Cow Hollow- Another great San Fran District

Not surprisingly Cow Hollow was named after its original use as a cow pasture. The district also began as a settlement for fishermen with its relatively close location to Fisherman’s Wharf. Many include Cow Hollow with its larger neighbors the Marina District or Pacific Heights, but Cow Hollow can certainly stand on its own as a separate district as it hosts its own business district along Union and part of Fillmore St. 

Being outside the burn area, Cow Hollow hosts lots of ornate late 19th century Victorian architecture especially on its eastern half. From an urban perspective the district is highly walkable with many retail and cultural amenities, has great tree canopy, and is very safe. Its also close to several other urban business districts including Chesnutt St., Polk St., and Fillmore St. But the district is more expensive than most San Fran districts with average rents around $2,500 even with a high pct. of rental controlled units. For sale options start just under 1 million. Economic and generational diversity also isn’t great. There are also some wholes in the urban fabric along Lombard St. and Van Ness Ave.

Click here to view my Cow Hollow Album on Flickr


* Excellent Historic architecture. District was unaffected by the 1906 fire.
*About 65-70% of all units are rent controlled.
* Only a couple schools within Cow Hollow but several excellent schools in neighboring Marina District and Pacific Heights that are still very walkable.
* Solid tree canopy.
* Only a handful of small parks within Cow Hollow but the Presidio is on the districts western edge and several recreational amenities in the Marina District are nearby.
* Cultural amenities include plenty  of restaurants, bars, and cafes, night clubs, two local theaters, several art galleries, the Presidio of San Francisco (a National Park Site), and a historic house. The waterfront cultural amenities of the Marina District (Golden Gate Nat. Conservatory, Museo Italo, & Maritime Museum are within walking distance).
* Several small to museum sized groceries but not major supermarket within the district. Other amenities include a coupe drug stores, lots of boutiques and local creative stores esp. along Fillmore and Union; a hardware store, plenty of banks, several florists,  dessert shops, many fitness outfits, and a local post office and library. Cow Hollow is also very close to all the retail amenities in Marina District’s Chesnutt St.
* A very safe district.


* Urban form is generally excellent in the biz districts (Filmore & Union) but some auto centric spots especially along Lombard and some on Van Ness.
* Good distribution of bike stations but no dedicated bikes lanes in the district.
* Racial diversity is decent but not great economic and generational diversity.
* Even with a high pct of rent controlled units, medium rent is still very high in the low $3,000s.
* Studios start in the low $2,000s, 1-beds anywhere btwn the mid 2Ks and 5K, 2 & 3-beds anywhere btwn 4K-6K.
* For sale housing is expensive with 1-bedrooms generally selling around 1 M.  2-bedroom condos range from 1-2.5 M. 3-bedrooms generally mid 2 M-5 M. 4-Bedrooms can get very expensive.
* Modern in-fill is pretty limited but generally urban

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