June 20, 2008

One Expensive One-Bedroom In A Beaux Arts Building We Love

1001 California Street

We’ve always loved the William Randolph Hearst built Beaux Arts building at 1001 California Street, both in terms of location and style. And as far as we know, the 3,500 square foot #9 was the last unit to change hands eighteen six months ago (12/12/07) with a reported contract price of $2,888,000.

And while unit #8 is only a one-bedroom, it is rather large (1500 square feet) and offers multiple terraces and “views for miles.” Asking $2,495,000 which doesn’t include a parking space or the $2,237 monthly dues. Once again, if you have to ask...

∙ Listing: 1001 California Street #8 (1/1.5) - $2,495,000 [MLS]

First Published: June 20, 2008 9:45 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Doubling the price/sf in 6 months?

Any bigger fools around?

Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 20, 2008 10:24 AM

LOL!! This has got to be the funniest listing ever!!

If this 1 bedroom condo with no parking goes for anywhere near $2.5M, I'm officially giving up on SF real estate.

Posted by: Foolio at June 20, 2008 10:31 AM

My very quick and inaccurate math suggests a new owner at $2.5M will pay about $13K per month after taxes to live in this place. How many rooms with similar views, no garage, and same total square footage at the Ritz Carlton could you get for the same price? I want to play poker with the moron that buys this.

Posted by: resp at June 20, 2008 10:39 AM

Worth Every Penny! Location, Location, Location!

Posted by: MarinaBoy at June 20, 2008 10:39 AM

Foolio, this will be the proof that this market is on drugs.

It reminds me of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. $50 leather jackets advertised for $200 just so that a big sucker would make a $100 low-ball offer.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 20, 2008 10:43 AM

No interior photographs... Another rock star's pad?

Posted by: flaneur at June 20, 2008 10:46 AM

It's a nice building but this is rediculous, specially when a 3,500 sqft unit costs 2.9 vs 2.4 for 2,000 square feet less.

Posted by: view lover at June 20, 2008 11:03 AM

18 months?
Seems like a little over 6 to me (12/12/07)

[Editor's Note: Today's early score: readers 2, editors 0. We're blaming the heat.]

Posted by: anon at June 20, 2008 11:20 AM

MarinaBoy forget location location location. I lived in a penthouse round the corner on Jones and it was cold, windy and there is no real life around the area. A great view of course. We happily moved to Cow Hollow and exchanged the view and chill for a lush garden, great restaurants, and neighbors we know. Stay in the Marina if that's where you are. The view and building are not worth no parking and out of sight monthly fees.

Posted by: Oceangoer at June 20, 2008 12:32 PM

One glance at this place and I already feel like going to the opera! Where is my mink? Jeeves, get the car--oh, wait, there's no parking.

Posted by: Anonymous at June 20, 2008 12:45 PM

This kind of place in this kind of building/location isn't really for folks living in the area no matter how rich - it's more for little princes and minor sultan's looking for a stop-over pad on the international market. I wouldn't be surprised if it sold on that basis alone.

Posted by: Enthano at June 20, 2008 12:57 PM

If the little prince or Sultan just wants a stop-over pad, there's always the Fairmont across the street, too.

Posted by: Anonymous at June 20, 2008 1:48 PM

Looking at the stock market these last few weeks, I wonder how long this stupid-but-plentiful money is gonna last.

Oh well, we're paying close to $5/gallon. I guess the stupid money is coming from our pockets...

Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 20, 2008 3:35 PM

Yes, but our gas prices are still less than half that of Europe which is in the $8-10 a gallon range (and they've been paying in the $4 range since the 1990's).


Posted by: Tron at June 20, 2008 4:20 PM

Yeah, I know about gas prices in the EU. But European life is less dependent on driving than ours. They structured the core of their space before the automobile age. And if you look at demographics, people have massively migrated from low density to higher density areas where public transportation is convenient. We're hooked on gas and no easy way out.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 20, 2008 4:33 PM

That's nothing! The bottom 9350 sf restaurant space was for sale a few years back at $3.3 Million. Classic hardwood bar, Wine Cellar, Library Cigar Room, Commercial kitchen etc. Of coarse every restaraunt that went in there failed. The dealbreaker was the HOA was $6500 / month or something like that. Haven't stopped by lately, what's in there now?

Posted by: Paul Hwang at June 20, 2008 6:25 PM

How could any restaurant make a profit with those types of costs for raw space? 9,350 sq.ft is not very large. What would owners in the buildng do if a Cheesecake Factory moved in downstairs?

Posted by: anon at June 20, 2008 6:52 PM

According to the listing, this is a penthouse unit. Was #9 also a penthouse? If not, that could explain the difference in the price.
Also, because this is a penthouse, it has a wrap around terrace.
But I agree with others; this is a great pied-a-terre, not a place for a local to call home.

Posted by: jlasf at June 21, 2008 3:32 AM

Was this the notorious home of former "realtor to the stars of San Francisco" Vincent Fria (sp?). This was back in the late 80's - early 90's I think, but didn't he have to escape through the bottom floor restaurant kitchen window to flee from authorities who were trying to arrest him on tax charges? This was during the Herb Caen reign of San Francisco and about every week, there was another account of the exploits of what was at the time the most infamous realtor in the city. I am not a realtor, so I don't remember the whole story, but I knew someone who owned in this building at the time, and it was the talk of Nob Hill for quite a while.

Posted by: anonandon at June 21, 2008 7:10 AM

that is one of the best building in SF IMO...

Posted by: Ryan at June 21, 2008 11:24 AM

I haven't heard the name Vincent Friia in a long, long time. His sign was on every swanky property in Pacific Heights and beyond and he was constantly in Herb Caen's column in the 80's.

He had a New Year's Eve party in Paris every year. He rented out Maxim's for it. Way back in the 80's, Herb Caen reported that Friia had reserved Maxim's for NYE 2000. But by 2000, the Friia real estate signs were no where to be seen and Herb Caen was gone.

Whatever happened to Vincent Friia?

Posted by: bgelldawg at June 21, 2008 5:07 PM

One of the best addresses in SF. Another little factoid: the Hearsts lived at the building during the Patty Heart drama of the '70s.

Paul -- I've heard that the ground floor will not be a restaurant again.

Posted by: Damion at June 21, 2008 7:45 PM

"Whatever happened to Vincent Friia?"

Indeed! For those who have lived in this city for less than ten years, you cannot imagine what a different place used to be. Friia's parties and other "activities" are part of what was a city you would not recognize. Melvin Belli running naked from his mansion (outer Broadway) firing a pistol at his wife who hosted a real estate show for the highest priced properties on television, Noe Valley was an affordable neighborhood that a school teacher could buy a home in. The Castro and Soma were actually neighborhoods that had REAL nightlife with clubs staying open till 7am, not places where homes could be flipped and condos could have an "edge". What I miss most is that it was a city that wanted to have fun, instead of a city that produces another IPO or Dwell Victorians. I am 43 years old, but am really feeling nostalgic for a city that I cannot even describe to people who move here now. Thank goodness I bought my home when this city was affordable (and it WAS!).

The reason Herb Caen's columns were so intersting is because San Francisco was so interesting THEN.

Socketsite should do a story on what was the Friia and Company Empire, and what became of it.

Posted by: anon43 at June 22, 2008 4:45 AM

The list price for 1001 California Street #8 has just been reduced from $2,495,000 to $1,750,000. A "FABULOUS NEW PRICE!" indeed.

Posted by: SocketSite at September 10, 2008 5:29 PM

Vincent Friia was sued by his mother, brother and sister years ago and the story appeared in the pages of Philadelphia Magazine. He ended up losing his money and his mind. He didn't want any of SFO to kow he had AIDS and his mind was affected by the illness. He was left with $800K and that is it. He also ahd another brother and sister that took his side but Mama Friia ended up with all of it.

Posted by: Ann Martin at June 24, 2009 10:00 AM

I must admit, this has always been my favorite building in SF. It's a good thing this fool doesn't have that much money to spend. :)

Posted by: jd at June 24, 2009 11:07 AM

Sold for 1.185, 53% off, and 12% above 1990!

Posted by: tipster at November 6, 2010 11:25 PM

Vincent lived at 1055 California. Ann Martin's account is true. He spent his final few years living in Hawaii together with me and my family. He was the most generous and caring person I have ever known. Wealth was a means to do for others. That unfortunately worked against him. I miss him terribly and those that really knew him do as well.

Posted by: Linda Friia Novelli at June 13, 2012 4:58 PM

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: eddy at June 13, 2012 7:55 PM

Vincent Friia my brother ..... A loving and kind person that had a Heart of gold. His final days were spent with my sister Linda Friia Novelli who took care of him and also brought him to know Jesus Christ. Today "ALL" the family is together and NOT apart any more. There is no Family that does not have problems. My family ..... Thank God has worked their way through them. Some of the descriptions of my brother were sensationalized & not true. When you pass judgement on others .... God will also pass judgement on you in the same manner.

Posted by: Anthony S. Friia at February 14, 2014 6:57 PM

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