Monday, August 21, 2023

Meanwhile, In San Francisco: Iconic St. Francis Hotel Loses 90% Of Its Value

Grandmother preferred the St. Francis to the Mark Hopkins Hotel or the Fairmont because the St. Francis would wash your pocket change for you. It kept your white gloves from getting smudgy.

From the San Francisco Standard, August 15

Iconic San Francisco Hotel Has Lost 90% of Its Value, Owner Says

The Chase Center. The Westin St. Francis Hotel. The Transamerica Pyramid.

These properties are among the most iconic in San Francisco, but what they also have in common is their owners are applying for dramatic cuts in their assessed values in a worrying sign for the city’s fiscal health. 

At Chase Center, property owners are attempting to cut the city’s assessed $1.48 billion value for the stadium by some 58% to $635 million. 

The owner of the Transamerica Pyramid, New York developer Shvo, which purchased the building in 2020, is seeking a 53% reduction in its assessed value from $485.5 million to $227 million. 

The Westin St. Francis Hotel owners are applying for a more than 90% decrease in its assessed value of $787 million all the way down to $76 million....


On the other hand, the Top of the Mark restaurant was the place to get sloshed on martinis while watching the sun go down on the Golden Gate Bridge.

And staying on the cheery side of the street, the Doom Loop Walking Tours seem to be popular and profitable for the tour guide.

From the New York Post, August 18:

Death, drugs and abandoned businesses all on display along San Francisco ‘doom loop’ tour route
San Francisco’s ‘doom loop’ route really does give people a front row seat to the city’s descent into homelessness, drug use and urban decay. 

Spurred by a local joker who has organized a tour of the California city’s most blighted areas, The Post walked the proposed route to see if the “worst of San Francisco” really was on offer. 

Community activist JJ Smith generously acted as an ad-hoc tour guide for the “landmarks” on a 1.5-mile trip, which took in City Hall, Union Square, Mid-Market and the Tenderloin District — areas where a one bedroom apartment typically retails for $750,000 and upward. 

The once bustling areas of Market Street and Union Square were homes to such esteemed stores as Nordstrom Rack and Old Navy until they recently left. Floors and floors of completely vacant space in various storefronts are visible from the street, save a few lonely mannequins staring forlornly from windows. 

Since January 2020, half of retailers have fled the downtown area because of sagging sales and lack of foot traffic and tourism. Of those that are left, even Ross Dress for Less now sports “enhanced security” in the form of bag checks and security guards stationed at all exits....