July 28, 2010

Noe Valley in National News: "Neighborhoods Buck Trend"

From a July 28 USA Today article:
In the heart of San Francisco, Noe Valley is home to dot-com millionaires and working professionals. The streets are lined with Edwardian and grand Victorian row houses built in the late 19th century, and the neighborhood, flanked by hills, features an eclectic array of coffee shops, sushi restaurants and lively bookshops.

The real estate market in San Francisco is struggling to regain its footing, with home prices down 0.7% from the third quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of this year. But in Noe Valley, most homes are going just above listing price. In May, homes sold for an average of 0.02% more than the last listing price, according to Zillow.com. Based on median list price, that translates into $218 more.

"It's crazy," says Brendon DeSimone, a Realtor with Paragon Real Estate in San Francisco, who represents buyers and sellers in Noe Valley. "I had one house with five offers, and it went from $1.4 million to $1.7 million. The valley has just popped. It's not uncommon for one open house to have 200 people come through."

Nationally, the average property takes eight to nine weeks to sell, down from 10 to 11 weeks a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. In Noe Valley in May, there were 25 listings that sold after averaging five weeks on the market.

Full story here.

[Homes will sell if priced right – USA Today]

July 21, 2010

Announced: Design Quarter

Design Quarter
The Store With Options

Design Quarter is a local business, owned and operated by Noe Valley neighbors. Our philosophy is one of minimizing negative impacts on our environment by reusing, refurbishing and recycling objects that would otherwise be discarded. We pride ourselves on our honesty and integrity, and will never sell reproductions or misrepresent the age, source or composition of the items we sell.

So... Another antique store in the space recently vacated by the same? Or a consignment shop?

Design Quarter is owned/operated by Debbie Cole, Dan Quita, Gypsy Beggs, Cathy Sweetman and Sharon Dunham. Opening day is July 28th. 1478 Church St.

July 16, 2010

Supes Race: District 8 Candidate Debate, Round 2

The Noe Valley Democratic Club is sponsoring a second debate in the 2010 District 8 Supervisor race. Bill Hemenger, Rafael Mandelman, Rebecca Prozan, and Scott Wiener will all be there. You can submit questions same-day, or in advance to moderator Jary Larsen.

What: District 8 Candidate Debate
When: Wednesday, July 21st, 7:30PM
Where: St Philips Church 725 Diamond St

UNN: July Meeting Agenda

Upper Noe Neighbors' monthly meetings resume next week. The agenda:
Cell phones and antennas: a big deal these days as more and more people become aware of the potential hazards associated with the device we so depend on. What do we know about the health effects? What don't we know? What do studies show? What about all the antennas everywhere? And most importantly, what can we do to limit any possible danger?

San Francisco is ahead of the game by passing right-to-know legislation that will require stores to list radiation levels of the phones they sell. This will empower consumers by giving you a choice based on knowledge.

Doug Loranger has been a local expert and activist on these issues for many years. He will speak on the health issues. The S.F. Dept. of the Environment will talk about what our City is doing with the new legislation.
Doug Loranger is also co-founder of the San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free Union (SNAFU).

What: Upper Noe Neighbors Meeting
When: Thursday, July 22, 7:30pm
Where: Upper Noe Rec Center

Supes Race: Rebecca Prozan Sets Up Shop In Noe Valley

From the Bay Area Reporter:
So far the sole District 8 supervisor candidate opting to open a campaign headquarters outside the Castro is Rebecca Prozan . She recently secured the storefront at 1195 Church Street, home to a former bead store, at the busy intersection of Church and 24th Street...
[BAR: D8 candidates open campaign headquarters]

July 15, 2010

Noe Valley Town Square Community Meeting Notes

Tonight's town square community brainstorm wasn't nearly as well attended as past community meetings, but the turnout was decent for a warm summer night in July. And maybe because of the Tea Party antics at the June 30 gathering, there was a beat cop onsite and facilitator Meredith Thomas opened with a list of Ground Rules (We turn off cell phones; We stay on topic… etc). Everybody behaved and after a brief overview of the proposal, the meeting divided into brainstorming groups that reported back with ideas.

Topline summary: The Neighborhood Parks Council is looking for some (any!) sign of consensus in Noe for a Town Square. And they got it. From the community brainstorm sessions, two themes emerged:

- Let's not put a building there

- Let's make it a community space

Beyond that, Noe Valleyans dreamed of an Italian piazza, a parking lot with green space, a skate park, a movie theater, a dog run, a playground, park benches, a duck pond, a farmer's market every day, a food pantry, a bandshell, a clubhouse… and everything in between.

Next steps: The San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council and the city are having the NV Ministry parking lot land appraised – an estimate of the cost to buy the land from the current investors and Ministry will be revealed August 30. In the meantime, the ideas from and the temperature of this meeting will be considered by city planning. If there's a recommendation to move forward, alternative concepts would be presented to the community for more input.

[Image: St. Peter's Square, Vatican City]

Pavement To Parks Says No To Plaza Trial, Yes To Parklets

Dear Noe Valleyans,

As we have mentioned previously, the intent of Pavement to Parks projects is to unite the community around trial public space improvements. The Noe Street Plaza has been quite a contentious proposal, much more so than any other Pavement to Parks project to date. Many in the community have advocated very strongly for a trial to proceed while many others feel uncomfortable with any type of trial street closure. There have been petitions for and petitions against the Noe Valley proposal. Both drives have secured hundreds of signatures.

We believed that with civil discourse and debate we could all eventually come together around a common proposal for Noe Valley. As most of you will probably agree, a consensus has been very difficult to attain.

While not an alternative to or part of Pavement to Parks, one of the ideas generated at an early community meeting - a public space at the Noe Valley Ministry parking lot - is now being discussed further and we are pleased to see this important conversation moving forward independent of Pavement to Parks.

We are excited to report that of all the different ideas talked about over the past few months, Parklets on 24th Street have gained the most support in Noe Valley (a survey at the June 30th workshop, for example, demonstrated 3 to 1 support for this proposal). Parklets do not affect traffic circulation and instead use two parking spaces to build out a deck for landscaping, tables and chairs, and other pedestrian elements (see sfpavementtoparks.sfplanning.org for images of Parklets in other parts of town). If all goes to plan, we would like to add two Parklets along 24th Street this Fall. We will be working with the merchant community to identify the most suitable locations but it is important to note that these spaces will be open and free to use by anyone. As in all Pavement to Parks projects, these Parklets will be trial and closely monitored for success. If they do not work out, they will be removed.

I would like to personally thank everyone for being so patient and for contributing to an important and productive community dialogue. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Andres Power

July 14, 2010

Blue Bottle Coffee Comes to Noe

A favorite of hipsters and foodies, Blue Bottle Coffee is now available at Spin City Launderette & Coffee (26th and Sanchez). Originally opened as a coffee shop and laundromat, the coffee shop part of Spin City has been dark for years. A new sign in the window (and a bright blue paint job) announces the Grand Reopening last Saturday July 10.

Hours: 7AM every day, closed Wednesdays.

July 10, 2010

Billy Goat Hill Trail Planning and Design Concepts

From The Friends of Billy Goat Hill Park:
Billy Goat Hill (BGH) was allocated $50,000 of the 2008 Clean & Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond to rebuild the lower park entrance and the trail leading to the big eucalyptus trees (and the swing) and the steps up to the top of the hill. The current trail is extremely steep and unusable by all but the most adventurous of us. These improvements should make a 'walk in the park' much easier and bring more kids and families out to see the wildflowers, native plants and butterflies and enjoy the great view. A public meeting is being held on Wednesday, July 14th at 6:30 in the Upper Noe Rec Center to present the plans for community input.
What: Billy Goat Hill Community Meeting
When: July 14, 6:30 – 8:00PM
Where: Upper Noe Rec Center Auditorium (@ Sanchez and Day)

Click the image below to see the flyer for the event.
[FOBGHP: Community Trail Planning Meeting - July 14th]

Agenda: Noe Valley Town Square Community Visioning Meeting

A reminder that there is an informational meeting this Thursday about the proposal to turn the parking lot hosting the farmer's market into permanent open space. Up to an hour will be dedicated to "community brainstorming." This meeting is sponsored by Friends of Noe Valley and facilitated by Meredith Thomas of the Neighborhood Parks Council. Here's the agenda forwarded to us by organizer Todd David (click the image to view):

What: Noe Valley Town Square Community Visioning Meeting
When: Thursday, July 15th, 6:30PM
Where: St. Philip's Church, 725 Diamond St.

[Agenda: Noe Valley Town Square Community Visioning Meeting - Google docs version]
[NVSF: Farmer's Market Parking Lot Edges Closer To Town Square Status]

July 6, 2010

Missing Comments Mystery

For those who are wondering... the missing comments reported in some of the posts today is a Blogger software problem, not a plaza/parklet demon. It should be resolved by now - if not, let us know in the comments.

July 3, 2010

NVV July/August 2010: We Read It So You Don't Have To

The Noe Valley Voice is published ten times a year and has been a neighborhood fixture since 1977. Here are notable highlights from the latest issue. Links are to items we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories until the middle of the month.

July/August 2010

Front Page: Summer issue - Voice writers, editors and photographers are asked to "put away their communication devices and find a way to play" until September; Elizabeth Crane ("farmer's market queen") shares jamming recipes; Noe Valley photog Leo Holub died at 93 years old in April.

Feature: Traveling Voice, a retrospective.

Letters: Last month's mockingbird (and apparently the only one in the neighborhood) is now serenading the easily riled Jersey St. residents; Noe St resident enlists Bevan Dufty to reverse a street sweeping ticket); Joel Panzer tries to sound more rational about keeping Noe St open than he did at the June 30th meeting; A "thanks" for the Noe Valley Garden Tour, and another for Rebecca Prozan's campaign kick-off on June 12th.

Cost of Living in Noe: 9 homes sold in May, high price for a SFH was $3.3M (skewing the mean).

Store Trek: Joseph Andrade Floral (3961 24th St) is intent on providing "affordable elegance;" Sway (3979 24th St) is woman's clothing that is "not to cool for school."

Rumors: The Voice was unable to attend/report on the June 30th Community Meeting; Easily riled Jersey St residents now host the official bike route through downtown Noe Valley (complete with Sharrows); Cooks Boulevard? Still empty; Castro Nails? Now on outer Church. GNC/Aveda? "A number of inquiries." Twin Peaks Realty? The estate is looking for a tenant to make improvements (but the space does include parking); French Tulip lives; Garage Store under new management as Garage Store Merchandise Lounge and moving more upscale; Star Magic sticking around after all under the guise of Cosmic Wizard after a notice of "trademark infringement" from some fancy New York lawyer; Loft 1513, Heliotrope and Curator Boutique have made outer Church a "certified shopping destination;" A list of SF Weekly's Best Of including Elizabeth Street Brewery.

And finally... buried among countless realtor ads is another circa 1985 photo advertising Sue Bowie's Noe Valley expertise - still listed as a Prudential agent.

[The Noe Valley Voice]