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: $4,500.
There’s an oversight in the headline “Millennium Tower, available now,” namely that this one- bed, one-bath condo isn’t actually in the structurally compromised building that most people assume it would be at first glance. This unit is in the nearby podium building, dubbed the Millennium Tower Residences—once the less desirable of the two structures, but now the clear favorite on account of having no particular foundation issues. The 830-square-foot unit is pretty much interchangeable with any similarly sized home in the building, excepting that the views are almost exclusively of the building next door—all the better to keep an eye on its wandering ways. The ad doesn’t mention pets. It’s $4,500 per month for just one bedroom either way.
The Hawthorne Place building on Dow Street is only a few blocks away from Millennium Tower in the East Cut and opened just six years before. Although still fancy, this building fancies itself a world apart from that one, marketed as “a loft-style building in modern construction” (rather than an old building conversion of the sort common in the neighborhood). The ad promises soaring floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a “spacious open living room” in a one-bed, one-and-a-half-bath space. Note that those windows do indeed extend the full wall, but unlike in newer nearby high-rises nearby, these do not summarily replace the wall—another attempt at imitating the loft style, just like the looming concrete ceiling in the tucked away kitchen. These disparate buildings do have one more thing in common: the price, in this case $4,495 per month. No word about pets.
Speaking of classic styles, this mostly square, oatmeal-colored Mission building certainly doesn’t look like anything special from the curb. And the interiors offer little excitement, favoring utilitarian features and tile floors in some of the bedrooms. It’s a three-bed, two-bath affair, so at least it’s giving renters a lot more space to work with for $4,500 per month. This rental does have one ace up its sleeve: its distinctive 86 Balmy Alley address—in fact, one of the famed Balmy Alley murals can be found on the building’s facade, a small piece that’s been in place for a decade. Balmy tends to get a bit overlooked compared to Clarion Alley these days, which is a shame since it’s the original art-strewn street in the neighborhood
And for traditional San Francisco beauty of another sort, this Victorian in the Haight has a one-bed, one-bath apartment sporting truly gorgeous, classically styled interiors fit with lustrous wallpaper, stained glass details, and delicate trims. Take note of the antique stoves and overwhelming volume of built-in bookshelves as well. It’s a stunner with 1,500 square feet all around—but, of course, also the style cramping price tag of $4,495 per month. No dogs allowed here, but cats are allowed—it is a Vic, after all.
Last on the block, this two-bed, two-bath flat in the Inner Richmond tries to appeal to nurses and other medical professions thanks to its proximity to nearby hospitals, but will presumably go in for anyone willing to pay $4,499 per month. The listing entices with “an elegant look combined with classy San Francisco style”—interesting phrasing, since it seems to suggest that the values are separate, but either way the fire engine-red dining room is a winning touch. No pets here, either.
Which rental would you choose?
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Millennium Tower Condo
East Cut Loft