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: $3,300.
If anybody didn’t know that the 500 Folsom building in the East Cut, with its trademark staggering profile, is a new addition to the city, note that the amenities listed in this ad include an electric vehicle charging station. A studio of less than 500 square feet in the newly minted designer building demands the sum of $3,294 per month “at this brand new high-rise downtown.” Other highlights include a sundeck, recreation room, concierge, clubhouse, and spa. The ad also mentions long-term leasing, but isn’t specific. Cats and dogs are both allowed, but there’s a two-pet maximum and a fairly robust list of breed prohibitions for dogs, which actually includes “wolf hybrids.”
The apartments at 899 Pine in Nob Hill are definitely not a new addition, built in 1961. The advertised “breathtaking view” with this 400-square-foot studio emphasizes vistas of the Transamerica Pyramid and 555 California rather than newer high-rises to the south. The “cozy studio,” rents for $3,300 per month. The ad also plays up the neighborhood with “many luxuries and conveniences right outside your doorstep” rather than the big money formula of luxury services inside. No dogs are allowed, but renters can bring cats—now that is cozy.
Neighborhoods are distinct entities, but sometimes those distinctions come with shades of gray. Take, for example, this downtown loft at 10 Cyril Magnin—marketed as Lofts on Powell to take advantage of the noted street on the other side of the building—is on the border of Union Square and the Tenderloin just outside the Powell Street Station. The circa-1921 building is a true classic, “luxurious apartments located in the elegant and historic Bank of Italy building in the heart of San Francisco,”—the term “heart of San Francisco” is liberally abused when talking about neighborhoods, but this one has a real shot at it. The photos reveal floor plans of apartments on the building’s southeastern flank: turns out the homes just adapt to that curve. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit clears both cats and dogs—that part is very Tenderloin—and runs $3,200 per month.
This Outer Richmond apartment on 28th Avenue has less going for it by way of architectural appeal, looking like nothing so much as a big pink eraser from outside. The interior layouts reflect the overall theme of big honking boxes as well. But there’s a lot of room here to spread out, comparably speaking: 900 square feet with two beds and one bath, promising a “huge eat-in kitchen with brand-new stove, roomy dining area and ample storage,” as well as an “ideal floor plan with two bedrooms on opposite side of the apartment” for $3,300 per month. The only catch: no pets.
Alamo Square finishes up the slate with this muted blue number on Scott Street. This place looks like another classic, but the city dates it to 1989. The ad promises “a spacious, sunny, quiet one bed, one bath apartment, super conveniently located” for $3,300 per month, all part of a triplex. No cats here, but dogs are okay, which, given the proximity to the park, is fortunate.
Which rental would you choose?
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East Cut Condo
Nob Hill Studio
Alamo Square Apartment