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Open House Report: We Show Up in SOMA

No Damn Parking: We hit a few open houses yesterday. Not as many as we'd like, trying to get over to the newly price-chopped units at 255 Berry Street, but no luck parking. The Alterra had most of Berry blocked off for a crane. All the street parking was taken- no doubt by tenants of other buildings who don't want to pay for the leased parking their building offers (parking at 255 Berry is deeded.) There are six units for sale at 255 Berry, six percent of its one hundred units.

Honey, I smell smoke. Where's the machete?: Next up was 207 King Street, where we'd been looking at #511 online. It looks as good in the, uh, flesh, as online. Just some weirdness to wrap one's head around. Seems one needs a key fob thingy to get the elevator to go up. So you have to go down to the lobby to let guests in (no unescorted hookers wandering around in this building.) The unit's only entrance proved to be on the upper level, where the bedrooms are. And you get to walk down one-and-a-half flights to get to the "Great Room." When asked where the lower level entry was, the realtor responded brightly with "There isn't one. It's European style!" Oh, right. We forgot about "European Style" as realtorspeak for "badly conceived projects." The only way out on the main level was through an impenetrable thicket of bamboo and into a fountain. Unit includes machete and lifejackets in case of fire. So European. Leased parking $220 a month plus HOA. We're sorry we missed #414, also open yesterday, glass-walled with a head-on view of the ball park.

Minimalist paradise: The hit of the day was unit #121 at 601 Fourth Street. The Heublein Building was an early loft conversion, and it shows in the cheap details and poor finishes in most units. #121 has been completely renovated and updated: new drywall and doors, Ann Sacks/Waterworks bathrooms, Bulthaupt kitchen (let's play "find the refrigerator") two-car parking, roof deck. Throw out most of your possessions and move in. Minimalist paradise for $1,295,000.00, that is.

· 255 Berry Street" [Susan Mortenson/Mcguire via MLS]
· 207 King Street, #511 [Chris Lim/Vanguard via MLS]
· 207 King Street, #414 [Brian Gottfredson/Santa Fe Partners via MLS]
· 601 Fourth Street, #121 [Mark Choey, Vanguard]