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Heublein Building loft asks $3.19 million

Railway Loft puts itself on track for locomotive-grade sale

A converted warehouse building on Fourth Street. Courtesy Robert Levy.

The listing for the number 113 loft in the Heublein Building, located at 601 Fourth Street, declares “once in a generation a loft of this stature comes onto the market.”

That sounds like the sort of marketing hyperbole that could make a realtor look silly. However, according to the city assessor-recorder, the last time the two-bed, two-bath home dubbed the Railway Loft sold was in 1996, which was indeed about a generation ago. Fair play.

Back then bidders deemed the place worth $390,000. That’s the equivalent of more than $618,000 in today’s currency, but a far cry from the new, mammoth $3.19 million-plus asking price. Once in a generation indeed.

Once a wine warehouse, the brawny concrete Heublein dates to 1906. It received the loft conversion treatment in the early 1990s thanks for the same developers behind the Clocktower Building.

Still gorgeous in its own right, the Heublein is admittedly the less sophisticated of the two, but in the past Curbed SF deemed it a “gorgeous concrete behemoth” and a fine example of how to make the conversion game pay off for everybody.

The gentle giant near Mission Bay made a small amount of national news in 2009 when Twitter’s then-CEO listed his own home here (and of course advertised it via Twitter).

In those days, even a startup czar with a penthouse listed for less than $1.5 million. Simpler times, apparently.

In truth, this 113 loft looks a bit better than Williams’s old one, at least in terms of using the real structure of the building and its octagonal concrete supports, rough textured walls, and banks of warehouse-style windows.

Realtor Robert Levy even points out that what’s now the main entrance was once “the original railway portal.” That’s the origin of the Railway Loft name, of course—it’s where the trains used to pull in for deliveries.

That was the acme of big business in SoMa back then. But today, the buildings themselves are even more powerful than a locomotive, at least in terms of financial heft.

Heublein Building

601 4th street, san francisco, ca 94107