Young Pioneers Stake Claims in the Tenderloin

SF Chronicle: 05.04.08

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In Sunday's paper, C.W. Nevius wrote about the prospect of the Tenderloin pulling "itself out of decades of urban blight." How will this happen? According to the columnist, perhaps with an influx of "young professionals, just getting started, who scrape together everything they have to get a foot in the housing market." About halfway into the piece, we realized that the couple Nevius focuses on entered this year's "Small Cool" contest.

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Erin Feher and Danny Montoya bought their 500-square-foot condo "on the ragged edge of the Tenderloin" just over a year ago. They are active in their neighborhood, working on various improvement projects. Nevius describes them — and other homeowners in the Book Concern Lofts — as having "that pioneering spirit."

Fellow tenant David Dulany bought his two-bedroom, 600-square-foot loft for $400,000 when units were originally put on the market two years ago. The Book Concern Loft's website lists the average size as 250-475 square feet, but the ceilings are 17 feet high! (Little bit of trivia for you: The 1906 building was the former location of the Church of Scientology.)

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A short distance from the lofts, near the the Powell Street cable car turnaround, units in the Garfield Building are just being released. Price? $450,000-700,000. And realtor Suzanne Gregg is quoted as calling the area "Tenderloin chic ... I think some people kind of like it a little edgy. We're going to bill it as 'SoHo in San Francisco.'"

You can read the entire column here. And check out more photos from Erin and Danny's apartment in their "Small Cool" entry.

Photos: Kurt Rogers for the SF Chronicle; AT "Small Cool 2008" Contest; Urban Bay Properties

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