Union House Combines New School Luxury with Classic Design

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Sipping a glass of rosé with friends, watching the sunset through the Golden Gate Bridge. Fine dining and shopping just steps from the front door. Coming home to high ceilings, European wide-plank oak flooring, and a San Francisco skyline view, framed through oversized floor-to-ceiling windows. 

This is how residents of Union House — one of the City’s most meticulously designed luxury properties — get to live day-to-day. A grand undertaking by San Francisco based real estate development and investment firm DM Development, Union House was made a priority for the company because of the property’s geography in San Francisco. 

“The location is so rare — at the nexus of four of the most coveted and desirable neighborhoods in San Francisco,” says Mark MacDonald of DM Development. “With everything that is around it — the Michelin star restaurants, bespoke boutique stores, the access to the magnificent San Francisco waterfront, the neighborhood parks, the spectacular views of the Bay, and the Bridge: the quintessential San Francisco landmarks.”

DM Development continuously partners with visionary architectural firms. In the case of Union House, they collaborated with Handel Architects. The firm’s projects and clients have included the National September 11 Memorial, Boston Conservatory, the Idlewild Park Nature Center, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and The Ritz-Carlton.

To head up architectural efforts on Union House, Handel Architects tapped San Francisco native Glenn Rescalvo. “I was born and raised in San Francisco. The fact that this building would stand on one of the most vibrant corridors meant a great deal to me,” says Rescalvo. “There hasn’t been a lot of new development on this corridor until now, so when I realized we were going to have the opportunity to craft a well, fine-tuned residential experience here, something special…that really excited me and my team.”

Union House is of course not the only luxury residence in San Francisco by a long shot. The Millennium Towers, 181 Fremont and The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences have been delighting homeowners with their amenities and decadent design for years.

Is buying in this economic climate wise?

According to the ACT Compass Team from Compass Real Estate, due to interest rates hovering around 7%, and fallout of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank, many buyers are sitting ‘in the waiting room’ due to concern in regards to the future of the U.S. economy. This uncertainty has resulted in sales slowing in San Francisco. Slowing sales translate into developers being more willing to negotiate on price — so yes, now is a good time to invest.

Additionally, the ACT Compass Team says that historically San Francisco has always experienced up and down cycles, but the city has always bounced back and recovered. With only 49 square miles of real estate, San Francisco has always proven to be a great investment, with on average 30% appreciation in home prices over a 5-year period.

Next level living

So what notches up Union House in San Francisco’s luxury residency game? Again, this unique location is a huge draw. MacDonald and Rescalvo worked to make sure the building’s presence honored the neighborhood’s past, while ensuring Union House will be ready for the future.

“We are always very sensitive to whether the neighborhood we are building in is rooted in history or is transitioning to a trendsetting future,” says MacDonald. “Union House is in a neighborhood that reveres history, that honors its impressive past. At the same time, the city is moving toward the future. Union House is a union of all of these things: heritage, modernity, these neighborhoods converging, and these ideas and ideals all coming to one place. We wanted that to reflect from the inside out.”

Embodying a legacy of change and forward momentum since the Gold Rush days, growth, expansion, and improvement are values on which San Francisco is based. And being a San Francisco native, Rescalvo knew that connection to community is what helps the City retain this forward- thinking spirit. 

“In San Francisco, there is a sense of community relationship — your neighbors are important. What happens on the street is important. Good architecture should have this relationship,” says Rescalvo. “What is around you should give you the inspiration to create something better. A building is the start of a long relationship, and it has to start with the right approach.” 

So, the design and architecture of Union House needed to exemplify community and the togetherness of San Francisco, while also upping the ante in amenities and luxury.

Inspired by the grandiose architecture from bygone ages, Union House combines “classic details, modern styling and finishes of the finest quality, resulting in a collection of rare and generously proportioned residences. Every home features oversized picture frame windows, high ceilings, and European wide-plank oak flooring throughout, creating environments that are meticulously refined and equally timeless.”

There are 41 homes are offered in 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom floor plans, multi-level Townhouses, and Penthouses with private roof terraces. “We were inspired by the elegance and the grandeur of the mansions and homes in Pacific Heights and Russian Hill,” says MacDonald. “We gathered further inspiration from a number of the beautiful historic retail façades in Union Square such as Hermès, Graff and Chanel.”

There has to be a sense of an experience, a sense of desire to go into something,” says Rescalvo. “It’s something that has been going on for years in Europe. Old San Francisco had it.”

And with Union House, new San Francisco seems poised to continue with a legacy of community, luxury and sophistication.