Here are a few highlights of our trip to 181 Fremont’s showcase unit and the actual units themselves from this landmark building. It’s pretty amazing. Jonathan, who isn’t easily impressed, was impressed. And from seeing countless properties, new developments like the Lumina, Infinity, Pacific, St. Regis, One Hawthorne, Linea, BlancSF, V20, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Millennium, and having lived in the then-premier SF property (One Rincon Hill) we can both say that this is really a special property and opportunity.
It’s Mixed Use
First, the development is being done by a noted commercial developer who brought a new, luxury, build-it-better perspective to residential real estate. There are about 30-40 floors of commercial office space, which was just leased by Facebook for some $35M/month, will be kept by the developer.
Next, the residential units take up the top 17 stories of the building with no more than 4 units on each floor all under 9-foot ceilings. The Penthouse level unit is available for a cool $42M. The units all have truly exceptional materials, finishes, fixtures and smart layouts. The views, well, the views are amazing too. The tech and green features are pretty special too: the building is LEED Platinum-certified (a first for a residential and mixed use building) allows for full-pressure water fixtures because 181 Fremont has a massive grey water capture system, the elevators are not only speedy but safe as they were designed with modern threats in mind as they have ’survival’ features like backup generates, reinforced steel elevator shafts and are sealed to prevent smoke from coming in during an emergency. Unlike its notable neighbor, 181 Fremont’s foundation is rooted down to bedrock and the super structure is steel with light and regular concrete floor plates. There’s a big mega-skeleton system that not only makes it resilient for earthquakes but also reduce the number of columns residents see in their units.
Amenities-wise is where 181 soars. There’s sound insulation between the units, between the levels and it is so very quiet in each space. The LED light fixtures are very high-end. The entry doors are so special with piano hinges, rare French hardware and the doors can open extra wide to move that piano you had to have in your place. Apart from that the marble, the museum, top-grade sheetrock, the Miele kitchens, the luxe marble bathrooms, French oak floors, power shades, speakers, brilliant oak divider panels, concealed heating and cooling, LED lights with smart controllers and windows that actually open. There are 55 residences for sale with an additional assortment of 12 accessory units (studios and junior 1-bedrooms) that are available for purchase to anyone who owns one of the 55 units. HOA dues range from $2000/month to $4000/month that cover such things as 24-hour in-staffed concierge desk, earthquake insurance, a rich amenities level, valet parking (an additional $500/mo fee).
From a separate ground-floor lobby, 7th-floor entryway to the 4-block long urban park over the new Transbay Terminal and the fact that amenities level is a sky lobby on the 52nd floor (there’s a numbering difference because of the commercial floors’ ceiling heights), the building departs from other luxe developments San Francisco has seen thus far. 181 really raises the bar. All units come with parking (even the accessory ones) that are valet (stacker units), and once the building is done, owners can sell the accessory units separately if they wish.
The first escrows and move-ins are scheduled for March and will run until summer 2018. Of the units they have left, we liked the C and D variants (no two plans are alike because the building tapers towards the top and the mega structure varies as it goes up the building) the most. The views are more interesting and the buildings in the sight lines are pretty much set while the skyline towards the east (toward the Bay Bridge) is still growing with the most notable example being the current bus terminal. The best units that balance price, views, amenities and dues are, in our opinion, range from the $3.2M range to the $4.25M range for 2 beds, 2 baths from about 1600-1800 sqft; 3-bedroom units go in the $4M-$5M. Because we used to work with one of the sales reps we’d like to say we have a bit of an in at the property!