San Francisco – A $400 million mixed-use redevelopment plan that included building a new cruise ship terminal south of the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco to Oakland, had been stalled for years until one of the phases, a 22-story condominium, opened this year.
The $95 million, 136-unit building known as The Watermark is part of a plan that, by 2012, is also expected to include luxury office space, shops, restaurants and the new Brannan Street Wharf.
The project was built on the Embarcadero waterfront. “Most of the other residential projects are a few blocks from here,” said Paul Odmundson, project director and managing representative for project developer San Francisco Cruise Terminal, LLC (SFCT), which is managing the entire redevelopment plan. The company is a joint venture between Lend Lease Corp. and Mapletree Investments, an investment arm of the Singapore government.
“We offer unobstructed views of the water and a modern design,” he added.
Selling prices for most of the glass-faced condo units run from $700,000 for a one-bedroom, 759-square-foot unit to more than $1.7 million for a three-bedroom, 2,055-square-foot unit. The penthouses are selling for about $3 million each. Because of city requirements, 16 condos have been set aside for households earning the area median income.
Two-thirds of the units were sold at press time, according to Odmundson.
The Watermark was built to the same quality standard as luxury condo hotels downtown, like the St. Regis and Four Seasons, he added. But The Watermark targets a younger demographic; two-thirds of the buyers are full-time residents, instead of the older, vacation-home buyers that other luxury buildings have targeted.
To fund the project, HSBC Bank provided a $60 million loan at an initial floating interest rate of 4.5% based on the London InterBank Offered Rate plus 250 basis points. SFCT financed the remaining $35 million of the cost with equity.
The Watermark is conveniently located outside a MUNI public transit stop and is within walking distance of the city’s financial district.
The other phases of development are still on hold, said Odmundson. He is in the middle of pre-marketing the office space and expects high demand. Net absorption for office space was at a record high in the city last year, he said.
Odmundson hopes to reinvest the profits from condo sales to help renovate the pier.