February 10, 2009
St. Regis Penthouse Now $21,000,000 Off (And No, That’s Not A Typo)
It’s a plugged-in reader that catches a slight change to the asking price for the Penthouse atop San Francisco’s St. Regis (188 Minna). Asking $70,000,000 in August of 2008, now listed on the Sotheby’s website for $49,000,000.
Once again, 20,000+ square feet (including 2,900 of terraces); six bedrooms (including a 2,500 square foot master suite) and seven full baths (four half); a thirteen-seat home cinema designed by Keith Yates; 22 foot floor-to-ceiling glass walls; and six car parking.
Purchased for roughly $30,000,000 as a raw shell in 2005, it’s been three years in the making, and as far as we know there’s still 15% to go (i.e., it’s 85% complete).
Full Disclosure: The co-listing agent for the penthouse atop the San Francisco St. Regis advertises on SocketSite but had no knowledge of this post.
∙ Listing: St. Regis (188 Minna) Penthouse - $49,000,000 [Sotheby’s]
∙ St. Regis Penthouse Asking $70M: Is San Francisco All Growns Up? [SocketSite]
∙ Inside The St. Regis Penthouse: The Rendering Scoop And Details [SocketSite]
First Published: February 10, 2009 6:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I wonder if this place will win the prize for, "Most expensive foreclosure in the city".
Posted by: diemos at February 10, 2009 6:07 AM
I guess they got all the free advertising they could from the nice round wish price and they are now beginning the actual business of selling the place at a nice round discount (30%).
The air is pretty thin up there, that's for sure.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at February 10, 2009 7:13 AM
Well, it *is* on a busy street.
Posted by: tipster at February 10, 2009 7:33 AM
I have a question. If it's 85% done, that means it's not just a shell?
Posted by: jessep at February 10, 2009 7:34 AM
1. I live across the street at the Paramount. On the rooftop, you have a clear view of this unit. It is no where near 85% complete. It is just an empty shell.
2. Victor MacFarlane, who owns the place, is a good guy. Wish he didn't have to dump this place.
Posted by: Jim at February 10, 2009 7:53 AM
SfS, 30% discount? You're kidding right? This place isn't even for sale in my mind as no one is in the market for a $49M condo in SF. I feel seriously sorry for the person that paid $30M for this place. Isn't it best practice to have at least one comp for making this type of purchase. And if you were using Dubai for a comp, better check the news. This is great REporn at its finest, that's all.
Posted by: eddy at February 10, 2009 7:55 AM
I don't know if it is worth 10, 30, 50 or 70M. Any of these numbers is too surreal to mean anything to this little rational head of mine. Just that the brush strokes are still too broad to be serious.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at February 10, 2009 8:21 AM
Tough time to be selling these biggies, that's for sure. But you never know, somebody could come out of the blue and just have to have it, and money may be no object to them. If this thing sells at that price anytime soon though, then we'll all be scratching out heads, and I'll kidnap the owner and take him to Vegas as my lucky charm. (Not really, but that'd be some luck.)
Posted by: alex at February 10, 2009 8:30 AM
You'd probably have to spend 20M to make it look like anything in the renderings.
Such a shame. :(
poor victor mcfarlane, I predict it'll sell for a huge loss. Maybe 15M
Posted by: jessep at February 10, 2009 8:34 AM
Gotta think big, jessep.
Posted by: Jimmy (No Longer Bitter) at February 10, 2009 8:49 AM
And maintenance fees are .... ?
Posted by: Oceangoer at February 10, 2009 9:39 AM
If this sells for a $15m loss at $15m that means it's going for under $800 sq/f. Presumably that would mean that the 'regular' luxury condos below and elsewhere in the city would be no more than $500-600 per, and the 'regular' condos would peak at about $300-400. My numbers are based not on value, but my expectation of a natural segregation between the uber-rich, the affluent, and the plebes via the one thing that legally separates the classes...money.
Posted by: whorfin at February 10, 2009 9:47 AM
First: Umm, Eddy, do you really seriously feel sorry for someone who can afford to buy a $30m property in the first place? Victor McFarlane may be hurting from the real estate downturn, but it's not because of *one* of his trophy properties.
Second: For those that are having a hard time fathoming that it is even worth $30m--do you realize it's 20,000 sq-ft of completely customizable space in the middle of San Francisco with panoramic views and serviced by a 5 star hotel. There's a bit of a premium that comes with that.
Posted by: Garros at February 10, 2009 9:57 AM
I would argue that this place does NOT command high psf prices because the buying pool is so small.
I think luxury condos, normal condos, could go for higher psf prices than this.
Posted by: jessep at February 10, 2009 9:59 AM
If prices have dropped 30% this thing would be worth 21 million from the original price. They would be lucky to get 30 million today, but you never know, it is an amazing property.
Posted by: viewlover at February 10, 2009 10:01 AM
For those that are having a hard time fathoming that it is even worth $30m--do you realize it's 20,000 sq-ft of completely customizable space in the middle of San Francisco with panoramic views and serviced by a 5 star hotel. There's a bit of a premium that comes with that.
Well, that and the fact that Trillions of paper wealth are burning every month due to the stock market crash plus RE depreciation and other Ponzi schemes unravellings. This is affecting all layers of society. Does this place have its market? Probably, but I am still a bit dubious at what price point.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at February 10, 2009 10:35 AM
This property would be a slam dunk at $30-35M finished. Tough at $40-45M considering the economy here and abroad. I don't see it at over $50M until we have another global boom.
Posted by: ExAgent at February 10, 2009 10:57 AM
"This property would be a slam dunk at $30-35M finished."
I wasn't aware that George Tennant was previously a real estate agent....
Posted by: Debtpocalypse at February 10, 2009 11:13 AM
Hmmm. Well, the pictures sure are pretty.
Posted by: Turin at February 10, 2009 11:26 AM
Yes, I feel bad for anyone that loses $15M. This is real money.
Slam dunk at $30-35M? You simply cannot be serious. Please, someone, anyone, post a relevant sold comp. NYC had the highest coop sale last year at $48M. Condo's atop the Pierre and the Plaza in NYC have rumored to go into contract at, or north of $50M. And this was mid last year, and in NYC,which I do not perceive as highly relevant as NYC is not SF, and thet world has significantly changed. Perhaps the only relevance is that yes, fools can be separated from that much money.
Posted by: eddy at February 10, 2009 11:32 AM
"Customizable" = shell, right?
Speaking of "shell", the owners would have to shell out $49M,
then shell out more millions to finish and furnish it. And then wait a year at least for it to be finished. In the meantime, they can't use it and they are burning the lost interest on $50,000,000. Not chump change for anyone.
The super-rich are different. They're not stupid.
Posted by: jlasf at February 10, 2009 11:40 AM
Actually, I change my opinion:
This will be lucky to sell at 15M. IT"S A SHELL PEOPLE.
It shouldn't be priced any higher than 500 square foot. You can't even live in it!
You must really want what the renderings
Posted by: jessep at February 10, 2009 11:53 AM
The renderings are amazing. I don't care how expensive it is, I love it. If I had a gazillion dollars & could live anywhere in the world, this would be it.
Posted by: pipe dreams at February 10, 2009 12:00 PM
Here's a comp, 10 of these: http://www.sothebyshomes.com/norcal/sales/0084143
Posted by: pwb at February 10, 2009 12:12 PM
That comp would put it at 33.5 million, finished. Add 10% for the penthouse feature and it could probably sell at $36.5, my prediction.
Posted by: viewlover at February 10, 2009 12:39 PM
"Please, someone, anyone, post a relevant sold comp."
Raw penthouses at the Millennium. Recent sale at $1840 a square foot:
$1840 x 20000 = $37M plus $10-20M to finish = $47-57M. Slam dunk under $35M finished.
Posted by: ExAgent at February 10, 2009 2:46 PM
Stupid question, and maybe it's been previously mentioned... but that rendered view is south facing. If finished, wouldn't the penthouse be unbearably hot? I think you'd have to have some major black out shades that would have to stay closed most of the day.
Posted by: sleepiguy at February 10, 2009 3:13 PM
You are all too poor to understand.
Posted by: maharaja at February 10, 2009 3:24 PM
If you have to think about it, you can't afford it.
Nobody here will every afford it if they spend their time posting to blogs instead of working...
Posted by: Jimmy C at February 10, 2009 3:40 PM
99.99999% of the population can't afford this, so what's your point? Slaving away is suddenly going to make us this rich? Or are you the only one that has time for this?
Work will set you free, heard that one before, lucky not first hand.
Posted by: viewlover at February 10, 2009 4:11 PM
Well obviously I can't afford it, but neither could someone else if they are this gullible.
I don't disagree with you Jimmy, but that is still CRAZY for a shell.
Posted by: jessep at February 10, 2009 4:11 PM
It's a shell now but as I recall, the full $70m was for it completely finished...not just a shell. I assume that still stands at $49m if they're just reducing the price. $49m is still a lot but less than $30m doesn't seem very realistic either.
And the uber-rich may be less rich in this economy but most are still uber-rich. I imagine that the buyer pool for this hasn't changed all too much in the last year. It's still the same .000000001%...
Posted by: Jason at February 10, 2009 4:29 PM
When a salesman tells you something is a "slam dunk" that means you're going to get wet.
Posted by: Anon at February 10, 2009 4:32 PM
It's not a shell! It's not a shell at all.
Paramount roof top is a few floors below the S.R. penthouse AND you could probably only see the ceilings in 4 rooms.
Millenium penthouses are not 20K SF, thus not a comp.
But hey... whose counting right? How many days on the market is this thing anyway?
Posted by: Arnold S. at February 10, 2009 4:44 PM
"I think you'd have to have some major black out shades that would have to stay closed most of the day."
Easy. Just push a button and the blackout shades slowly turn dark from the top down.
Dr. Tyrell invented these using bioengineered photoplankton in 2015.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 10, 2009 4:49 PM
Is the 20k sqft really 20k, or is it 10k + double height ceilings -- thus giving the option of 20k depending on configuration? Does anyone have the HxWxL of this unit?
I'll yield that the $1800 psf raw condo sale is a good comp; thanks for posting.
As far as heat - there are virtually clear ceramic films that do an amazing job at reflecting heat so that is not really an issue.
Posted by: eddy at February 10, 2009 8:04 PM
eddy...it's really 20k sqft of floorspace, not 10k x2 because of the double-height ceilings.
sleepiguy, I don't think that somebody living there will need to be particularly concerned with the southwest exposure. The windows in the building are very thick, and keep out both heat and sound quite well. Plus, unlike many places in SF, I'm pretty sure this has AC for the 2 days a year that it might not be viable to use it. This ain't the bacon we're talking about.
And jessep, this was originally 3 units that the current owners got a special variance to combine into one. If this made (as you purport) the price/sqft go from $1500 at purchase to $500 after combining, it would seem that the only wise thing to do would be to subdivide again to triple the price for resale.
Note: lest somebody accuse me, I'm not in the RE business, and I'm also fairly certain that even if I was, pimping this particular place here would be beyond pointless (grin).
Posted by: whorfin at February 10, 2009 9:15 PM
Seems like the best thing for the owner to do is subdivide this baby back to three if it's only shell. Sure $10M a pop is still a lot of money but there are more people who can afford a condo at $10 than people who can afford a condo at $30+M.
Usually as square footage gets bigger, price per square foot drops. I mean just look at a lot of the houses in Pac heights. They sell for maybe 700-800/sqft while small studios in SOMA goes for just as much if not more last year. Even within the same development, a lot of times smaller studio ended up being more expensive per sqft than 3 bedrooms in the same building.
These renderings look like Maxwell renderings. Or is it V-ray. Wonder if anyone here can confirm?
By the way, nothing rich people like more is getting a great deal. Everyone knows the owner paid $30M for this pad. I'm sure if this place is priced at say $20, I'm sure there will be plenty of people jumping in to snatch it up. While the current owner will most likely take a hit with when he finally sell this place, I'm sure he still have plenty of money in the bank (a lot more than probably 99% of the posters on this blog including me). I would not be feeling sorry for him just yet.
Posted by: Juju at February 10, 2009 10:12 PM
Please note that the annual property tax for a 30 mil. property (feel lucky if you get it)is more than $330,000!!!
Posted by: EP at February 11, 2009 8:37 AM
Looks like someone is getting a little more realistic with the new asking price. I predict is goes in the $30MM range.
Posted by: Ryan at February 11, 2009 10:00 AM
ain't happening...$49M in SF (and just about anywhere for that matter) just ain't happening any time soon. You watch. This will sell at at less than $30M. I predict $22.5 because at some point this McFarlane guy is just going to want/need out.
Posted by: Tom Tom at February 11, 2009 1:45 PM
There's no such thing as bad publicity, right? The penthouse is getting a little love from Forbes magazine:
When the 20,000 square foot, six-bedroom St. Regis penthouse in San Francisco was listed in late August 2008, for $70 million, it was the highest price ever sought for a Bay Area property.
Even though it was before the meltdowns at AIG and Lehman Brothers, which would later virtually freeze transactions of multimillion-dollar homes, the listing generated skepticism among San Franciscans. It wasn't in Sea Cliff overlooking the bay, nor nestled among the stately spreads in Pacific Heights, and nowhere near the Geary Boulevard mansions made famous in Hitchcock's films.
Rather the St. Regis is on Third Street, next to the Museum of Modern Art, a fine neighborhood to be sure, but on the edge of the grittier Mission district. It's far from the city's best restaurants, the ocean and boutiques. Instead, the St. Regis residents greet throngs of tourists and homeless encampments when they step out the door.
Posted by: EBGuy at May 18, 2009 2:34 PM
Obviously written by an out of town hack. 3rd street is not on the "edge" of the Mission District.
Posted by: Rillion at May 18, 2009 2:39 PM
That write up was so cringe-inducing .... St Regis actually IS close to many of the city's best restaurants, is NOT on top of a homeless encampment (although, granted, there are homeless close by particularly around transbay), and the "ocean" doesn't matter in terms of SF Real Estate values until you round the corner to Sea Cliff. The state of journalism today.....
Posted by: curmudgeon at May 18, 2009 5:35 PM
Worked on this project as an onsite contractor for over 2 years. I'll have to say that it is quite impressive to see after all the finishes have been completed.
Was there just a couple of weeks ago, looks like it is about completly finished. If I had an extra 50,000 I might consider it. If it doesn't sell, would be a great place to rent out for a party.
Posted by: C. P. at October 22, 2009 8:04 PM