Blog & News

January 2018
January 2018

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January 2018
January 2018

Although there is still much uncertainty surrounding the actual application of many of the new tax provisions, we want to provide you with the opportunity to review most of the ‘highlights’ of the new law.

Below you will find a link(s) to comprehensive bullet-point summaries:  one covering the new changes for individuals, and one covering the changes for businesses.  We recommend that you review the topic headings that seem to apply to your particular tax situation.

We are working diligently to analyze the new provisions and create appropriate tax minimization strategies in light of these changes.  

We are always available to guide you through the impacts of any new tax law changes.

Link to Summary of New Tax law for Individuals

Link to Summary of New Tax law for ...


January 2018
January 2018

 

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January 2018
January 2018

Little-known neighborhood just celebrated its 100th anniversary

“Listed as the architect of this early bungalow is George Kelham, who came to San Francisco from New York to rebuild the Palace Hotel after the 1906 earthquake. Kelham is also the architect of the Shell Building, the Russ Building and the Old Main Library.”

No neighborhood is perfect. What could be improved?

Early (circa 1917) photos of Westwood Park show streets practically empty of automobiles—now there are cars everywhere—especially in the southern part of the neighborhood. Because we are adjacent to City College (built after Westwood Park), the streets of our neighborhood and the Sunnyside neighborhood have become an auxiliary student parking lot.

And now, with a proposal to build 1,000 units of housing in the old Balboa Reservoir, residents are concerned the neighborhood will lose its original “residence park” ambiance and become a congested extension of downtown.

(Also, I wish that Karl the ...


December 2017
December 2017


October 2017
October 2017

By

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Thursday called on city departments to cut by nearly half the time it takes to issue building permits to developers constructing housing projects.

Lee said speeding up the production of housing would help add more stock to the market and help ease rising housing prices. He said people who work in the city are commuting too far because of the housing crisis.

“We’ll lose the talent if we don’t build more housing,” Lee said. “And part of that is to build it faster because the price of housing is also contributing to the slowdown.”

In a directive issued Thursday, the mayor asked city department heads to reduce entitlement times and ensure that building permits, subdivision maps and other permits are approved quickly to get construction started as soon as possible. The mayor predicted that the new policy would lead to 5,000 new units built each year.

It’s aimed at housing projects with as few as two units that ...


October 2017
October 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Blue Angels will be soaring over the city soon for the 37th Annual San Francisco Fleet Week!

Fleet Week begins on October 1 when the United States Navy Blue Angels arrive in the San Francisco Bay. The event is expected to draw more than one million people to see the Naval Ships and Air Teams perform over the Bay.

This year, the Blue Angels Air Show is Friday, October 6, Saturday, October 7, and Sunday, October 8 from 12:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m. Get tickets to the event here

Fleet Week: Best places to watch the Blue Angels

The week-long event will also feature disaster capabilities, training exercises and senior leader talks, community relations projects, band concerts, ship tours, a parade of ships, veterans art show, MV-22 Osprey aviation demonstrations, and the popular Bark at the Park featuring military and civilian K-9 demonstrations in Duboce Park.

KRON4 is home to the Blue Angels Live. We’ll broadcast the 2017 Fleet Week Air Show on Saturday, October 7 ...


October 2017
October 2017

Sparse housing inventory continues to affect the Northern California market. The California Association of Realtors’ latest report indicates that the San Francisco Bay Area endured a large drop in pending sales due to the lack of available housing. In fact, it dipped 11.5 percent since last July. The report also indicates that San Francisco and San Mateo counties were both down double-digits, 11.0 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively. For homeowners on the fence about selling, the lack of inventory makes it a great time to list because many patient homebuyers are prepared to come in with solid offers. Read more about what’s happening from our Northern California offices:

 

East Bay – In Fremont, inventory remained low and prices held firm prompting multiple offers on most properties. Even with the current sellers’ market, buyers still have a chance to find their dream home with increased listing activity expected in the fourth quarter. Sales for Fremont’s luxury ...


September 2017
September 2017

In a bid to increase its physical presence in San Francisco, Facebook signed the “largest office lease in three years,” according to San Francisco Business Times, inside the spinning needle-topped 181 Fremont luxury tower.

The company’s small Instagram team will be first to move into the space later this year after the building officially opens.

San Francisco Business Times reports,”The lease of 436,000 square feet was confirmed by Matt Lituchy, chief investment officer of landlord Jay Paul Co. Sources said the asking rent was around $80 per square foot.”

The 802-foot, Heller Manus Architects-designed tower, clad in a sawtooth-pattern exoskeleton, is home to a $42 million penthouse.

The mammoth social media outfit already has a Frank Gehry-designed headquarters in Menlo Park. The 430,000-square-foot megaplex boasts the largest open floor plan in the world. But they don’t plan on moving their HQ.

“Facebook is considering this a ‘test’ or ‘pilot’ of San Francisco office space, our ...


September 2017
September 2017

by Ben van der Meer
The state Assembly approved a package of bills related to housing late Thursday, putting them closer to the governor’s desk for approval.
After a lengthy period of holding the roll open, closely watched Senate Bill 2 got the minimum necessary 54 votes to pass out of the Assemblyon a two-thirds vote. The bill would enact a $75 base fee, up to $225, on some kinds of real estate transactions, though home sales and commercial real estate sales are exempt. Proceeds from those fees would go into a fund for affordable housing statewide.
State Assembly members subsequently voted in favor of Senate Bill 3, a $4 billion bond measure also for affordable housing. If ultimately signed by the governor, the bond measure would go before state voters next year for approval.
Those bills addressed funding, but a handful of others approved addressed what many observers believe is a bigger issue in the state’s lack of housing: local approvals. Those ...

September 2017
September 2017

Last night the California Legislature passed three major housing bills that will improve the process for building homes and create new funding sources to subsidize affordable housing. They include SB2, SB3 and SB35. SFHAC endorsed all three measures and is thrilled our elected officials in Sacramento have finally taken steps to address a problem that has become a statewide issue. Here is what each bill achieves:

SB2 - Building Homes and Jobs Act
Authored by Senator Toni Atkins, SB2 enacts a base fee of $75, up to $225, on real estate transactions; home sales and commercial real estate sales are exempt. The measure is expected to generate up to $250 million per year, which will go to expand the low-income housing tax credit to fund subsidized affordable housing. The measure required a two-thirds vote by the legislature and was the most difficult to pass. SB2 is particularly important because it creates a new permanent sources of funding. Read Senator Atkin's announcement.

SB3 - Housing ...


September 2017
September 2017

San Francisco lightning Storm...

A rare treat lit up the sky Monday night when, after a day of searing temperatures, a storm hit San Francisco replete with thunder and lightning. For a city that rarely sees a blip or bolt during rainy season, it was a sight to behold.

The National Weather Service reports the Bay Area played host to over 800 lightning strikes between noon and 7 p.m.

Twitter even saw #lightning take trending honors over the Dodgers v. Giants game. According to SFist, tonight’s game at AT&T Park was delayed due of the storm, which resulted in some choice shots of lightning above the park.

But not everything was kosher during the skyward electronica party. As SFGate notes, the lightning also “started fires, scared pets” and drenched parts of the region, which “sent people scurrying to find their umbrellas.”

Otherwise, it was pretty damn cool. Everything from the Salesforce Tower and Sutro Tower to the ...


September 2017
September 2017

Presidio Terrace: City Hall might throw out sale of street

Board of Supervisors will hear both sides in November

BY ADAM BRINKLOW Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Back in August news broke that homeowners on ultra-tony Presidio Terrace, an O-shaped private street in the neighborhood of the same name, had somehow managed to lose ownership of their gated byway.

Angry members of the exclusive cul-de-sac’s homeowners association promised they would appeal the city auction of Presidio Terrace, which the city tax collector carried out after a minuscule annual tax on the privately owned and maintained sidewalks, asphalt, and parking spaces went unpaid for decades.

And sure enough, the Board of Supervisors responded to complaints on Tuesday by scheduling a November hearing to decide whether or not the sale was appropriate.

The ordinance passed reads in part:

Sale of property by the tax collector may be rescinded by the Board of Supervisors if ...


September 2017
September 2017

‘No Wall on the Waterfront’ trial delayed until early next year

By  on September 4, 2017 1:00 am

Those hoping for an outcome on the battle between the gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom-chaired State Lands Commission and San Francisco’s waterfront height limit law may need to wait a bit longer.

The trial date to decide the fate of Proposition B, which requires voter approval to increase height limits along San Francisco’s waterfront, has been set back from this month to January 2018, according to a San Francisco Superior Court filing Thursday.

The State Lands Commission, which is chaired by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, alleges in its lawsuit against San Francisco that state law supersedes local voter-approved waterfront height limits.

On Aug. 23, the city of San Francisco demanded attorneys from the lands commission withdraw a testifying expert, Jonathan Stern, as they allege he was party to attorney-client communications concerning Prop. B while ...


August 2017
August 2017

August 17, 2017

As we first reported a few months ago, while the shuttered Lucky Penny site at 2670 Geary Boulevard is only zoned for moderate density and building up to 80 feet in height, the compliant plans for a seven-story building to rise on the site, with 21 apartments over three stories of office space and a subterranean garage for 57 cars, had been kicked to the curb and non-compliant plans for an eight-story building, with 98 residential units over a ground floor retail space and an underground garage for 36 cars, were being drawn.

But those plans have now been kicked to the curb as well.

And next month, SoMa Development Partners will seek approval for a 10-story building to rise up to 105 feet in height across the site, with 121 apartments over 2,200-square-feet of retail space at the corner of Geary and Masonic and a garage for 7 cars as designed by RG-Architecture and freshly rendered below.

As we first reported as well, the project team is planning to ...