Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different neighborhoods. Is one person’s studio is another person’s townhouse? Today’s price: $2,000.
↑ There’s no going back to the pulpy days when San Francisco was just a workaday town by a bay. But the city would like to preserve at least the memory of older times with the likes of Dashiell Hammett Place, an alley running a single block in Lower Nob Hill and bearing the esteemed noir scribbler’s name and where Hammett himself once lived (back when it was Monroe Street) in this 1912 brick building. (A number of SF buildings market themselves as former Hammett homes, but this one even has his name on it.) The apartment itself is a mere 400-square-foot studio with some slightly fuzzy photos to go with it, banking on its literary esteem and Nob Hill locale. It’s $2,000/month, and the building allows cats—the better to sniff out a Black Bird, perhaps.
↑ The Tenderloin is another neighborhood with Hammett history, but in this case the building at 424 Jones boasts no past tenants notably more famous than its current ones, or at least none who make it into the body of the ad. The landlord bills the place as “historic” even so—in this case the building dates back to 1923. The apartment is one bedroom and one bath—relief for those looking for a way out of studio living, however minor—at $1,995, pets included in the package. (Thank you, Tenderloin.)
↑ The old Book Concern Building on McCallister is not too far from the Tenderloin itself, but technically falls a bit closer to Civic Center, to whatever degree San Franciscans on the street distinguish between those two areas anymore. This 1906 building converted into lofts and micro studios in 2007. While originally a humble affair, these days it fetchies a pretty penny indeed. In this case, $2,000 for a one-bath studio with a tiny kitchenette and aluminum racks for storage.
↑ Speaking of efficiency, that’s not just a byword downtown these days. Take the case of this little single-bed, single-bath in-law in Portola, located at the deliciously named Bacon Street on the edge of John McClaren Park. “Efficient, quiet, affordable,” is the landlord’s pitch here (along with “safe neighborhood,” overlapping a bit with the Excelsior). The $2,000 price tag covers the utilities as well, and the apartment has a “cat friendly” tag—which is more than you can say for many cats themselves.
↑ And finally, here’s another similarly small and mellow 400-square-foot, single-room studio apartment, this one at Mission and Duboce, a few blocks from BART but closer to the freeway that hangs overhead. (Perhaps the freeway is the reason why the ad mysteriously includes an illustration of the building exterior instead of a photo?) Note the oddball layout: Although it’s a studio, this place actually has three discrete rooms and two separate closets that, if combined, could make for a junior one bedroom space in itself. It’s $1,995. Dogs allowed, but “other pets considered.” (It could be your lucky day, Shetland owners!)
Which Rental Would You Choose?
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Lower Nob Hill Studio
Civic Center Studio