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: $2,300.
↑ Now here’s an update about the state of San Francisco neighborhoods that might turn heads: “Lower Nob Hill evokes both the elegance of Nob Hill and the hipness of the Tenderloin.” Most Tenderloin residents probably dread the day that the neighborhood becomes “hip” for fear they’ll never again be able to afford it, but for now it probably won’t catch on. Nevertheless the landlord for this “renovated studio” on Post Street hopes renters will take to Lower Nob as the next big thing, to the tune of $2,295/month no less. “The entire building has been renovated,” according to the ad, including “new carpeting, lighting, fixtures, new exterior paint.” But the old place still allows pets, and even includes a faux-grassy area on the roof serving as a dog run (a building feature we somehow failed to properly identify in a Comparisons two weeks ago).
↑ On the other hand, Jackson Square really is a neighborhood that probably does deserve more attention than it garners, although that’s likely because most renters have trouble finding a redoubt in the small burgh. This boxy yellow building with the brick interiors at 920 Montgomery, however, seems to always have one vacancy or another, this time a studio for $2,200. Note that at 260 square feet, this is nearly the smallest home to ever pop up on Comparisons and there’s no pets allowed, but maybe the sweetheart location and appeal of an older building in a historic neighborhood will entice renters anyway. Similar-sized units in the same building previously rented for $2,000 even.
↑ Speaking of sweet locales, it seems to be harder and harder these days to break into the Castro rental market. Strictly speaking this apartment at 2306 Market near 16th Street is over the line and on the edge of Upper Market, but the ad is aware that this is a prime spot in and of itself, boasting that renters can “walk to Dolores Park, hop the trolley to the Embarcadero, or just enjoy the Castro.” Ditching the studio vibe, this is a full one-bed, one-bath apartment with some slightly narrow confines in a decidedly old-fashioned, non-open floor plan. It’s $2,295, no mention of pets.
↑ Renters feeling confined by the other offerings on the market right now might be enticed by the headline’s promise that this one-bedroom, one-bath Sunset apartment at 10th and Ortega is “large,” but possibly also confused by the ad’s hedge that it’s “cozy,” which, of course, is the go-to euphemism for small. This paradox continues into specific elements like the “cedar walk-in closet,” which does indeed appear to be something a tenant could walk into—barely. But San Francisco is a land of contradictions and no matter what it’ll beat out the 300 and 200 foot places in other neighborhoods. It’s $2,275, no pets allowed.
↑ Note that this Russian Hill studio on Van Ness also makes a point of its walk-in closet, even mentioning it in the ad headline. This closet space manages its walk-in credentials by way of a sudden pivot that means much of it runs parallel to the bedroom, which is a clever use of the space, even if it looks awkward. The ad also pushes the appeal of the building, promising “a set of original marble steps leads to the lobby which is home to a beautiful stained glass window and is decorated with extensive crown molding.”
Which Rental Would You Choose?
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Lower Nob Hill Studio
Jackson Square Studio
Upper Market Apartment
Russian Hill Studio