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Developers look to score a housing hat trick in Hayes Valley

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Business Times

DM Development and DDG Partners are fast becoming the kings of condo development in Hayes Valley.

On July 11 the partners — San Francisco-based DM Development and New York-based DDG Partners — won unanimous approval for 450 Hayes St., a 41-unit project that is being designed by Glenn Rescalvo’s group at Handel Architects.

Meanwhile, DM and DDG have poured the foundation for 8 Octavia St., a 47-unit development designed by Stanley Saitowitz. The project is perched above the Market Street entrance to the new Octavia Street Boulevard. A third development, the 34-unit 400 Grove St. being designed by Fougeron Architecture, is set to be under construction in August or September.

All three parcels were freed up for development when the old Central Freeway was torn down a decade ago.

DM Development Partner Mark MacDonald said the vision for 450 Hayes St. was shaped by the parcel’s unusual parallelogram shape — a configuration that was more an accident of history than urban planning.

“It really follows the path of the old Central Freeway as it cut through Hayes Valley,” said MacDonald. “You really have the opportunity to do something different.”

MacDonald said the design follows a diagonal flow through the site with angled bay windows that reflect the parcel's slant.

The property is also the largest development site right on trendy Hayes Street, the main shopping corridor in the neighborhood and faces Patricia Green, a strip of green space which has become a popular destination for dog walkers, families with kids, and picnickers. The concrete building, clad in an irregular pattern of different woods, will play off the activity across the street. “We wanted to create a kinetic facade that looks as though it were moving,” he said.

He said construction would start on 450 Hayes in the first quarter of 2014. The entitlement comes as Pocket Development is selling out 300 Ivy St., a 61-unit Hayes Valley project that has topped $1,000 a square foot. The project has attracted long lines of potential buyers and sold out each release in a matter of hours.

Chris Prokop, a partner with DDG, said the San Francisco condo market is trailing that of New York, where a scarcity of inventory has driven prices above $2,000 a square foot in many cases.

“I think New York started to recover sooner and recovered faster,” he said. “But given how desirable San Francisco is, with all the industry, we certainly think there is amazing opportunity. especially in a central neighborhood like Hayes Valley.”