Construction Life in San Francisco

By Shawn Desgrosellier

Quality of Life

Considering a move to San Francisco? You’re in luck! The city was ranked #1 for quality of life in the United States, and 28th worldwide. It’s no wonder why the Paris of the West — with its Victorian houses, colorful cable cars, and iconic Golden Gate Bridge — was beat out the competition. San Francisco’s mild weather, delicious food, and friendly people make it one of the best cities to live in, among others.

Bringing your four-legged friend? We’re one of the dog-friendliest cities, with more than two dozen parks and a yearly Corgi Festival. Looking to let loose? San Francisco was even voted as one of the funnest cities by taking the top spots for Entertainment and Nightlife – come visit and try one of the bars in the Mission or lounges on Polk St!

Consider ditching your car, we’ve got you covered. San Francisco’s transportation system was ranked #2 in the country: you can easily travel within the city by MUNI, between cities with BART (SF to Oakland in under 20 minutes!), and down to Silicon Valley by CalTrain. Since we’re the City by the Bay, you can take a ferry to neighboring Tiburon, Sausalito, and Vallejo in a breeze. In a time crunch? Call an Uber or Lyft – which, by the way, were both founded in the heart of San Francisco.

Finally, San Francisco is the city of convenience. Why spend time doing chores when there’s a company out there to help? You can get your laundry picked up, cleaned, and delivered by Rinse; have a personal shopper from Instacart get your groceries; call a plumber from Handy to check on that leak; and even book a personal massage therapist from Zeel.

Cost of Living & Construction Jobs

Even though San Francisco is notoriously known as one of the most expensive cities in the country, it’s ranked #2 in the highest median salary – along with its neighbor – San Jose. The most common industries in San Francisco and the Bay Area include technology, banking/finance, media, and medical science, and is home to famous companies such as Google, Apple, Twitter, Salesforce, Genentech, and Wells Fargo. Likewise, it’s home to world-renowned educational institutions such as UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and UCSF.

One of the most surprising industry booms in the Bay Area is construction, which has been steadily growing since the end of 2008. Currently, San Francisco’s office construction growth is the highest in the country at 6 percent year to year. Competition for talent is fierce, especially between the top construction companies, including Boston Properties (known for Salesforce Tower, the largest building in SF), Truebeck, Turner Construction, and more. In fact, Project Managers, Superintendents, Estimators and Project Engineers are in extremely high demand, with salaries for top talent reaching between $150,000 to $250,000 a year.

As of 2017, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco hovers around $3,000 per month. Locals tend to save money by living with roommates, which can decrease their monthly rent to about $1,000 to $2,000. The average home in San Francisco is between $800,000 to $1 million.

If you have a car, a dedicated parking space will cost around $200 to $275 per month while daily parking (in a garage or lot) is around $15 to $30. You can save money by parking your car in the street, which is either free in some neighborhoods, or $150 per year in zoned areas. Likewise, you can buy a Clipper, which is an unlimited monthly commuter pass, for $73.

An average meal in San Francisco is about $10 to $15 for lunch and around $35 to $50 for dinner. However, many employees in the tech and startup industries enjoy catered lunch – including those at Facebook, who get three meals a day, five days a week! If you happen to be building a project there, you get to enjoy those amenities as well!

The Outdoors

It’s no wonder San Francisco was named the healthiest city in the US, with its abundance of healthy food, fitness enthusiasts, and of course, plenty of outdoor attractions.

Every weekend, locals flock to Golden Gate Park. Comprised of over 1,000 acres and almost four miles long, the park has everything you need including waterfalls, picnic spots, an art museum, the Japanese tea garden, a science museum, and the beach.

Further north, there’s the Presidio. What was once a military base has now been transformed into a national park. The most popular activity is hiking one of the many trails (there are over 20!), including the popular Presidio Promenade. On a sunny day you’ll also find locals biking through the Presidio, near the ocean, or even across the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you drive past San Francisco, you’ll find the Bay Area’s own national park – Muir Woods. Both locals and tourists love to walk through the forest and marvel at the redwood trees, rivers, and wildlife.

Restaurants

Did you know? San Francisco has the most restaurants per capita, beating NYC, Chicago, and New Orleans. Foodies flock from around the world for the latest and greatest, including trendy pop-up cafes to tried-and-tested establishments (fun fact: Tadich Grill is the oldest restaurant in California!)

What makes this foodie paradise so special? For starters, it comes at #8 out of the top ten Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, with local favorites such as Acquerello, Octavia, and 3-star winner Benu. The French Laundry is only an hour away, as is Chez TJ or Baume.

Likewise, you won’t have to buy a plane ticket to try food from around the world. Craving some borscht and pierogi? Stop by one of the Russian restaurants in the Inner Richmond. Stroll along Columbus avenue in North Beach and you’re sure to find an Italian restaurant, or some of the best ropa vieja in the Mission. Top it off with boba tea in the Sunset or an egg tart from Chinatown. All the taste, none of the jet lag.

How could we forget about Napa? Spend your weekend tasting world-class wines in Napa, Sonoma, and Calistoga: sip pinot noir in the cellar of a 13th-century inspired castle, gawk at Coppola’s movie set props, or take a 300-ft ascent on a gondola to your wine tasting.

Oh, and have we mentioned the dozens of food trucks?

Things To Do

Cultural Events

When you’re in San Francisco, it feels like there’s a major event going on at least once a month. Celebrate the Chinese New Year in style with America’s biggest CNY parade (Gung Hay Fat Choi!) in February, get your friends and run the Bay to Breakers marathon on the third Sunday of May, or dig up that Santa costume and participate in December’s SantaCon.

For music lovers, the city provides no shortage of outdoor concerts, festivals, and more. The most popular is Outside Lands, which gathers more than 50,000 people over a 3-day weekend and includes famous headliners such as Metallica, Kanye West, Lana Del Ray, Paul McCartney, Radiohead, and more. If you’re craving the same atmosphere and are into hip hop and electronic music, the Treasure Island Music Festival is another great option. For other music genres, there’s the Bluegrass festival, Stern Grove festival, Jazz festival, and more.

Movie buffs will love the SF International Film Festival, which spans over two weeks and includes more than 200 films from 50+ countries. There’s also a plethora of other cultural events, including the Japantown J-POP summit, Holi festival, Ukraine Day, and over 30 more festivals.

Sporting Events

Whether you’re a fan of baseball, basketball, hockey, or anything else, you’ll find it in the Bay Area. If you’ve heard of the Giants, you’re already familiar with San Francisco’s favorite baseball team. It’s not unusual for the entire city to be buzzing about them during the season, and there’s a high chance of seats selling out for home games. The Golden State Warriors (also known as the Dubs) are another Bay Area favorite that won their most recent NBA championship back in 2015. If you want to catch a hockey game you’ll need to go down to San Jose, where the SJ Sharks play at the SAP Center (also known as the “Shark Tank”). Don’t forget to check out their pre-game entrance!

If you are considering a move to the San Francisco Bay Area, there is plenty to do and most importantly massive job security if you are a Construction Project Manager, Superintendent or Executive. This is where emerging trends begin and there is no better place to be a part of it.

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