Urban environment isn’t disappearing, says San Francisco developer
Drawing on their own love of art, Matt Lituchy and the management team of San Francisco-based real estate developer Jay Paul Company have regularly amassed a collection of over 250 works in their mixed-use condo tower. from the city, 181 Fremont.
From a sales perspective, the focus on art gave the developers of the downtown 70-story glass building a way to differentiate their product. But it’s also a way to explore a passion and have fun, as they worked with top gallery owners to turn unsold units into temporary and spectacular public gallery spaces before the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, we had to take a little break during Covid, but hopefully we will start again in the fall,” said Lituchy, 61, the developer’s chief investment officer.
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In the absence of public events, the building has yet dressed model apartments with works by local artists for more intimate viewings, including a newly launched exhibition called PODIUM II which features the work of 14 international women artists – including many celebrate black women and their experiences.
Mansion Global reached out to Mr. Lituchy to get a better overview of the San Francisco condo market, the art at 181 Fremont, and the spectacular view from his own home.
Mansion Global: The demand for luxury condos has declined in New York, do you see a similar rise in San Francisco?
Matt Lituchy: We are certainly seeing an increase. I think we had more sales on our own in the first three to four months of 2021 than we did all last year. We started to see a slight uptick towards the end of last year, last fall. But it wasn’t really until after the election, after the vaccinations were approved, and at the start of the year, when people started to come back. There was a real upturn in activity and demand from January.
Large companies that were part of the vibrant downtown core are just starting to repopulate their employees in offices. It starts as we speak, and I think by September 1 it’s going to be a lot more activated than you see it today.
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MG: One question I have had throughout the pandemic is how buildings and equipment in buildings might change permanently after the pandemic. Did the Jay Paul Company talk about long term changes?
ML: It’s really hard to say because it’s all so new and so temporary. We started scheduling some of our convenience spaces, where you couldn’t just walk into the gym and work out. And it starts to go away as life gets back to normal. But you know, maybe bigger, more open spaces or an outdoor space, if that’s possible. It’s always tough in an urban environment, especially when you’re 700 feet off the ground and dealing with wind and fog, the elements and things like that. But I think if we were looking to plan a project today, we would probably strengthen the common spaces to make them bigger.
MG: In recent weeks we’ve seen an impressive resurgence in art sales from the major auction houses in New York City. It’s clear that art investors are back with a vengeance. But as a developer, why invest in important works of art for a building like 181 Fremont?
ML: For senior company executives, art is a huge part of our lives. A lot of us are collectors Jay [Paul] happens to be a very big collector. Thus, the art in our buildings has always been something that has been an integral part of the fabric of our business; it was sort of a natural extension to do something special in this building.
We collaborated with Holly Baxter, a very well-known art consultant here in San Francisco, and we really started with just a few pieces for the lobby, and it kind of grew from there. So now I think we have 260 works that we have for our own collection in the building. We have people who are established artists, emerging artists from all over the world, people who are quite prominent in the art world who have had serious exhibitions in great galleries and museums. And that turned into a sort of continuous series of exhibitions and shows in some of our unsold items, where we took some really nice units that are at the top of the building and turned them into a gallery 700 feet from the building. ground.
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MG: Among those buyers who have kind of toured in the last four or five months, have you noticed a change in their priorities?
ML: The urban environment is not going away, but we see a lot of people looking for a second home or a pied-à-terre or downsizing a large suburban house. They are looking for places where they can walk to wonderful restaurants and cultural events and have all the amenities and lifestyle things that they had at home and a little bit smaller. Often times it’s a second or third home for them, where if they want to go fishing a Montana stream they have it, or go to Hawaii and sit on a beach that is part of their entire repertoire. .
MG: You mentioned that big offices bring people back to San Francisco, do you have any expectations or some knowledge of the future of remote working where you are?
ML: We also do a lot in offices. In fact, this is mainly what our strengths and our development experience have put in place. Our tenants are all big tech companies, and even in most of Covid, they felt that people were not as efficient and not as efficient as they would be when they were collaborative and when working as a team. while they work from home. And I think you can talk to all the managers for those kind of critical jobs in these tech companies, and they want their employees to come back.
Maybe at first it will be two days a week at home or one day a week at home. But ultimately, I think most people will be back in offices most of the time.
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MG: How do you define luxury?
ML: It really is the best of the best. These are top notch design and architectural materials – engineering is important too – you just need to have a feeling of comfort and relaxation when surrounded by luxury goods. It is the feeling that you have arrived.
MG: What does your dream house look like?
ML: I’m a big car lover, so there should be a very large garage for my car collection and room for the people who work there. Certainly a beautiful outdoor area, a swimming pool because I love to swim, a large multimedia room, a beautiful fitness area where I can exercise with a beautiful view of the water or the mountains. But not too far, you know, from civilization, where I can find places quickly.
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MG: Where is your favorite place in your current home?
ML: I live on the 47th floor of a luxury skyscraper right next to 181 Fremont. I have a nice Eames chair in the corner that has all the glass on both sides. I have a nice pole where I can see San Francisco, near three bridges, and water in three different directions. I could look north and see North Bay and Alcatraz, I could look west and on a clear day, maybe see Farallon Islands and Ocean Beach and look south, I can take a look and see the south bay and the port of San Francisco.
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