Dogpatch: Part 2


With all the buzz surrounding the recent growth and changes in Dogpatch, it’s important to keep one important detail in mind; the greatest changes are yet to come.

In the 1990s, when real estate developers discovered Dogpatch, they changed the neighborhood’s demographics. In to what had been a blue-collar area came a wave of young professionals who snapped up small condominiums and live/work loft spaces. They were drawn by modest prices and the Dogpatch’s easy access to downtown and Mission Bay, thanks to the new T-Third Street light rail line. In their wake came new restaurants, shops and a sudden realization of Dogpatch as a neighborhood with a high ceiling for development – one that remains vital, two decades later.

In fact, the drive to build in Dogpatch is greater now than it has ever been. As of this writing there are six separate residential developments (plus two parks) either proposed or underway in Dogpatch. If they all make it to completion they will add almost 1,000 new residential units (plus new retail and commercial space) to the neighborhood. On their heels comes the long-gestating Pier 70 project, which could add another 1,000 units. Dogpatch was booming. Dogpatch is booming.

What does that leave for buyers looking to get in ahead of the next wave? Plenty. For one, the neighborhood’s original condo and loft buildings are now established and well into the resale stage. Condos in Dogpatch aren’t large – most have one or two bedrooms – but many they sell for well below San Francisco’s million-dollar-plus median. Even units at the splashy former Esprit Factory, which was converted into high design living spaces in 2009, can be had in the $700,000 – $800,000 range. Note however that newer and larger units, like the ones at the newly completed Millwheel North building at 1275 Indiana Street, can fetch seven figures. As Dogpatch evolves, it evolves upward, like all of San Francisco.

Beside these newer buildings (note, too, that besides Millwheel North there will soon also be new apartments at The Gantry, almost complete and adjacent to Pier 70 at 2121 Third Street) Dogpatch offers a smattering of Edwardian and Victorian units and the rarely available original Eastlake Victorian single-family cottage. Beware the desirability of the latter breed, however; a completely gutted Dogpatch Victorian, one of the neighborhood’s original 19th-century Eastlake cottages, went on the market in late 2013 for $799,000. Two weeks later it was gone, sold for $1.152 million.

So what is in store for Dogpatch, a neighborhood that frankly right now doesn’t yield too many ownership opportunities? (only 27 homes closed escrow in Dogpatch between January and May, 2014)

Plenty of opportunity.

The next wave of Dogpatch housing will be mid-rise, limited to five or six stories mostly, though there is preliminary talk of waiving the city’s height limit for the building at Pier 70. Many of the new complexes will emphasize urban, eco-friendly lifestyles, with almost an equal number of auto and bicycle parking spots, pedestrian plazas and groundfloor retail space. 650 Indiana, which hopes to bring 111 new units to the district and will be adjacent to the proposed 8,000 square-foot Dog Patch Arts Plaza, will include a 1,700 square-foot “arts café” and a bike shop. Nearby 800 Indiana, which promises 338 residences and three public plazas, hopes to integrate a new dog park and a “dog washing station” to its proposal.

Dogpatch is not just getting bigger; it’s evolving to meet the needs of modern living as its profile rises. As more people realize its advantages – interesting, diverse architecture, buzz-worthy new restaurants and shops and easy access to Mission Bay, downtown and highways leading south, Dogpatch finds itself on the verge of becoming a much larger player in San Francisco real estate.

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