September 5, 2007
Modern Architecture Hits The Market Up On Mullen (306 Mullen)
The approval process to build at 306 Mullen can be measured in years (and tears), but it has finally paid off. And as a tipster notes, it's now on the market with a four car garage (albeit in “tandem”); three stop elevator; two kilowatt solar panel system; and one sweet master suite. And as always, let's not forget those invitations to the housewarming.
First Published: September 5, 2007 4:20 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I had some tears myself just now. In part due to the gorgeousness of this property, and in part due to laughing so hard when I saw the giant Nelly photo.
Seriously, Nelly? That is the last image I could have expected in a home staged with Ligne Roset furniture.
Posted by: FAA at September 5, 2007 4:49 PM
Looks to me like the plywood beauty they were trying to sell for $1,700,000 in Sunnyside a few months ago (whatever happened to that?). Will probably suffer the same fate. Enjoy the nice views of the 101 and if you ever need shopping carts, you might get a good deal from one of the homeless living a few blocks down by the freeway.
[Editor’s Note: If you’re referring to 745 Detroit, it sold (and will be in our update Friday).]
Posted by: anon at September 5, 2007 4:53 PM
What...no bay window?
Posted by: zzzzzzz at September 5, 2007 5:21 PM
It really is a unique house but that part of Bernal is not so great. It is a "statement" house that I doubt will go above $2M. BTW 745 detroit sold for $1.45M.
Posted by: wayne at September 5, 2007 5:26 PM
i love the view of hunters point....
whatever happened to building a house to live in?
this is just pure greed and i hope they lose their asses
Posted by: james at September 5, 2007 5:33 PM
I can only assume that one of the builders ran over james' dog during construction.
Price aside...I would live in this house in a heartbeat. We need MORE unique homes like this in San Francisco, not less.
And love the 'Fireorb' but how did they manage to get approval to add a wood burning stove in new construction? I didn't think that was possible?
Posted by: Anna at September 5, 2007 6:12 PM
What's the story on the house's approval process? I really can't imagine anyone objecting to the architecture.
Posted by: g at September 5, 2007 6:48 PM
Why would anybody floor their deck in white tile? It reminds me of a public bathroom.
Posted by: Jenny at September 5, 2007 7:48 PM
Here's the thing...I don't think its possible to find a property that everyone will like and agree on. But man, what's up with HATER like '[anon],' and especially '[james]' to wish someone harm you have to be a real low-life [Removed by Editor]! I hope that someone who loves this house gets it for what it's worth to them. I hope '[james]' gets a life!
[Editor's Note: Commenters’ names appear after (and not before) their comments.]
Posted by: Michael at September 5, 2007 7:48 PM
This is probably the coolest house I've ever seen in san francisco
Posted by: sanfranvalues at September 5, 2007 9:41 PM
Beautiful house, loved it. Furnishings? No to the entirely modern Ligne Roset, and buh-bye Nelly. If I could ever hope to own this home, I'd warm it up with antiques and oriental rugs and actual paintings both modern and classic mixed in with the modern furniture, and crown it with a classic selection from one of the 3 B's...Bechstein, Bluthner, or Bosendorfer.
Posted by: pianist at September 5, 2007 11:04 PM
i really like this place a lot. that being said, I can't get over the Nelly poster, seriously?
Posted by: bird_man at September 6, 2007 9:11 AM
I know little about modern design but are those furnishings really cutting edge in this area? They seem to be the same sort of modern furniture you'd see in the 1980's.
Also the windows on the building itself seem sort of arbitrary. Is this the idea?
Is that an ironic Nellie?
Some cool help me
Posted by: Zig at September 6, 2007 9:50 AM
there's a lot of questions/comments about the furnishings here (no comment on the Nelly photo). full disclosure: my boyfriend was the one who put in the audio-video equipment, which i think pretty much all looks phenomenal -- check out those blue speakers in the living room, they're my absolute favorite product that he carries. :) so to answer some of the commenters on mullen, here's the info that i know about the staging at Mullen. All AV stuff is by Mike Woods at Elite Audio (www.eliteaudiosf.com). Lots of artwork by Rex Ray, also a local SF artist. As far as I know, all of the furniture was done by Limn.
Posted by: cy at September 6, 2007 10:04 AM
Nice modern style house but agree some of the furniture looks 80's. Guess they think the Nelly poster looks funny there. Or they are actually gangsta yo.
Posted by: liz at September 6, 2007 10:20 AM
That Misha realtor is hot!
[Editor’s Note: Uhh...okay. And now back to the property, or at least the fixtures and furnishings (if not Nelly).]
Posted by: phat dog at September 6, 2007 11:01 AM
ok, i guess i was a little harsh but give me a break. 2.2mm in bernal heights!!!!
[Removed by Editor]
Posted by: james at September 6, 2007 11:29 AM
according to property shark, the mullen development corporation bought that land for 365k in august of 2004. i stand by my original statement of greed.
totally out of line to price anything in that hood in that range, in my opinion. but hey, it only takes one buyer!
Posted by: james at September 6, 2007 11:40 AM
I'm with Gordon Gekko. Greed is good. Hell, I don't work for free. I presume none of you do, either. Price it how you see fit.
But there's a more pressing issue here. This place is a mess. Seriously. It looks cheap and arbitrary. The "staging" is certainly no help. A slapdash assortment of Limn's greatest misses and $40K worth of Rex Rays (how very 1999). I like Rex Ray, but after 12 or 13 pieces, the Nelly poster is growing on me.
The downstairs outdoor area looks like the smoking section at an office park in Costa Mesa. Windows and doorways look like afterthoughts. The wood paneling would be nice if it were intentionally ironic. The suspended fireplace, while cool, is in a bizarre location and is an off-the-shelf piece. The speakers are connected to nothing (common in staging, sure), and are a triumph in form over function - they're expensive, and they sound like a boot stuck in the mud (very Bang & Olufsen-esque).
There are a couple of nice modern places (Tehama loft and Noe) on Socketsite right now. This, however, is "coke dealer modern" and will age accordingly.
Posted by: amused at September 6, 2007 12:50 PM
uh oh amused. be prepared to feel the wrath of the lack of taste or common sense crowd here on socketsite. they love this place and this hood and this price.
Posted by: james at September 6, 2007 1:32 PM
Its one thing to criticize the product and price, I agree with what many of the critics are saying. It’s another to wish someone harm, physical or financial! I guarantee that even the most scathing commentators think you are out of line and have personal issues.
Posted by: Michael at September 6, 2007 1:43 PM
You're all invited to the opening on Thursday - September 13th - come see it in person for yourself- especially "james" - no hard feelings! Seriously, 6:30-9:30 pm... just rsvp on the site.
[Editor's Note: And seriously, that's classy.]
Posted by: Amanda Jones at September 6, 2007 3:48 PM
"according to property shark, the mullen development corporation bought that land for 365k in august of 2004. i stand by my original statement of greed"
365K for land, about 600K of plywood and 2x4s, paint, staging. Yep, looks like a $1.2 Million profit if they find a fool.
Posted by: anon at September 6, 2007 4:35 PM
i did not wish anyone harm. i just think they are ignorant and greedy to even attempt to price a product like that in that part of town. look at the modern place in noe valley with a view for the same price. they paid 1.6 for it, gutted the inside and now are asking and will probably get around 2mm easy. that's all i was trying to say. it's more a statement, a frustrated one at that, about he state of the extremely dysfunctional market. for someone to think anything in bernal is worth that much money.
want to wager on what offers if any they get for it?
i'd give you 100.00 if anyone offers over 1.5 for it.
[Editor's Note: We'd take that wager if we were you.]
Posted by: james at September 6, 2007 5:03 PM
Posted by: dnice at September 6, 2007 5:41 PM
fyi, the speakers are live. the electronics are wireless, and are connected to an ipod dock. as for boot-in-the-mud, come hear them for yourselves -- they're awesome. Makes B&O stuff sound like your Aiwa boombox from high school. ;)
Posted by: cy at September 6, 2007 8:48 PM
I have lots of personal experience with the acoustic performance of u-vola speakers. The price/performance ratio is exceedingly poor. $3,500 for those is just plain wrong and very B&O. The relatively innovative design make some sense when they're mounted properly -- from the ceiling. The stands, however, are ridiculous contraptions and negate the design. They take up as much floor space as monitors with 10X the performance, such as Martin Logan.
... and if they're connected directly to an iPod dock without something enhancing the output (like an outboard sound card and an outboard DAC) they're going to sound like an Aiwa boombox anyway...but without the "boom".
Posted by: amused at September 6, 2007 10:26 PM
I was just thinking about this summer job I had while I was in high school. I was a crane operator for a mobile home manufacturer.
I was supposed to stack these cheap, flimsy mobile homes one on top of the other, three high on the lot, but I wasn't very good at it. The other crane operator was so good, he made me look terrible. I'd come down from that crane and look at what the 45 year old operator of the other crane had done and his were all stacked up perfectly.
Then, I'd look at what I had done. I'd see mobile home #2 hanging over one edge of cheap mobile home #1 underneath it, and mobile home #3 hanging over the OTHER edge of cheap mobile home #2. Man, I sucked at that job.
I don't know why I just thought of that.
Posted by: tipster at September 7, 2007 6:49 AM
tipster, you are too cleaver. editor, what did amanda say? i want to read it. i don't see why you feel we need to have profanity or insults cut out of posts. i think most of us are adults here and can take it.
amanda, nothing personal but it's listings and prices like this that make me agree with others that realtors are the ones responsible for the current crisis, not the mortgage brokers.
think about it!
Posted by: james at September 7, 2007 8:33 AM
As a long time audiophile, I'm a little perplexed by amused's comments on the U-vola speakers. To the best of my knowledge, these are a relatively new import item by Elite Audio, and, outside of Limn and Elite's own showroom (I've heard them both places), and this house (where I've not heard them), I'm not sure of where amused has heard them. If, as I suspect, it was only at the Bernal house or at Limn, then I will not challenge his comments on the U-Vola's sound. (But let's put this in perspective. At both of these locations the ultimate sound is not the point—the design is the point. Right? These things are staged to enhance the look of the house, not to sound their best.) If, on the other hand, you were to go to Elite's showroom and listen to these speakers properly set up (owner Woods has them in two different systems, one hanging from the ceiling the other on their very cool stands), while they may not be at the level of an MBL or MartinLogan or other audiophile-type speaker, they do sound way better than any B&O system that I've heard, they do not sound at all like a "boot-in-the-mud" or an Aiwa boombox, and for someone wanting a speaker that looks great, fits in a contemporary environment (and, um, let's face it, most of the world's best speakers don't), and sounds pretty darn good, well, the U-vola does that very nicely. As to "value," as with any luxury good, that is a completely personal matter, and obviously in the mind of the beholder.
Finally, what the heck is this about outboard DACs (that's digital-to-analog converters, for you non-geeks)? Again, the speakers at this house are staged for looks, not serious listening. Duh!
Posted by: Jon G at September 7, 2007 9:30 AM
do any of you have any idea how much thought and work goes into designing and building a house like this?
Posted by: ridiculous at September 7, 2007 5:25 PM
no ridiculous, none of us have done entire remodels before.
tell us who was your gc, your interior designer, your architect? was it all permit/legal? how much of it did you do yourself?
Posted by: james at September 7, 2007 6:55 PM
ridiculous: not enough, apparently.
Jon G: pairing $3500 speakers - wirelessly - to an iPod is absurd. was pointing that out. I heard them in a showroom in Mayfair, London. They had lots of power and a clean source, and sounded like a pair of $900 speakers. I imagine you own Elite. Fine. There were any number of bad design decisions in this home, and the U-volas are not an exception.
Posted by: amused at September 7, 2007 7:19 PM
Man, if I owned this place, the first thing I'd do is pull that tree out of the middle of the upstairs terrace, and I'd replace the hole between floors with a trap door I could pull whenever the conversation at my parties got too boring, sending people instantly from the upper terrace to the floor below...
Me: Hey, how's it going?
Obnoxious PartyGoer: Dude, you should disconnect your Uvula speakers from your i-pod and orient them like the hypotenuse of a right triangle, and then...
Obnoxious PartyGoer: Aggghhhhhhhh
Me (to partygoer #2): Hey, how's it going?
Posted by: tipster at September 7, 2007 10:11 PM
The current wave of "modern" houses hitting the market is particularly interesting. Many of them including this one seem to take their style from what is going on down in Los Angeles, rather than up here. Am I the only one that is getting tired of the current Limn-Dwell-Wallpaper look? I would not want to live in a Victorian, but I would not want to live in a Hollywood Hills party pad either. Some of us are actually looking for a HOUSE instead of a design product.
Posted by: anon4sf at September 8, 2007 2:32 PM
the wife and i just got back from taking a careful look at 306 mullen. the overall design and attention to details is very impressive. it is, IMO, a unique design which makes good use of the angular lot. with all the cool windows, it is pretty exposed however- the kinda thing you don't really think about while visiting, but as i started thinking about the master tub there- do i really want the neighbors seeing me in full commoando regalia? as someone said earlier, curtains or blinds may ruin the cool design of this place. also, there is a glaring problem: only 2 full baths! that is not very practical for the floor w/the 3 BR's, and for the floor with the guest BR- where the heck do guests shower- fighting for the single shower with the kids up a floor, or perhaps w/mum & dad upstairs?!? ;-) the design is still the bomb though. i'm just wondering if someone will pony $2.3 for that location in bernal.
Posted by: AMinSF at September 8, 2007 3:00 PM
to anon4sf (and the other haters above):
you say, "some of us are actually looking for a HOUSE instead of a design product" -- that is the most asinine thing I've heard in a while. The disproportionately huge percentage of the crap on the market is exactly that, "just a house". If you don't care about architecture, no one's forcing you or anyone else to buy it. And then why criticize it? Go buy your generic, un-designed "house", you have more than enough to choose from. While you're at it, why not move to the suburbs (unless that's where you already live)?
Now bitching about price/value is another matter. But this is clearly not "about 6ook of plywood, 2x4s, paint and staging". Do you know how much engineering and steel goes into pulling off cantilevers like that? And a number of the finishes here are clearly not of the cheapo sort you imply.
Ultimately this city has more of a shortage of good, adventurous contemporary architecture than any 'world class city' I know. And by the way, there is no "current Limn-Wallpaper-Dwell look" -- its called Modern Architecture, and its been around for at least 80 or 90 years, battling against all odds the pedestrian mediocrity surrounding us that some of you seem to desire so!
Posted by: citicritter at September 8, 2007 10:43 PM
Good luck keeping graffiti off the lower wall in THAT neighborhood. If you visit this property, check out what vandals have done to other walls nearby. Nice design btw.
Posted by: anon at September 9, 2007 10:25 AM
The graffiti problem plagues most of the city, no neighborhood is immune. I've seen it all around the sunset, which is a quiet, family area, even the Marina.
Posted by: sanfranvalues at September 9, 2007 11:59 AM
This is a fine, fine building. You [know] what type of houses I hate the most in this city- those stupid dinky little one or two story sawed off victorians, that look like only the triangular part of the rooftop attic of the real 4 story victorian buildings. In the 2nd densest city in the US, I don't understand how ppl can be so provincial here as to even allow one or two story buildings. I say we tear out all this low low low crap that is inefficient and ugly as sin and do a little san francisco house cleaning!
Posted by: sanfranvalues at September 9, 2007 12:05 PM
@sanfran: I agree w/ your basic point (build a little higher), but SF gets its high density (actually 8th densest) because it's such a small, arbitrarily-defined area.
SF doesn't feel (to me) as dense as some other cities (Chicago, #19; philadelphia #31) which sprawl over more area. Kind of like saying your living room is the densest place on earth every time you have a dinner party (and I'd like to be invited to a dinner party at the house above, BTW). See Huntington Park, CA (#4) or Patterson City, NJ (#7), or union city NJ (#1 !) for other examples.
Just a pet peeve of mine when myopic SFers (not you; you seem nice) trot out the density card. It's usually done to justify some back-handed comparison to NY city (#2, but over almost 7 times the area of SF). I don't think SF's density is any more "real" than Patterson city's, or your/my living room...
Thanks for letting me vent :) For completeness, here's a reference
Posted by: dub dub at September 9, 2007 4:25 PM
nice article on the house/project from today's chronicle real estate section
Posted by: james at September 9, 2007 4:39 PM
Pros: overall construction quality, courtyard/outdoor space, home office on the first level, living area and kitchen, third level master is fantastic although agree with AMinSF about the exposure.
Cons: two of the three bedrooms on the second level are tragically small – wish they would have combined bedrooms 1 and 2 and added a third full bath, not very close to either Cortland or Precita.
Posted by: Steve at September 9, 2007 4:42 PM
Has any house within the immediate area ever sold for this much? I would love to pick up this house and move it to another spot as I am not a fan of freeway views or noise.
Posted by: anony at September 9, 2007 5:39 PM
it would top any comp by about a million if it goes for that asking price. might be a little tough to get an appraisal to support that.
Posted by: james at September 9, 2007 5:55 PM
Beautifully designed. Beautifully crafted. I expect it will command the price – its called supply and demand. There are so few excellent modern houses in San Francisco. Congratulations to the brilliant team of Craig Steely and Misha Breyburg for another fabulous project.
Posted by: Jim at September 10, 2007 8:32 AM
i went by on sunday for a look, the photos don't really do it justice - it's an amazing house. the landscape architect created a water feature that runs off of "gray" water (run off from the sinks/showers) that collects in a tank and recycles. I love the green elements that don't scream green/clunky.
Also, for the previous posts, I thought the same thing, the 1/2 bath on the lower level doesn't make sense, you can put a full bath in which is what I would do. The house is about 2800 ft so it feels like it should have three full baths.
I think that this house will sell... someone who appreciates good design and quality materials. It will take a small fortune to deck it out in the right art and furniture. It's def. not Pottery Barn.
Posted by: pat 3 at September 10, 2007 6:20 PM
why aren't any of you taking my bet then, [Removed by Editor]
Posted by: james at September 10, 2007 7:33 PM
james, don't be a tool. "... for someone to think anything in bernal is worth that much money."
First, Bernal is deservedly home to many million-plus homes. North slope views on Mullen, Montcalm, et all are fantastic, and they're very quiet areas. Each side of Bernal has its pros and cons like any neighborhood, but there are many extraordinary properties on "the hill". Second, that house is a wet dream for many people (myself and many Socketsiters included, I'm sure). I'd take your sadly ignorant $100 wager -- and then I'd like to raise you $10K. I'll be back to this board to collect when it closes escrow.
[Editor’s Note: And now back to the property (and away from the wager).]
Posted by: SidewaysGlance at September 10, 2007 9:39 PM
did i say anything about their not being homes overpriced in the area already over 1mm? no. this one just sets a new standard, regardless of the very nice architecture and design which i have never said anything negative about. it's just something called location we all seem to forget about in this highly dysfunctional market of ours.
Posted by: james at September 12, 2007 12:20 PM
I agree with an earlier comment...the same tired, trendy "dwell style" of house. same kind of stained wood siding, vertical or horizontal, same aluminum windows...bland and boring..
But let's talk about the real problems:
1. does the architect not know how to design code compliant stairs? no handrails? places to fall and be seriously injured.
2. the so called "dining room" is a dining hallway, used to mainly circulation.
3. The kitchen is too long and narrow, no space for socializing. no breakfast area. serious lack of upper cabinets. no under cabinet lighting.
4. laundry in a closet? and stackable machines no less? no where to fold clothes.
4. very narrow interior stairway. winders, while permitted by the code, are dangerous and old fashioned.
5. whats with that dumb bi-folding door at the master bedroom? and the master bath is small, the toilet in full view of the window. what were they thinking?
I could go on and on...the house is way over rated, and over priced. the architect clearly has no experience in designing liveable floor plans.
Posted by: noearch at September 17, 2007 5:21 PM
i take it you agree with me that 1.5mm is even a stretch for this?
Posted by: james at September 21, 2007 9:25 PM
you guys are crazy -- this house is fabulous, a true one of a kind in Bernal. Not your typical 'Dwell' type of house. You should go see it for yourself. There is nothing wrong with the function or design, be it interior or exterior. A very unique and refreshing, if not stunning, property. It appears the architect is plenty of experience designing floorplans -- maybe just not to your taste.
Posted by: movingback at September 22, 2007 12:36 AM
maybe so, but its way over priced for that hood
i wonder how long till they get any offers
Posted by: james at September 23, 2007 10:32 PM
it looks like 306 mullen has been taken off the market (the mls link doesnt work anymore)
does that mean i win the bet?
i want the money to go the susan b. komen foundation btw, not to me personally
editor, you were one of the folks that lost this bet
[Editor's Note: No. MLS links expire and it's still very much on the market. And while we're not too sure how we lost on something we never bet on, we are pretty sure your wager was no offer over $1.5M.]
Posted by: james at October 8, 2007 11:03 AM
ok, fair enough but how long does that ridiculously priced listing need to stay on the market before you declare me the winner?
we should pick a date where it's obvious that nobody is foolish enough to even make an offer on that place in that hood
Posted by: james at October 8, 2007 1:40 PM
So?!? What was the final price this property was sold at?... Did James win?!?
Posted by: Massimo at December 10, 2007 2:36 PM
i think they ran out of crack thinking they could sell that property in that hood for anything close to that price
Posted by: james at December 10, 2007 4:02 PM
I love the compact modern urban design!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now this is the home of future! It would be a perfect solution due to GLOBAL WARMING and future development. The solar panels are great too!!!!! We all need to start conserving energy and start driving hybrids. I heard it is proposed to build communities on water! They're basicaally shaped like rectangular prisms and have a flat roof and walls of glass! Ya and they rest on these floating platforms. Pretty cool. HUH???!
Posted by: Daniel at January 17, 2008 5:43 PM
Very nice property.. but I'd love to see this in Pacific Heights instead of a few blocks from the 101 and Army St.
Posted by: Serge at January 26, 2008 3:21 PM
Is it too late to take your bet james?
Posted by: SanFranciscoJim at March 16, 2008 9:51 PM
very beautiful house. I don't know about you guys but I really like this design. Pretty on the outside and extremely spacious and illuminated on the inside. Pretty expensive but nonetheless gorgeous.
Posted by: sebastian at April 30, 2009 10:04 AM