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 another person’s townhouse? Today’s price: $3,100.
Four words to attract a renter in San Francisco: “Large,” “art,” “deco,” and “cat.” The addition of the word “negotiable” on the latter point is mildly discouraging, but at least that gives cat fanciers something to work with for this Pac Heights studio on Broadway in what the leasing agent calls a “charming and very well-maintained Art Deco building.” Even the bathroom here is dubbed an Art Deco piece, “with a shower-over-tub, and a built-in linen closet.” The $3,100 per month rent, on the other hand, is entirely modern.
Further east to Lower Nob Hill the same price means giving up the swanky Pac Heights address and any mention of feline negotiation, but in exchange for a studio renters can nab a full one-bed, one-bath apartment advertised at 900 square feet from front to back. “Elegant boutique building located only two blocks from Union Square,” the ad notes, adding that the “bathroom has original 1920s period details”—the city dates the building to 1927. The ad even tries to sell you on the prospect of “building a home office” in one of the walk-in closets, which might be a bit much but at least would be a step closer to getting $3,100 per month out of the place.
In the Richmond, an aqua blue building on 21st Avenue, perched right above the park, offers a two-bed, one-bath “upper flat” described as “not your typical two bedroom flat.” That’s true to the degree that a typical two-bedroom flat does not usually cost $3,100 per month, but in this case it also refers to the advertised “unique layout [that] allows extra large rooms and extra large windows in each room.” This includes the rhetorical exchange, “A window in a closet? Yes, a window in a closet,” which is in and of itself worth perusing the open house. “No pets.”
Whomever handles this competing Alamo Square apartment knows the score so well that the ad mentions pets up front in the headline, right alongside the almost obligatory reference to the “newly renovated” building: a big, beautiful set-up on Pierce Street. Although the apartment is small at 500 square feet, it’s deemed a full one-bedroom, one-bath unit rather than a studio. It’s also furnished with “hardwood floors,” “stone counters,” and “renovated bathrooms.” And, yes, as promised, it’s “pet-friendly.” The building actually has three vacant homes, but they’re all the same at $3,095 per month.
Finally, despite being mired in scandal over associated plots, the SF Shipyard in Bayview continues to be the best bargain going for anyone who can put fears over unaccounted for radiation aside. Here’s a two-bed, one-bath condo on Innes runs $2,995 per month with one-car garage, patio, free shuttle to downtown, and “pets negotiable.”
Which rental would you choose?
This poll is closed
Pac Heights studio
Lower Nob Hill apartment
Alamo Square apartment
Bayview-Hunters Point condo