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My Life at Yerba Buena Island with Homeowners Tristan & Mark

Published May 1, 2024

“As soon as we came over here, we fell in love with the idea of living here because it represents everything that we love.” – Mark Hartmann

Join us as we continue our series, “My Life at Yerba Buena Island,” which delves into the lives of those who have made Yerba Buena Island their home. In our latest interview, we spoke with Tristan and Mark Hartmann, proud homeowners at The Bristol, San Francisco’s top-selling new development featuring move-in ready condominiums with breathtaking Bay views.

As a professional dancer, Tristan’s world revolves around the rhythm of the city, while Mark, a real estate and private equity investor, seeks solace in the sway of the ocean waves. Their specific needs and interests led them to Yerba Buena Island, where the allure of waterfront living connects with the pulse of city life. Read on as we explore what captivated the couple, from their unique experiences to their favorite views and the vibrant community that has shaped their lives at The Bristol.



Tell us a little about yourself and how you ended up at Yerba Buena Island and The Bristol.

Tristan: I’m a professional dancer, and I’ve been living in San Francisco since 1996. We travel a lot, and a recent trip to Tasmania solidified Mark’s desire for a slower pace and proximity to nature, particularly the water.


Because of my rehearsals and classes, I’m still very urban. But if I died tomorrow, I think Mark would move to Tasmania in a heartbeat. So, we joke that The Bristol is our compromise. We’re close to nature and the water, but it’s still very close to the city – much closer than Tasmania.


Mark: I’m a real estate and private equity investor. I’m semi-retired, and I work mostly from home, so I’m not chained to a desk anymore. I’m a surfer and just an all-around water man.


Ever since I was a kid, I spent my summers in Brazil at my grandfather’s apartment overlooking the ocean and Copacabana Beach in Rio. I thought, “One day, the measure of my success will be to have a place that looks out over the water and has an ocean view.” When Tristan and I were at this inflection point in our lives and living in the middle of the city, I was getting to this point where I wanted to slow down a bit and get closer to that dream.


I discovered Yerba Buena Island, and as soon as we came over here, we fell in love with the idea of living here because it represents everything that we love: proximity to our favorite city in the world, yet far enough from the busyness to feel like you’re not “in it.” The fact that this place was designed by an architect, Tim Slattery, who designs resorts, really drew us in. The idea of resort living ~8 minutes from San Francisco is a pretty magical combination.


We’re pleased to see what we imagined come to fruition. Everyday life is even better than we imagined.



Tell us about your favorite views or places on the island – where do you feel most at peace?

Tristan: I love the wildflowers and the view of the city, the Bay, and Clipper Cove as I walk down to the ferry. I also love the roof deck – I go up there to enjoy the sun (I was surprised by how much warmer it is here than in most of San Francisco), take in the views, and, if no one is around, choreograph.


Mark: I do a lot of walking meditation, so lately, I’ve been heading up to Hilltop Park. Whether in the early hours of the morning or at sunset, especially when the winds blow, I like to go up there and look out over the Bay. In the evening, after the sun’s gone down, you’re looking at the San Francisco skyline; it just looks like what you would draw if you were asked to draw the perfect skyline. That contrast of the ocean and natural beauty set up against this beautiful backlit view when the sun sets from the top of the park – it’s perfect.


Tristan, tell us about your commute to the city. What do you like most about it?

Tristan: I love my commute. Sometimes, I wish the ferry ride was longer! The psychological shift is much bigger than I anticipated—I absolutely love the city, but it’s nice to watch it recede as you come across this insane, beautiful view of the water.


Mark: The other thing that is really amazing for Tristan is that she’s made friends with the actual captain and the first mate of the ferry. She recently did a dance performance that she co-produced and choreographed at Shack 15 in the Ferry Building and invited the godson of the first mate of the ferry to participate. It’s just another example of the incredible community here.


The community at The Bristol truly is unmatched. Did you expect that when you moved in, or was it something that took you by surprise?

Tristan: It is incredible. In some buildings, you don’t even know the name of the person who lives down the hall, but here, it’s like a family. The Residents do everything from playing pickleball and Codenames together to celebrating our youngest neighbor’s first birthday to organizing clean-ups in the neighborhood. It makes me feel extra safe, too. If Mark is gone and I need anything, I know I can knock on my neighbor’s door.


Mark: It was a pleasant surprise. I think in most communities, it’s very “Oh, how’s it going? How’s your job? I saw you painted your white picket fence. It looks good.” But I think this community has broken down some of that formality and moved straight into a much friendlier type of relationship.


You know when you go on vacation and everybody feels nice and in a good mood? I think because people are so happy to live here, they have that permanent-vacation attitude.


How have you gotten involved? Have you attended many of the events?

Mark: Those community events are great for meeting new people, and the Residents have taken it upon themselves to organize even more social events. You’re also constantly bumping into one another here, whether on the ferry or in the lobby.


Tristan and I also feel strongly about doing our part to try and better integrate the Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island communities. We want to help bring the two communities closer together. For example, I met with the head of the Treasure Island Sailing Club, and we’re talking about doing an event where we teach sailing to the local youth from Treasure Island, Bayview, and Hunters Point.


Are there any misconceptions about living here that differ from your experiences?

Mark: There’s this notion that it’s inconvenient to live here, but we used to live in Laurel Heights, the literal geographical center of the city. Ironically, I get to the beach faster from here than I did there. We also get our food delivery faster here. Getting into the city is easy; we have the ferry and our car. I think people need to understand the convenience of living here.


Tristan: Yeah, it’s an ~8-minute ferry ride. When you land downtown, you’re right at the BART and MUNI stations. It’s really fast.



Speaking of the Island Club, how do you see those upcoming amenities adding to your life here?

Mark: The Island Club, to me, will be super important. It’ll really give us an opportunity to bring guests from outside and to share the experience of being on the island with others. In Latin America, if you live in a city, you belong to a club, whether a yacht club or a social club. When I grew up in Brazil, if you wanted to socialize with your friends, you invited them to the club, so being able to do that here would enrich our experience.


When you’re on the island, do you feel like you’re living in the city or the suburbs?

Mark: It doesn’t feel like a suburb at all. It feels like a sanctuary. It’s resort-style living next to the city. Once the Island Club opens, it’ll feel even more like a resort.


Article Update: Since this interview, Mark and Tristan Hartmann have purchased a Townhome from our newly released Cove Residences Collection, further emphasizing their continued dedication and love of the Yerba Buena Island lifestyle.


Explore move-in ready homes at The Bristol at Yerba Buena Island. Contact our Sales Team today to schedule a tour and discover island living.