Most San Franciscans have been sweating through a hot summer this year, but residents of some of the city’s newest apartment buildings have stayed cool.
Yes, the winds have changed in the city’s multifamily market. Manufactured winds, in fact. Residential developers have recently started installing air conditioning systems in more and more buildings – a formerly rare feature for cool, grey San Francisco.
The proliferation is not necessarily just a response to warmer temperatures, but also a rental market growing more luxurious. A spate of buildings are also going up in some of the city’s warmest neighborhoods, like the Mission and Potrero Hill.
David Neithercut, president and CEO of Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR), said on an earnings call last month that costs went up in some of its planned San Francisco developments because of air conditioning installations. The developer recently started building about 900 units in Showplace Square, near Potrero.
“When those deals were conceived ... air conditioning was not really considered to be necessary for that type of product. But as more product has been brought to market there, and the expectations of luxury product have changed modestly, we came to the decision that we should add air conditioning,” Neithercut said.