(Dec. 2007) Soma Grand Condominiums Announces Partnership with City CarShare


Soma Grand Condominiums Announces Partnership with City CarShare

To Integrate First Smart Cars into Local Car Sharing Program Unprecedented Relationship between Private Developer and Nonprofit Brings Exciting New Micro Car to San Francisco Car sharing Program

SAN FRANCISCO (December 17, 2007) – The Soma Grand development team of AGI Capital and TMG Partners today announced its partnership with Bay Area-based nonprofit City CarShare to give its members access to the small and fuel-efficient smart car, which makes its much-anticipated U.S. debut in January 2008. City CarShare opened the Bay Area’s first car-sharing service in 2001 and provides members with convenient, affordable access to a fleet of vehicles at un-staffed locations on an hourly basis. 

With the introduction of the Mercedes Benz-owned smart car, two of which will be available exclusively at the Soma Grand condominiums at 7th and Mission streets, the partnership aims to raise the profile of car sharing as an environmentally friendly alternative to individual car ownership and to increase the variety of fun and convenient vehicles available to those who car share. 

Slated for occupancy in December 2007, Soma Grand is leading the residential renaissance in SOMAÕs Midtown neighborhood by offering the areaÕs first Òlifestyle condominiumsÓ Ð combining designer aesthetics with boutique hotel services from the renowned Joie de Vivre Hospitality group, all in an affordable package starting in the mid-$500,000s. 

“We’re very pleased to work with a forward-thinking local nonprofit that has been a leader in socially responsible car sharing,” said Alexis Wong, president and CEO of AGI Capital. “We feel that our savvy buyers will appreciate the ‘green’ merits, stylish design, and remarkably city-friendly capabilities of the smart car, and we’re excited to be the first condo development in San Francisco to offer the car in our on-site City CarShare fleet.” 

The partnership marks the first time that a developer has donated a vehicle to the City CarShare fleet to encourage the car-share provider to adopt a new, unconventional vehicle into its program. As part of the arrangement, City CarShare will match Soma Grand’s smart car purchase. Both smart cars will be housed in the indoor parking garage of the new 22-story condominium tower and accessible to all City CarShare members. 

“Our unique partnership is based on a great combination of inspired innovation and alternative transportation. We’re thrilled to introduce the urban-savvy smart car into our fleet and appreciate this opportunity to test a new style of vehicle with the support of the Soma Grand development team,” said Rick Hutchinson, CEO of City CarShare. 

The 8-foot, 8-inch smart car — currently available in Europe and Canada and already famous for its widely reported ability to fit two cars into a standard parking space — boasts a 2008 EPA rating of roughly 40 miles per gallon. With U.S. gas prices well beyond the $3-per-gallon mark and growing concern about the environment, the smart car will make a timely debut on the U.S. market when it arrives in early 2008. Some 30,000 U.S.-based reservations have been made reaffirming the interest in these tiny, fuel-efficient cars. 

Smart San Francisco — located in the upstairs showroom of Mercedes-Benz San Francisco at 500 Eight Street and the only smart dealership open for business in January 2008 — will manage the delivery of the two cars purchased for the City CarShare pod at Soma Grand. The two Soma Grand smart cars will occupy only one of the two parking spaces dedicated to City CarShare. 

Soma Grand offers residents the amenities of a boutique hotel courtesy of Chip Conley’s Joie de Vivre Hospitality — including bi-monthly maid and turn-down service — plus a beautiful, private outdoor park five stories up and sweeping views of the city from virtually every unit. The 22-story tower, comprising one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums, is located on Mission between 7th and 8th streets in the heart of San Francisco’s cultural district, within easy walking distance of SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Museum of the African Diaspora, California Historical Society, and the upcoming Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Mexican Museum. Soma Grand is also proximate to the new Westfield San Francisco Centre and the Civic Center Farmer’s Market. 

For a guided tour or more information, visit the Soma Grand Sales Center at 1160 Mission Street in San Francisco, or call 415-252-5888, or visitwww.somagrand.com

About City CarShare: 
Launched in 2001, City CarShare is a nonprofit organization and the only locally operated car share provider in the Bay Area. City CarShare provides members with access to hundreds of cars in over a hundred locations throughout the Bay Area for $5/hour and 40c/mile. Prices include gas, insurance, parking, cleaning, and maintenance. A cheaper, greener way to drive, City CarShare currently offers a choice of compacts, pickup trucks, hybrids, and stylish Mini Coopers to its individual and business members. For more information or to become a member, visit citycarshare.org or call (415) 995-8588. 

About smart fortwo: 
The smart fortwo is a compact car that is big on comfort, agility, safety and ecology. It defines a new kind of individual mobility in the USA following the principle of “open your mind”. It is a very practical and sensible car that is suitable for everyday use, but it is also an expression of confidence, forward thinking and responsibility. 

Good things come in small packages, and the smart fortwo is no exception. With its evolutionary design, it embodies the development of an icon, the first-generation smart fortwo that was built between 1998 and 2006. Evolutionary development was the characteristic design language for smart, with the visual emphasis on functionality such as the tridion safety cell. 

The engineers of the smart fortwo succeeded in producing a small but spacious car for the U.S. market. The vehicle measures a mere 106 inches offering high levels of comfort and safety. The appearance of the smart fortwo conveys innovation, functionality and joy of life. Visit www.smartusa.com for more information. # # #

Media contact: 
Anita Daley, City CarShare, adaley@citycarshare.org, (415) 970-6217 and 
Karolina Kielbowicz or Jenny Randall at Glodow Nead Communications,(415) 394-6500, Karolina@GlodowNead.com