Alcatraz Sold. Former Prison To Be Converted Into Luxury Micro-Apartments.

BREAKING NEWS- Just when you thought the San Francisco rental market couldn’t get any more egregious, we’re here to offend you one more time.

This morning the U.S. National Park Service announced its sale of Alcatraz Island with the intent for it to be converted into a modern and very luxurious (more on that later) apartment building and community.

We’re told that, in order to have The Rock tenant-ready for a September 1, 2015 opening, the property management company is prepping for a series of “light renovations” to the existing buildings on the island. This work will bring all structures up to code, without altering their original foundation or breaking new ground. As such, architectural plans call for the jail’s 336 prison cells to be converted into micro-studios, each maintaining the original square footage of the units.

Question: Are micro-studios even a thing? Answer: Apparently they are now.

187x139ximg-thing2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ovDqXF-C8tIn this [San Francisco] rental market, time plus space equals money. Why would we let valuable land that’s zoned for residential housing go vacant just to undergo a lengthy and expensive phase of construction that will eventually decrease the number of available units to rent out? Instead, we’ve come up with a revolutionary communal living concept that bridges the living community together while decreasing construction time and cost,” says one source close to the deal.

We can’t say we’re shocked. This is San Francisco, the same booming metropolis that brought you a closet for rent on Craigslist.

So how do they plan to sell us on this micro-studio concept? The same way you market anything in SF: luxury and novelty.

187x139ximg-thing2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ovDqXF-C8tWe want to channel the spirit of the old Alcatraz as we breathe life into this historic landmark. We’re revolutionizing what it means to be part of an urban community. At the same time, our demographic expects luxury living and luxury living they shall get. Building features that are considered “amenities” at luxury buildings on the continental 7×7, will be staple fixtures at The Rock,” says the source.

Communal bathrooms feature state-of-the-art Rain showerheads, heated floors and towel racks, and a Roman-style bathhouse. The communal kitchen will boast ten, 6-burner Viking Range cooktops for 24/7 residential use, formal dining room seating and less-traditional bar seating will be available, and all residents will have access to a full range of cooking tools and supplies.

In addition to these badass – albeit shared – amenities, life on The Rock comes with some pretty legit perks.

Rock residents can pick their poison when it comes time to get their fitness on. An Olympic-sized pool inside, open water swimming course outside, a mile-long running track that circles the island, and single track mountain bike trails on the north side of the island are sure to please those with an adventurous spirits. Those who prefer a more traditional setting can stay fit right from the comfort of The Rock’s state-of-the-art fitness and spa facilitates.

There’s also a new five-star restaurant in town. (Spoiler alert: Michael Mina’s newest restaurant Capone is now taking reservations for the calendar year 2016.) And let’s not forget about a Prohibition-era speakeasy courtesy of the Tonic/Bullitt crew; bowling alley brought to you by Brian Wilson and the folks behind Strike at AT&T park; and a 420-friendly greenhouse that doubles as a vegan vegetable garden.

One very big detail that’s being kept oddly hush-hush is that of transportation to and from the island and the mainland. After this morning’s announcement, Twitter was abuzz with speculation. Ideas being hypothesized range from practical (building an underwater tunnel), to less-practical (building a second Bay Bridge), to just plain sci-fi (fueled by rumors of recent Elon Musk sightings around the Financial District).

We still have more questions than answers. What about street parking? Where’s the nearest corner store? Is this still 415 territory? For now we’ll just have to use our imaginations.

Photos below; for more info, pricing, and floor plans, take a tour of The Rock on HotPads.

Why stop with the Rock? Here’s are some other iconic buildings we’d love to call “home”.