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: $5,000.
There’s something deceptively refreshing about this two-bed, one-bath (split) flat at the edge of the Marina. All of that well-polished woodwork, the classy foyer at the top of the stairs, the bay windows, the built-ins, and the antique fireplace (only decorative, sadly) are all nice, but what’s compelling is that, in a world where every fourth SF rental ad tries to tack on an extra bedroom by counting the den or the dining room or an extra large closet, this one specifically spells out “the living and dining room cannot be converted to bedrooms.” It’s a two-bed place no exceptions. Of course, creative renters with the burden of that $5,00 per month rent may try to sneak an extra room anyway, but at least the specs are honest. No pets allowed.
The Fairmont at Ghirardelli Square bills itself as the “cornerstone” of the landmark building, “once a historic, illustrious chocolate factory, reinvented as luxury boutique residents”—if anybody can read that sentence without hear a variation of Gene Wilder singing “Pure Imagination” in their heads, that’s quite a feat. (Old Ghirardelli himself took up luxury living in Piedmont.) And if you have $5,000 to burn each month, imagine this two-bed, two-bath condo yours. It features exposed brickwork, which is a nice touch. Pets are also included. Note that the place comes furnished.
One more two-bed, two-bath place to consider, this specimen in Russian Hill marked with the keywords “stunning,” “large,” and “private balcony” in the ad. That balcony off the front does indeed offer pretty views of the street, but it’s the property’s rear that tenants will find more picturesque with a classically inspired garden patio, accessible via French doors or a separate entrance from the largest of the bedrooms. Do note that this space is shared with the other unit in the duplex. The price is $4,995 per month; no pets allowed.
Speaking of class, let’s just talk about this single-family house in Bernal Heights, a couple blocks south of the park near the final stretch of Folsom. Get a load of those red-stained beams and glass blocks in the kitchen, the atrium-like space created by the sheer scale of the skylight, and the connecting hallway with floor-to-ceiling built-ins. Of course, this place does have its oddball side too, including a vaulted ceiling in the living room that looks somehow unfinished and some rooms hemmed in by odd angles and a dire need of updating. Still, it’s a singular addition—two beds, three baths, garage included, and $4,990 per month. No pets here, either.
Last up, near the line between Potrero Hill and Dogpatch marked by the freeway, a two-bed, two-and-a-half-bath live/work space at 699 Mississippi (just imagine beginning the count, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi...” and actually having the fortitude to get this far) is also a flat $5,000 per month, presented a “large, modern artistic space.” But the building dates to 1957 so “modern” depends on your opinion, but it offers 2,000 square feet (350 of it just the loft space) and accommodates both cats and dogs, which are decidedly timeless attractions.
Which rental would you choose?
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Ghirardelli Square Condo
Russian Hill Duplex
Bernal Heights House
Potrero Hill Loft