Wyman Avenue Open-House in the Presidio – Prices, Photos, Impressions of 11 New Rentals

[UPDATE: “Carefully refurbished?” That’s up for debate. But “lakeside?” Hell no. How about State-Highway-One-side instead? Seep into the woods of these great estates to see for yourself if you want.Honey, where’s the lake? Isn’t there supposed to be a lake?”]

Our Presidio Trust is working towards sustainability and the refurbished Wyman Avenue residences are going to be a part of that.

Read on for a report about the first official Open House the John Stewart Company just had over Burning Man / Labor Day Weekend.

First up, here’s the news. Monthly rental prices have been set for all the duplexes (the ones with letters in the addresses) at about $5500 per month, mas or menos. And Minimum Bid price floors have been set for the three single family residences. See?

Mmmm, the minimum price set for 1809, the smallest non-duplex, is the outlier here. 1811 is twice the house of 1809 (IMO, of course – square footage-wise, it’s 63% more house), but the minimum bid price for 1811 is only 11% higher. Mmmm.

Etude sur le mise-en-scene:

Cliquez sur pour augmenter

But guess what, you can see these places yourself on:

“Wednesday, September 8 from 11am to 3pm.”

Uh oh, here come the Lexuseses – it must be time for Open House!

Click to expand

There’s no good place to lock up your bike, so oh well:

Here’s the front view on WymanAvenue – lots of dogs were about, despite the “no pets” policy for renters. (There might have been more than a few looky-lou dog-walkers about – I talked to some of them myself.)

Now, it’s time for some interiors:

Here’s a kitchen (from Building 1811, the pick of the litter at 10K plus per month):

…and a bath:

…and a living room:

(Man, I’d want to take a hacksaw to the pipe on that hanging light fixture to get the bottom of it above the altitude of my melon…)

….and a master bedroom way up high on the third floor:

And the “unfinished” basement of 1809, well it’s just awesome. They don’t even count this space in the square footage:

You could have quite the workshop (or ping pong tournament) down there. Plenty of square footage:

But, mind the humidity:

Now all that’s all fine and dandy, but it seems a few shortcuts were taken during the long process of refurbishment. For example, this window doesn’t have weatherstripping, so it closes unevenly:

Compare that with what you get at the recently remade LandMark Presidio apartments just down the road. They’ve taken the time to make sure the gaps are plugged  over there. See?

Anyway, back to Wyman Ave…

Some of the fittings are what you call “builder’s grade.” Straight-out-of-Home-Depot is good enough for me, but I don’t think this plastic stuff here is necessarily green and I don’t think it matches the historic nature or whatnot of this $10k+ per month rental unit. So what’s it doing here?  

The cheapest closet light pull-cord-stretchy-string and aluminum stopper-bobber you could imagine:

Are we done here? I don’t know. Maybe they’ll get to adding a globe around this exterior light or maybe they won’t:

And here’s your PVC / copper interchange. All right…

And don’t look now, but they have PG&E SmartMeters all over. (Can you see the EMF symbol part of the SmartMeter logo  on this gas mater? Wow, that wasn’t the right choice for PG&E to make back in the day. But since this meter doesn’t have an LCD display, you can’t really tell what makes it new and special except for the knowledge that it transmits wirelessly. Of course, it’s those wireless transmissions that people are most upset about. Oh well.) 

Now, if you’re into it, you better act fast, is all I can say.

They’ll take a bid going up to something like five years on the houses. I’m thinking that the longer rental terms are what they’re referring to by the phrase “Rent Escalation Factor.”

So something like this: 

“I’ll pay the John Stewart Company $11k/mo this year, 12k/mo next year, etc…”

So that’s the tour. Maybe one of these places is for you, I don’t know.

You might just love living here…

Ever more deets, after the jump


Presidio of San Francisco (September 2, 2010) — The Presidio Trust is putting the finishing touches on seven historic homes along Wyman Avenue in the Presidio’s Public Health Service District. The charming homes were built in the early 1900’s to house doctors working at the nearby Public Health Service Hospital. With the rehabilitationof the Wyman homes, the last of the Presidio’s 22 historic neighborhoods will be available for occupancy.
“This is truly something to celebrate,” said Ann Ostrander, residential program manager for the Trust. “It’s an important accomplishment for us. We’ve been working for twelve years, almost to the day, going neighborhood by neighborhood. All of the Presidio’s historic homes have been rehabilitated with care and to the highest standards.” 

Ranging in size from 1,700 to almost 4,000 square feet with 3, 4, or 5 bedrooms, the Wyman Avenue homes are a vital piece of what will be the Presidio’s first “green neighborhood.” The entire Public Health Services District is being re-imagined as a welcoming park gateway, featuring residences, cultural and educational organizations, and public trails that link the Presidio’s natural, historic and recreational attractions.
The District is expected to become the first in the Presidio to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) certification and possibly become the first LEED-ND certified neighborhood in the country that is also part of a National Historic Landmark District. In addition to the environmentally-sensitive practices and materials used to rehabilitate the homes, the neighborhood features drought resistant landscaping, a unique water recharge system that captures rainwater and reduces run-off, and new streetlights with low levels of illumination to limit light pollution. Transit and other services are just a short walk away.
“The Trust has been at the forefront of efforts to apply green building practices to historic buildings,” says Rob Wallace, one of the Trust’s historic building architects. “Now we’ve been able to show those efforts can be expanded to entire neighborhoods and that the LEED-ND category does not have to be limited to new construction.”
Tucked along the southern edge of the Presidio, the Wyman homes (3 single-family residences and 8 duplex units) and nearby buildings were originally constructed as part of the nation’s Public Health Service Hospital network, and formed their own, independent enclave unrelated to the military base.  The former hospital building was constructed in 1932 and looks out towards the City.  In July of 2010, it was completely rehabilitated by Forest City Development to provide 154 units of market rate apartments.  Since none of the buildings in the District were designed by the Army, their architecture is distinct from that of the rest of the Presidio.
Walking along Wyman Avenue, past the large homes with their stucco and wood frame construction and portico entrances, it’s easy to forget you’re in the city. Quiet, with views of Mountain Lake to the east andLobos Creek Valley and the Pacific Ocean to the west, the neighborhood has a remote, almost suburban feel.
“This is a once-in-a -lifetime opportunityto live in a national park without being removed from the city,” says Wallace. “Wyman Avenue is within walking distance of the shops and restaurants in nearby neighborhoods.”
Because the Wyman houses were vacant for more than two decades and difficult to police because of their remote location, the homes were in the worst condition of any the Trust has rehabilitated. They had been broken into and vandalized; their walls tagged with graffiti. Exposed to the elements, their wood floors had buckled, and copper thieves had stripped the buildings of anything they could make off with.
“They were in pretty grisly condition,” says Wallace. “The transformation has been dramatic. It’s stunning how beautiful they’ve become.”
Despite the daunting conditions, a lot remained for architects to work with. The buildings’ main structures and original architectural detail—doors, window frames and trim—were intact, along with some fixtures and flooring.
“We were able to restore the buildings’ original character while incorporating contemporary sustainable features,” adds Wallace.
The result is homes that have an historic feel, but also feature modern, energy efficient heating, plumbing and electrical systems and appliances. The most ingenious design decision however, may have been the addition of “dormers,” which added height to the roofs and allowed the attics to be converted into additional bedrooms and, in one instance, a master suite.
The Trust will hold two open houses for the Wyman homes on Saturday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 8 from 11am to 3pm. The homes will also be on display as part of the upcoming “Green Grand Opening” of the Public Health Service District on Saturday, September 25, from 11am to 4pm.  For more information on this neighborhood open house, visit www.presidio.gov/calendar/ggopresidio.htm.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The National Park Service oversees the coastal areas of the Presidio. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio’s status as a National Historic Landmark District.

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