August 22, 2008

If $550,000 Were A Rounding Error, Would $2,000,000 Be As Well?

2151 Green and empty lot (

Purchased for $9,500,000 last fall (including the lot next door), initially seeking $11,500,000 (according to its website) and then officially listed for $10,950,000 last month (with the later two prices not including the lot next door), the list price for 2151 Green Street has been reduced $2,000,000. Now asking $8,950,000.

The lot next door? It's no longer listed for $24,500,000 fully developed, but as a plugged-in reader notes, now asking $5,900,000 as an entitled lot.

∙ Listing: 2151 Green Street (6/5) - $8,950,000 [] [MLS]
∙ Listing: 2157 Green Street (entitled lot) - $5,900,000 [MLS]
But Hey, $550,000 Is Simply A Rounding Error To A Proper Industrialist [SocketSite]
The Scoop On 2157 Green Street (Could You See The Foreshadowing?) [SocketSite]

First Published: August 22, 2008 3:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

You missed the other big scoop here that I just updated for yuo here:

"Back on at a healthy $5.9 following on the recommendation of Sleepiguy above!

Oddly listed as a SFH and not a lot.

I'd say it's got a shot."

Posted by: eddy at August 22, 2008 3:15 PM

So, if both properties sold for asking, this developer would end up making 3,350,000 for the remodel of 2151 plus the plans, etc. for 2157? Any guesses as to what his net profit would be?

Posted by: kthnxybe at August 22, 2008 3:49 PM

Were I on the market in these high spheres, I would prefer having the lot untouched. Open space is invaluable and a sign of higher status (if that's what you're looking for) in our cities.

True wealth is not about getting the more bangs for your bucks and filling your time and space with lots of things, but about worrying about neither time nor space.

Like the guy who's had his empty shell mansion for sale at 65M for 2Y+. He's not using the space and he has the time, obviously.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at August 22, 2008 3:51 PM

San Fronzi - oh, absolutely - the only way to really have 2151 and have it be nice is if you get the 2157 as well and just leave it as a garden.

Posted by: kthnxybe at August 22, 2008 4:01 PM

This makes a LOT more sense, no pun intended. The whole, "Give me 25 mil and I'll build you a house" scenario was just bizarre.

This could almost work, actually. I bet the owner could sell the lot for around 5 million with approved plans. The buyer could probably spend an additional 5 + on new construction and come out on top (provided that part of Green isn't all fill - a lot of it is, trust me).

However, I still think 2151 itself is going to be a real albatross on the neck of the seller. It's almost unsellable because of the Mount Doomish trek to the front door.

Still, with some tricky maneuvering, the seller might still make a little money on this frighteningly risky venture - just not the millions he'd obviously hoped for.

Posted by: sleepiguy at August 22, 2008 4:03 PM

And on that note - what is the psychology behind those houses that are on the market at mid eight figures and above but with no clear intent to ever sell them? 2845 Broadway, Locksley Hall in Belvedere, etc.? Is it a status symbol? Exotic tax dodge? The lulz? All of the above?

Posted by: kthnxybe at August 22, 2008 4:07 PM

exotic tax dodge?

How do you dodge taxes if your place is for sale?

Posted by: San FronziScheme at August 22, 2008 4:17 PM

Isn't that Kirk H. (Metallica) house?

Posted by: Michael L at August 22, 2008 4:36 PM

^ Noooooooooooooooooooooooo

Posted by: sleepiguy at August 22, 2008 4:51 PM

sleepiguy - How could this be on fill ? It is up a steep embankment.

I though that all of the fill was at about sea level. Why would anyone fill to a height greater than needed to keep the tidal flooding away ? That would be excessively expensive even in 1870 dollars.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at August 22, 2008 6:54 PM

For interested geeks, an SF terrain map. Your tax dollars at work.

Posted by: diemos at August 22, 2008 7:20 PM

When they developed the areas to the south in this neighborhood back in the late 19th/early 20th century , they pushed all the debris from the east/west streets down the hill. As a result, houses built on the slope aren't on bedrock, but compacted fill. It's 20 to 30 feet to rock in certain areas. There are also isolated spots where the houses are sitting on sand.

Posted by: sleepiguy at August 22, 2008 7:30 PM

This house needs an elevator.

Posted by: Salarywoman at August 22, 2008 9:59 PM

Agree with some of the above. House needs an elevator and the yard should remain untouched. Maybe a small garden room could be built as a getaway or something, but true luxury would be to have that yard, with a place for dining or admiring an outdoor sculpture garden of some sort.

Posted by: observer at August 23, 2008 8:35 AM

Thanks for the geological history, sleepiguy. You're a treasure chest of knowledge about this part of town !

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at August 23, 2008 12:45 PM

I went to propertysharks and checked the tax records. Although they are somewhat confusing, it appears as if the same guy who currently owns 2151 Green lost 2201 Baker due to foreclosure last fall. Perhaps a reader who is better at deciphering the tax records can double check my discovery? If you'd really like to buy 2151 Green, you may get a much cheaper opportunity when it turns up on the foreclosure docket. Just pure speculation on my part...

Posted by: k10 at August 23, 2008 1:03 PM

@Milkshake: Seconded. Sleepiguy, thanks for the info!

Posted by: Foolio at August 25, 2008 9:01 AM

Hmmm. It might be fill, but that's not what the USGS or two soil engineers had to say about most of the blocks on either side of it. Rather, it's considered to be compacted clay for about a 14 foot depth, then a 1-3 foot deep "sand lens" (this is a term of art among soil engineers meaning a "layer"; sort of like the filling in a cake)--then another 10-14 feet of compacted clay, then bedrock.

Of course, your mileage may vary---but I would baffled if it did.

Posted by: AFanoftheUSGS at August 26, 2008 7:50 PM

Just noticed this quote from the listing description:

"Once in a life time opportunity! This address will be one of SF's most prestigious homes. The seller went through years of the entitlement process to offer this project with approved plans/permits"

Years? As in 2007-2008. LOL!!!

Posted by: eddy at August 27, 2008 10:09 PM

To Sleepiguy, salarywoman: 2151 green has an elevator, matter of fact I took a ride in it just Wednesday, to visit the owner. Very beutiful mural painted voyer leading to the entrance elevator sans 1940's with the swinging gate and paneled wood. Goes clear to the 4th floor my friends!!

Posted by: EEW at August 29, 2008 4:21 PM


2151 seems like a "reasonable" Pac.Hghts. Mansion price, but what is up with 2157? At $6M to purchase, and several more $?M to build and what 20 months of carry before you can move in. All told it seems to be priced much higher than next door. Also, according to DBI it doesn't yet have permits.

Posted by: sparky at August 29, 2008 4:50 PM

This home, even with the reduction seems overpriced. The other homes in this price range are more impressive.

Posted by: nicole at August 29, 2008 7:16 PM

the special feature this house had (besides being owned by some unknown industrialist) has been subdivided away :).

Posted by: nicole at August 29, 2008 7:37 PM

Posted by: Anna at September 25, 2008 2:01 PM

Interesting that Urban Bay is handling this listing. I thought they mostly handled SOMA condos.

Posted by: Fishchum at September 25, 2008 2:37 PM

back on the market for $7.35....

Posted by: Geo at March 31, 2009 3:13 PM

I think it's safe to say now that this home is going into foreclosure..
The owner is back in Iran and that's all she wrote!

Posted by: sleepiguy at May 27, 2009 1:25 PM

Hey Sleepiguy-

I was looking at Trulia and it showed a Green St foreclosure. I wonder if it is one and the same?

Posted by: MarinaLocal at May 27, 2009 2:57 PM

And what became of the lot next door. I'd think that this place could sell for what he paid if he included back the original lot.

Posted by: eddy at May 27, 2009 3:19 PM

I'm not exactly sure what he paid for both pieces of property, but records look like it was 9 mil, which explains the Trulia listing. It's all too late at this point. The owner had left the country and has stopped all payments...

Honestly, my guess is that the house is worth about 4 million even with the side garden.

Posted by: sleepiguy at May 27, 2009 3:31 PM

So both lots are now priced together = $10.3, which is still 1.3M more than was paid for the original home/lot. sleepiguy, you can't be serious that this is jointly worth $4M? Does anyone remember what the two lots on the NE corner of Divis and Broadway sold? Those were super-premium and were the last 2 D7 lots to be sold if I'm not mistaken. I don't think either of them went for $4M?

Posted by: eddy at July 2, 2009 12:45 PM

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