Inquire Now 中文

Life at Yerba Buena Island with Homeowner Jack Lease

Published May 6, 2024

With just one visit, Jack Lease knew Yerba Buena Island was where he belonged.

Originally hailing from the bustling city of Chicago, Jack Lease’s journey led him to the serene landscapes of Napa Valley’s Yountville to the vibrant, more connected community of Yerba Buena Island. Impressed by the immediate welcoming atmosphere and discovering the close proximity to urban conveniences, Jack made the decision to move to the island on the day of his very first visit. Continuing our series “My Life on Yerba Buena Island,” we’re excited to share our interview with Jack Lease, a retired plastic surgeon who purchased a two-bedroom Condominium in 2022 at The Bristol, San Francisco’s fastest-selling new development.


Despite the change in surroundings, Jack found solace in the breathtaking views and architectural marvels of his new home at The Bristol, while also discovering a profound sense of community he hadn’t anticipated. Join us as we delve into Jack’s unique perspective on the joys of island living.


You moved from Yountville to Yerba Buena Island – considering the shift of surroundings and lifestyle, how has this move impacted your day-to-day life?

I had been a long-term resident of Chicago and retired early due to Parkinson’s disease. I wanted a fresh start somewhere, and I had no particular obligation to any location in the country. On a road trip through the Napa Valley, a place I had never visited before, I discovered the town of Yountville. It was a big contrast from downtown Chicago to a town that has just over 1,500 permanent residents. At that time, it felt like just what I needed. After over 8 years of living in Yountville, I increasingly missed being close to a big city and all that it offers. I had also grown tired of taking care of the house, the pool, and the gardens.


I found out about Yerba Buena Island from a friend of mine. I came to look at it, and it was everything I was looking for in the next step in my life. It has beautiful surroundings, extensive green space, and The Bristol is an amazingly constructed building. There are other wonderfully constructed buildings in the city as well, but what’s outside your door? Sidewalks, asphalt, etc., but here at The Bristol, we’ve got this beautiful island.



Describe your very first time visiting Yerba Buena Island. How did it feel?

I knew I wanted to live somewhere close to the city, but I didn’t want to give up the green space that I had grown accustomed to during my time in Yountville. From the moment I walked through the front door of The Bristol, I was impressed by the quality of design, finishes, and construction. This building, set in a beautiful island surrounding, was everything I was looking for. I decided that day that I wanted to live here. It was an easy decision. There’s just nothing like it.


What made you decide on your specific home that same day you visited?

I knew I wanted a 2-bedroom residence, and the one I chose has more square footage than the entire first floor of my home in Yountville. My new home is designed very efficiently, and I actually have more closet space and storage on Yerba Buena Island than I did in Yountville. I also love the water view from every room, and the morning light fills the home beautifully.


<Scout intermission> Jack’s dog, Scout, joined the interview, all smiles and tail-wags.



How does Scout enjoy living on the island? Have you explored The Rocks Dog Park yet?

Scout loves living on Yerba Buena Island. The community is very dog-friendly, and he’s made lots of friends. He especially enjoys playing with the other dogs at the Rocks Dog Park. It’s a great park with an amazing view of the Bay. I’m not sure he appreciates the view as much as I do.


Living at The Bristol, do you feel like you’re living in the city, or does it feel like the suburbs?

This is definitely not the suburbs. I feel like I’m living in the city because it’s so close, and yet, I also feel like I’m living in the middle of this beautiful park. On any given day, I can take the ferry to downtown San Francisco in under 8 minutes, run or bike the multiple paths on the island, or take a 10-minute walk down to Clipper Cove. I recently joined Bay Padel on Treasure Island with a large group of my fellow Bristol residents, and I will be joining the sailing club this summer. There is so much here, and the choices keep expanding.



Were the amenities at The Bristol something that you were looking for in your move?

It was an additional perk. The building has an amazing gym with everything you could want, and it’s only an elevator ride away compared to my 12-mile commute back in Yountville. There are daily fitness classes offered, and you’ll find me at most of them. There are beautiful common spaces that are regularly utilized for social events, and the open-air Lobby is a great space to sit by the fire with a book or have a glass of wine with friends.


Tell us about the unique sense of community you’ve experienced here.

I was pleasantly surprised by the strong sense of community here at The Bristol. I’ve gotten to know nearly everyone in the building, and we regularly organize social events outside of the HOA program. The building management plans something almost every week, but we also take the initiative ourselves. For example, Sumeetha, Roseanne, and I initially planned a small cookout on the Rooftop Terrace, but it quickly grew to 32 people!


Everyone here is willing to help one another; it feels like a family that you actually get along with. The level of community spirit here often surprises people, and that makes it a great place to live.


What are some misconceptions you’ve heard about living here?

Some people have asked me, “Why would you want to live on an island?” My answer is, “Why wouldn’t you?” This is such a unique place. You’re ~8 minutes to the Embarcadero and the Ferry Building. There’s such a convenience of living here. I can get to the grocery store faster here by taking the ferry and walking than I could by driving to the grocery store when I lived in Yountville. Here, we’re not isolated in the middle of nowhere.


Describe your idea of a perfect day on Yerba Buena Island.

My perfect day would start with waking up early, looking out my bedroom window, and watching the sunrise in the East Bay. I have a beautiful view of the Bay Bridge from my home. When I come down to take Scout out for his morning walk, Matt at the front desk has a cup of coffee for me – and it’s made just how I like it. After that, I spend time at the gym before taking the ferry to explore something new in the city. I’d end the day making dinner for my neighbor friends.


Explore the welcoming community and move-in ready homes at The Bristol. Contact our Sales Team today to schedule a tour and discover island living.