The "It's Better for the Consumer" Award: Jointly, to To Matt Lanning and Matthew Borland of Zephyr for spearheading the shutdown of public internet access to the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service. Because aside from a leased Mercedes, listings are all these peoples gots. On January 2 the MLS will only be available through broker's sites- most of which are badly designed and poorly updated. There's no financial incentive to update listings- or police inaccurate ones. Meanwhile in the vast backwater we think of as Houston TX the local MLS is hooking up with... Google.
The Larry Silverstein Award for Chutzpah: To developer Mark Solit for proposing twin 1200 foot high skyscrapers- albeit in a complex of four- at First & Mission. Aside from the economics of commercial structures with small floor plates, or that Renzo Piano will do better than Minoru Yamasaki, you can call them whatever you want. People are already referring to them as the Twin Towers.
The Fuck Modernism Award: To whoever demolished this 1937 Wurster house at Pacific and Raycliffe.
That Eureka Moment Award: To City College of San Francisco. Where someone woke up one morning, looked at the new Federal Building, and said "shit, we can do that too!" The that referring to building new facilities anywhere in San Francisco without local oversight or community input. May their results be as stunning.
McMansion of the Year: There are so many things wrong with this house that's it's just right. Just right if you're Kim Jong-il Deux. Somehow a mashup of 18th-century France and a Bar Mitzvah Hall in Great Neck, LI and yours for the merest $11M. Beating out Andre Agassi's spread in Marin and the $65M French limestone mansion in Pacific Heights. Special Mention award goes to the "Former Bill Graham Estate" an over-the-top "green" house that never actually belonged to Bill Graham. He owned the house demolished to make way for this one. So much for recycling. On offer through Redfin for $27M.
[Photo Credit: SF Chronicle/Michael Maloney]
The Eichler Taliban Award: Unanimously to The San Francisco Chronicle Home & Garden section. Writer Kathleen Haley and her editor Lynette Evans with a Special Mention to John King for the immortal quote: "It's an Eichler, not a piece of the True Cross."
And looking forward to in 2007:
Wrangling over The Tranny Shack: The multi-billion dollar Transbay Terminal project at Mission and First. Actually a gift that keeps giving. There will bitchfighting and hairpulling over this for the next decade. Ditto Treasure Island.
The Affordable Housing Bail-Out of Late 2007: Gavin Newsom & The Supes will realize that it's cheaper to buy empty condos in SoMa than build new below-market and supervised housing. Banks and REITS are thrilled to hand them over, making Care Not Cash Gavin's PT 109.