Resident Reveal: Cristian & Darrin Find their Idyllic Second Home at The Harrison
Now, more than ever, homeowners are seeking secondary residences—not abroad, but rather in their very own backyards. The Harrison resident Cristian Azcarate and his partner, Darrin, split time between their Walnut Creek home and their Harrison abode, which offers a unique contrast to their suburban lifestyle just miles away. Here, they revel in boutique hotel-style amenities, proximity to Azcarate’s workplace and, of course, the comfort of a sheer urban escape. Luckily, we had the opportunity to sit down with Cristian to get an inside look into this trending, dual San Francisco lifestyle.
How did you first learn about The Harrison?
I was browsing through Redfin and Zillow listings and came across The Harrison myself. What caught my attention were photos of the Grand Salon lobby and Uncle Harry’s. I thought the designs and finishes were incredibly inviting. We had gone to see a unit at The Lumina and drove by The Harrison’s front door; I remember asking Darrin to let me get out as I wanted to see the lobby. Well, we ended up visiting a few units that day, and about two days later we had submitted an offer on a two-bedroom unit that we both loved.
What motivated you to purchase a home at The Harrison?
Several years ago we sold our home in San Mateo as I was offered an exciting job with my company Genentech to lead a Sales Team in Texas and Louisiana. At that time we purchased a home in Walnut Creek and Austin, Texas. At the end of 2016, I took a new opportunity back in our headquarters in South San Francisco; as such, a new and convenient home was necessary. The Harrison was perfect—I can walk about 3 blocks to get on Genentech’s shuttle to my building. Easy access to the Embarcadero was a must for me as I wanted to be able to go for long runs in the evenings, which has been an incredible way to enjoy the city.
How do you divide your time between your primary residence in Walnut Creek and The Harrison?
We spend about 3-4 days at The Harrison during the week, then I try to work from home in Walnut Creek 1 or 2 days. We mostly spend the weekends there, though. I’m an avid mountain biker and runner, and our home in Walnut Creek boasts plenty of open trails, while our expansive outdoor patio is the perfect place to entertain. We love splitting our time between the two homes as they offer such different experiences for both of us. We have deer and wild turkeys roaming our yard in Walnut Creek, yet I have all of San Francisco right at my fingertips at The Harrison.
Do you own any other properties?
We own another condo in Walnut Creek that is occupied by my mother. She is less than 1 mile from our house there so it’s convenient for family get-togethers!
Beyond the convenience of owning homes within and outside of the city, is there an investment strategy to it?
We do see this purchase as a long-term investment. The location is fantastic and if work moves us away from the Bay Area again, we know our place would rent easily.
What features/amenities do you like most at The Harrison?
I take full advantage of the gym and always can be found there at the end of the day. It’s a great way to unwind from a busy day in the office. Of course, Uncle Harry’s is also another amenity that we enjoy. The views from up there are unmatched and it’s truly a magical setting for just hanging out or hosting a private party. Darrin drives to work so I know the valet parking feature is something he appreciates. Everyone in the garage is always so friendly! And last but not least, the bike storage area is wonderful. We do like getting out for exercise when we’re here so it’s great that we don’t need to store our bikes in our unit!
What’s your favorite time of the week to reside at The Harrison?
We are starting to spend some Friday nights here so we can enjoy the city more after work. In fact, we’ve been attending some of the pop-up art gallery shows recently that take place around the neighborhood. It’s a fun way to meet new neighbors and support local artists. Both Darrin and I love art and have a soft spot for it! We collect paintings and sculptures at both of our homes.