Greater Cole Valley refers to the aggregation of the following three small areas located just east of the UCSF main campus and Golden Gate Park:
- Haight Ashbury (aka The Haight)
- Cole Valley / Parnassus Heights
- Buena Vista / Ashbury Heights
Cole Valley proper has a more upscale and “normal” feel to it when compared to the Haight, which still holds onto an edginess, that is mainly faux.
The retail area in Cole Valley is a short little strip running along Cole Street from just south of Frederick to Parnassus. This shopping and dining area is much smaller than either the Inner Sunset or the Haight but both of those neighborhoods are within walking distance.
The main shopping and dining area of the Haight runs along Haight Street from Stanyan to Masonic. There is another retail area in Hayes Valley known as The Lower Haight that runs along Haight Street east of Divisadero.
The housing stock in Greater Cole Valley is a mixture of condos, SFRs, Multi-Family buildings (Duplexes/Triplexes) and TICs.
While condos were 56% of unit sales over the last year, most of these properties are in small-format buildings, having six units or less. Many are in what were once duplexes and triplexes.
Unlike many parts of San Francisco to the east and north, Cole Valley and the Haight were not destroyed by the earthquake and subsequent fire in 1906. As a result, there are a large number of beautiful, mostly renovated, Victorian and Edwardian homes dating back to the 1880 – 1890’s.
The proximity to Golden Gate Park offers residents easy access to a tremendous number of resources and events for recreation, education and culture. Significant redevelopment has taken place in the park over the last five years and there is more to come. Golden Gate Park is one of the crown jewels of San Francisco and an enormous benefit for those living nearby.
Greater Cole Valley is in a bit of a transition zone from a fog and weather perspective because it is fairly central within the city. Neighborhoods to the west will be cooler and neighborhoods to the east will be a little sunnier and warmer when the fog comes in.
Mount Sutro and Parnassus Heights will often hold the summer fog back and contribute to the pronounced micro climates that San Francisco is also famous for.
Greater Cole Valley has great access to some important transportation links. The N-Judah street car line stops at Carl and Cole before going underground and turning into a subway line that goes straight downtown to the financial district.
Greater Cole Valley is also very close to Oak and Fell which are wide, one-way streets with timed lights that connect to Highway 101. There is also a reasonably good “back door” route along 7th Avenue and Laguna Honda that will get you to I-280 and points south.