an expert in providing one-of-a-kind amenities and personalized services, with more than 30 boutique hotels throughout California. The Infinity’s homes range from studios to three-bedrooms with 536 to 3,364 square feet, starting in the $600,000s. For more information, call (415) 512-7700 or visit www.The-Infinity.com. The Infinity will be featuring a restaurant from the acclaimed culinary team at Boulevard this spring. Residents can enjoy an indoor, 75-foot lap pool with natural light pouring down from skylights giving the feeling of being outdoors. The pool also features an intricately designed mosaic wall and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a spacious and relaxing ambiance. Millennium Tower features one- to three-bedroom residences with up to three baths and 660 to 5,000 square feet. Pricing starts in the $700,000s and exceeds $10 million. For more information, call (415) 989-3333, or visit www.millenniumtowersf.com. Celebrity chef Michael Mina’s new restaurant, rn74, is set to open next spring with a fantastic wine program. Residents can store their personal wine collections in the private, temperaturecontrolled cellar. Everyone in the building will have storage for a dozen bottles and the concierge is available to assist with replenishment.
Residents at The Infinity can unwind from the day with a relaxing massage at home, arranged by the on-site concierge service. Millennium Tower features a 75-foot, indoor lap pool set beneath an expansive skylight. Soma Grand homeowners can enjoy a state-of-the-art fitness center and beautifully landscaped, private outdoor sundeck with barbecue area.
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