Paramount Group highrise sells first penthouse for $10.5M

Top unit at One Steuart Lane fetches $4,487 psf, just below San Francisco’s all-time condo record

Paramount Group's Christopher Brandt and renderings of penthouse at One Steuart Lane (One Steuart Lane)
Paramount Group's Christopher Brandt and renderings of penthouse at One Steuart Lane (One Steuart Lane)

A recent penthouse sale at Paramount Group’s One Steuart Lane highrise along the Embarcadero came close to breaking the all-time price per square foot condo record in San Francisco.

The $10.5 million sale of the first penthouse offering in the newly built tower amounts to $4,487 per square foot, and brings the bayfront development to more than $200 million in total sales, the highest total during the past 12 months of any project on the West Coast, according to Paramount.

The developer did not disclose the penthouse’s buyer, citing privacy concerns, but Christopher Brandt, senior vice president of asset management at Paramount, said via email that, in general, “buyers at One Steuart Lane are San Francisco devotees” who are “mostly relocating from within the greater Bay Area,” though they have had some international buyers as well.

Polaris Pacific is representing the 120-unit building and said in its September market report that 40 units had closed, with an undisclosed number in contract. Several of those units have gone for more than $4,000 a square foot, Polaris said last fall, though the penthouse sale has come the closest to breaking the $4,509-per-square foot record held by 181 Fremont Street since the summer of 2018.

Unit sizes at One Steuart Lane range from an 800-square-foot one-bedroom to the six penthouses, according to the Polaris report. The remainder of the penthouses will come on the market in early 2023, according to Brandt. They are divided into three collections: “estate homes” around 3,000 square feet, terrace homes with “incredible indoor/outdoor flow” and two shell penthouses at the top of the 20-floor building.

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Brandt did not comment on whether any of those units might sell for more than this first penthouse, but it does have the 20th-floor location, while still being fully built out, plus a wrap-around terrace off the living room and a separate terrace off the primary bedroom.

The unit has two bedrooms, a den and three full bathrooms. It came to market when the building had its grand opening in August 2021, and never dropped its $10.5 million asking price, according to Brandt, even as the downtown condo market has been hit hard by rising interest rates, a volatile stock market and remote work.

Brandt said remote work has not deterred buyers from checking out One Steuart Lane’s Financial District location, but they have emphasized the need for a dedicated home office and “analyzing the second bedroom knowing they’ll be spending most of the day working from there.” He also said common spaces are more important as people want a change of pace during their work-from-home day. Among the building’s amenities is a lounge with a bridge-view terrace equipped with WiFi that “allows for a more peaceful work environment,” he said.

According to the Polaris report, the median price per square foot for condos citywide is down 3.3 percent year over year, with the southwest quadrant of the city far from Downtown the only area where condo price per square foot rates were up. Meantime, the price per square foot for highrise condos, which are located almost exclusively downtown and South of Market, have gone up nearly 5 percent during the past year and now cost more than $1,500 per square foot, compared with $1,344 for mid-rise buildings and $1,200 in buildings with four stories or less.

The new penthouse sale brought in three times the average price per square foot, which Brandt explained by noting that “no other residential building is planned for the Embarcadero, so buyers have been paying a premium for the water and bridge views.”

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One Steuart Lane Polaris Pacific President Paul Zeger (One Steuart Lane, LinkedIn via Zeger)
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