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Car-Free, Micro-Unit Building Set to Open on Hayes Valley Freeway Plot

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The starting price for the small condos is $500,000.

Slowly but surely, the last footprints of that old, unsightly Hayes Valley freeway are filling in. Construction has finished on Parcel F at 388 Fulton (corner of Gough), and now 69 new units are primed to be put on the market.

The six-story residential development is just two blocks from City Hall, with a close-up view of the dome from the rooftop, and two blocks from the Hayes Street dining corridor. The building also boasts a (wait for it) "Feng Shui-compliant" entry courtyard, according to architect David Baker.

Baker also touts features such as aluminum sunshades over the windows, each angle specifically calculated for maximum sun blockage in the spring and fall; a dramatic black exterior made up of glazed tiles; and ground-floor offerings including retail as well as the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco’s Don Fisher Clubhouse, open since 2015

There's a couple of eccentricities here, the first being that there’s zero parking; the garage is for Boys & Girls Club vans only. Rather, the condos offer 1:1 bike parking, which did get the building an endorsement by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Walk SF.

They’re framing this as a positive, playing up the green-friendly, carbon-reducing angle. "It's time we embrace carless living," Baker says in a statement on the 388 Fulton site. Given that finding street parking on Fulton is roughly equivalent to rolling double zeroes on a roulette wheel, you’ll pretty much have to.

Number two, more than 50 percent of the condos on tap are micro-units, aka 350-square-foot studios. Interior designer Charles de Lisle dubs them "minimalist" apartments that "maximize efficiency."

Presumably, the smaller units give developer 7X7 Development more bang for their buck at a primo locale. It’s not like there are many more central freeway parcels to snap up, so it pays to make the most of what you have. There are also 28 743-square-foot two bedrooms on offer, and half a dozen 485-square-foot, one-bedroom units

Those studios start at half a million dollars, by the way, about $1,428 per square foot. The two-bedrooms are priced in the "high $800,000" range, probably around $1,200 per square foot. That’s a pretty penny, but it is $3,000 less expensive than what’s on the market down the block at 555 Fulton, where condos start at $800,000. And of course, what’s on the market for the rest of the street is nothing at all.

Sales are set to begin in February 2016, according to the press release, which by our calculations is by the start of next week, so we'll soon see how many folks are digging the idea of pedal-driven micro-living.