March 23, 2009

Another Ex-Decorator Showcase Is Officially Listed: 2500 Divisadero

2500 Divisadero (www.SocketSite.com)

From coming soon in February to on the market today, with the listing of 2500 Divisadero at $10,000,000 over half a decade of San Francisco's most recent Decorator Showcase homes are officially up for sale.

2500 Divisadero: Living

Designed by Angus McSweeney and built in 1934, the Tudor was remodeled in 1999 to become a San Francisco Decorator Showcase home, and then again in 2005/2006.

A major renovation for the 1999 Decorator Showcase transformed this residence into more livable space when, among other things, the ceiling of the top floor was opened up and a major staircase was added. Under this same ownership the residence underwent an additional 2005/2006 renovation when all windows in the home were replaced, the kitchen wing was completely remodeled with a guest apartment added on the lower level, radiant heat was installed in the foyer and hallway.

Purchased pre-remodel(s) for $3,825,000 in November of 1998, highlights include the five bedrooms (not including the apartment), a home theater, "Gentleman's Bar" and library.

2500 Divisadero: Library

∙ Listing: 2500 Divisadero (6/5) 8,671 sqft - $10,000,000 [MLS] [sffinehomes.com]
Decorator Showcase Miss 2000 Officially Hits The Market On Broadway [SocketSite]

First Published: March 23, 2009 4:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

cross post from the NVthread...

The days of 1000psf seem to have passed for anything but the most special homes in PH. At over 1000psf for a cool $10M. No view but this is a prime PH home. This place has a chance, but I think it will be a hard sell even at this price. Could have sold for $12M last year. 2775 Green is over 1000psf -- no view, no chance. 2310 Buchanan -- same story. These place just wont sell until there is a major ask price correction. 2165 Jackson @ 500psf, total gut job isn't moving. I bet you the agent is getting a ton of developer interest at 350psf, same as the other place on Pacific St that was pulled.

My hypothesis has always been that it would take 7-10 years for all the econ to play out on home prices and I started to think that it was going to happen much faster; but I'm sticking to my original hypothesis -- Real Estate prices give back gains very slowly. The big drop seems like the creme /froth blown off the bubble. But I feel strong that we're going to see more and more % points shaved off these homes -- back to around 1997 adjusted prices. IMO

Posted by: eddy at March 23, 2009 11:43 AM

Agent has more details on her own site:

http://www.sffinehomes.com/properties-featured.html

Posted by: eddy at March 23, 2009 11:46 AM

I don't see much closet space. If I could find a spot to hang my gorilla vest, this place would be perfect.

-C. M. Burns

Posted by: marina girl at March 23, 2009 12:24 PM

Yum. I love this house.

Posted by: Ryan at March 23, 2009 12:28 PM

Ah, the armchair by the fireplace looks like a perfect spot for me to plonk down my not so firm arse and enjoy a fresh Montecristo cigar and a tot of Louis XIII Diamant "Édition Précieuse" Cognac in my lovely new, custom tailored, velvet smoking jacket from Turnbull & Asser. Now that is the enviable pompous lifestyle to which I am accustomed.

Posted by: Jeeves at March 23, 2009 12:37 PM

I do think this house is incredibly beautiful, but even if I had $10 mil, I'm not sure I could subject my poor toddler to all the nightmares she'd have if we lived in it. My blood-sucking Romanian relatives would love it though.

As for the pricing, I give the owners and listing agent bonus points for not trying to list it at $25 million, or something ridiculous like that. It seems "reasonably" priced relative to comparable houses in the neighborhood and for the size and location. The problem is that selling a house like this in today's market is sort of like winning the lottery. Either someone with alot of money comes along, decides they love it and buys it, or there's just no bid. Hence all of the many many high end houses that have been sitting on the market waiting, waiting, and waiting...

Posted by: k10 at March 23, 2009 12:40 PM

ugh - shiteous. seems like the wealthy lack taste, houses in this price range are often over embellished like they couldn't figure out what else to spend their money on!!

Posted by: MichelleL at March 23, 2009 1:13 PM

This is in extremely good taste, and a beautiful house, as it always has been. It is known as "stockbroker Tudor" because stockbrokers, who used to make a lot of money, favored traditional and revivalist styles. It also appeals to people with interests in the Gothic and other historicist movements in architecture and applied arts. Very fine library.
In addition, it has a superb location at the top of Pacific Heights.

[The editor needs to edit MichelleL, please.]

Posted by: Conifer at March 23, 2009 1:26 PM

But Conifer, would you really like to live in a place decorated like this? A museum, fine. Nobody should ever make the mistake of assuming I have any "taste" whatsoever -- I don't (nor do I care to). But living here, I would feel as if I were inside a giant coffin. Maybe it's just the photo, but I'm not even sure I could read a cookbook in that dark kitchen (now cooking -- that is something I do care about -- we all have our frivolities). Think Miss Havisham's closed-up mansion in Great Expectations.

Posted by: Trip at March 23, 2009 1:53 PM

Great architectural details, but I loathe the dark, gothic interior. It just needs some new furnishings and it'll look fine.

I think the price is fantastic for an enormous home that only needs some cosmetic fixing (well, as far as I can tell). They were originally going to list at 12 million, but obviously thought better of it.

However, the "real" drawback is the Divisadero address. If it were actually on Broadway or Pacific, it would probably sell quickly.

Posted by: sleepiguy at March 23, 2009 2:05 PM

Interesting to see that they were going for $12. $10 has a shot, but still a stretch. I liked k10's analogy above, which pretty much sums it up on these higher end properties.

The obvious fear for the seller / agent is that this becomes another Metalica house disaster. I still am not sure why that place couldn't sell.

Posted by: eddy at March 23, 2009 2:21 PM

Also, I think the real drawback is "no view". This house fronts Pacific almost as much as it does Divis.

Posted by: eddy at March 23, 2009 2:24 PM

Location is my concern. This house fronts a relatively busy intersection at Divisadero and Pacific. There will be noise, difficulty getting in and out, etc. Ok, big deal you say? But what about views? Look closely at every single one of the photos posted on MLS. Almost every photo either has the window shades drawn, or does something to obscure the view outside. There's one photo of a view to a nice small courtyard, but that's it! $10MM for a house where you need to keep the shades drawn at all times, while cars are driving by all day and night. And of course people do try and peak in the windows.

This is an interesting house (for an elite few), situated in a very, very unfortunate location.

Posted by: stephen at March 23, 2009 3:03 PM

That block of Divisdero, between Pacific and Broadway, has always been a most desirable address, and has and does have some of the great SF families. The lack of a view is a real problem, as the recent failure to sell the house across Divis witnesses. Except for the view, in every way, this is a vitual Gold Coast house.

A great view alone will not sell a house: on the other side of Pacific, between Divis and Scott, there is house listed by Nirenberg which has not sold, and they reduced the price to 4.5. Needs a lot, and has a poor floorplan, chopped into two units.

Posted by: Conifer at March 23, 2009 3:51 PM

I agree with Stephen regarding the location. And houses this large are not homey enough for me, personally. For ten million, you'd think people would rather have a smaller place with a view in the city or some serious land outside the city.

Five bedrooms plus guest quarters when there's already den and library space are a lot. Gone are the days when you had your kids, your extended family and your help living under one roof. My guess is that this place would be best suited as a very nice B&B or an auxiliary facility for an institution such as a private school or corporation - a specialized library or temporary residence, perhaps.

Posted by: kthnxybe at March 23, 2009 4:04 PM

why the artist rendering?
is it because the true look of the home isn't so nice?

seems like a picture of the exterior would be appropriate.

it's very cool but very gothic. very gothic.

can't imagine living there, but it's gorgeous for it's style.

Posted by: ex SF-er at March 23, 2009 5:12 PM

seems like a picture of the exterior would be appropriate.

Agreed (and we’ve just added a photo of the façade to our original post).

Posted by: SocketSite at March 23, 2009 5:38 PM

If you like English library feel to the whole house, this house is for you! I think it's very well done. While I do like English library feel, but only to a room not the whole house. For $10M, I would love to have a view of the Golden Gate. Locating on Divis. is a tragedy for this house. If this house is on Broadway, Pacific, Vallejo, etc. it'll probably sell within a month. On that busy corner, no matter how well done a house is, it's gonna be a tough sell. Real estate after all is about: (together now) location, location, location.

Posted by: juju at March 23, 2009 6:02 PM

I enjoyed all the comments about this house. It's really interesting to see people's reactions.

Like I said, I'm a fan, but I just wouldn't live on Divisadero, even with a view (ok that's a lie... I'd totally take the Japanese consulate!).


I actually wouldn't be that concerned with privacy and noise. Divis is fairly active but not as busy as outer Broadway which always has heaps of tourists and non-stop construction.
Surprisingly few homes in Pac Heights are ultra-private, so you kind of have to make that compromise. I always crack up when I drive past 3100 Pac. Ave. because the new SFH on the corner is loaded with huge windows that are perpetually covered with shades!

Also, Conifer, the view home you mentioned on Pacific has (had?) a tenant and is a serious fixer. Buying anything a SFH with a tenant is almost always bad news.

Posted by: sleepiguy at March 23, 2009 6:34 PM

As a rule I don't care for Tudor and I don't like over the top furniture. But I actually love the way the two work together in this house.

I like all the rooms in the house, except the girl's room (coral and green). Not just the color scheme..... Do you see the chair on the far side of the canopy bed? That must be how anyone, including a professional basketball player, climbs up into that bed.

I love the couches at the foot of the beds (one in the master with the canopy, and the other in another bedroom). I also love the big library table lamps. I agree with many others- the biggest drawbacks are the busy street corner and no view, but even then I'd love the house.

Now.... I wonder if the garage is deep enough for my Maybach 62S. :)

Posted by: StockBoySF at March 23, 2009 8:27 PM

sleepyguy wrote: Also, Conifer, the view home you mentioned on Pacific has (had?) a tenant and is a serious fixer. Buying anything a SFH with a tenant is almost always bad news.


The tenant is bad news, although this one is paying $4200, a market rent. I would think that they would Ellis it and return it to single family use. Even so, it needs a lot of work, and has almost unfixable problems: narrow lot, and consequent difficult floor plan. Needs a garage. Still it is cheap for this superb neighborhood.

Posted by: Conifer at March 23, 2009 10:52 PM

Love it- lack of view might be a deal breaker for Mr. Katherine, though. MichelleL- go back to drooling over the same old boring interiors filling up the pages of Dwell.

Posted by: Katherine at March 23, 2009 11:04 PM

$ 7.5 to 8.5 MIL to sell soon (close in 120 days)

Would have been at least $ 12 mil 2 yrs ago.

Posted by: Louis at March 24, 2009 10:05 AM

Clearly a place one could indulge in William Randolph Hearst fantasies.

The flip side is having to own all the stuff to make a house like this look and feel right. Plus the people to maintain it. You'd need a full-time majordomo- it's not like any of us have "wives" anymore.

Posted by: Rocco at March 24, 2009 6:01 PM

this house is pretty stunning. all the gothic detail.

about the decorator showcase... isn't it a device for flipping Pacific Heights real estate? all but two of the houses showcased have been Pac Heights (the others in sea cliff). just seems like a pedigree to justify stratospheric list prices... but it seems like half the houses in the area already have the pedigree.

such a strange event... dressing up the same-ish 10+ million dollar houses in the same style of garish opulence year after year. it's fun to look at, but it's hard to imagine anyone wanting that kind of decor even if they could afford it! is there really a whole interior design industry in sf that caters to the taste of Britain's Queen Mother? or does projecting that image make SF seem worldly? With all the work that goes in to houses that were exquisite to begin with... it would be more fun to see the event really transform an ugly building...

Posted by: hugh at March 25, 2009 8:52 PM

The list price for 2500 Divisadero has been reduced a nominal $50,000 after 66 days on the market without a sale. Now asking $9,950,000.

Posted by: SocketSite at May 26, 2009 3:05 AM

It's tough keeping up with the neighbors.

Posted by: eddy at May 26, 2009 9:26 AM

Which neighbors? Do you mean 2799 Pacific which sold at a foreclosure auction for $10 million on June 3? The $10 million space is starting to get crowded; I have a feeling we are about to see some "motivated" sellers.

Posted by: EBGuy at June 25, 2009 1:02 PM

EBGuy, where did you get the details on the $10M sale of 2799 Pacific? I haven't seen anything, and honestly, don't really even know where to look. Very curious. I highly doubt that sold for $10m, but anything is possible.

Posted by: eddy at June 25, 2009 6:11 PM

The proud new owner appears to be Chevy Chase Bank. I got the info from SFGate.
Supposedly this is data gathered from the county recorders office.

Posted by: EBGuy at June 25, 2009 7:09 PM

The bank took back the property at 2799 Pacific. They have discretion to set the opening bid (at $10M out of $11,363,00 owed) and since nobody bid, it "sold" to the back for that opening bid.

Posted by: whatever at June 25, 2009 7:10 PM

Wow. That would be a steal for $10M.

Posted by: eddy at June 25, 2009 9:02 PM

It appears that the property (2500 Divisadero) has gone off the market.

[Editor's Note: Jinx, you owe us a coke.]

Posted by: EBGuy at July 1, 2009 4:30 PM

The listing for 2500 Divisadero has been withdrawn without a sale.

Posted by: SocketSite at July 1, 2009 4:31 PM

Seems this place is in pre-foreclosure. See name link. This would make the corner lots on Pacific / Divis a foreclosure wasteland!

Posted by: eddy at July 23, 2009 2:43 PM

I couldn't find anything on the SF Recorders site except a couple on NODs from the early aughts. Here's the owner (circa 2003): The 41-year-old managing partner of San Francisco's ValueAct Capital Partners LP is trying to salvage his more than $60 million investment in Martha Stewart Living, whose founder was indicted last week.

Posted by: EBGuy at July 23, 2009 5:02 PM

I still think this is one of the great houses in San Francisco, even without the view which would have made it the greatest. The epitome of Stockbroker Tudor in our town.
Sad that it is in foreclosure.

Posted by: Conifer at July 23, 2009 8:27 PM

Does anyone know what happened here?

Posted by: Conifer at November 24, 2009 2:09 PM

Sold 8.8 and under 1k psf. Wow.

Posted by: eddy at August 23, 2013 1:37 PM

That was a good buy... I think. Hopefully this will be a reality check for the awful 2800 Pacific across the street. If it ever sells, I'm thinking it'll go for 6.5...

Posted by: Denis at August 23, 2013 4:19 PM

Let us pray that no flipper with the taste of yesterday's 3020 Laguna bought it.

If San Francisco is lucky the new owner will be a couple or family who loves old houses and understands the brilliance of this one. If they need an architect I hope they choose Skurman, who would intuitively understand the superb neo-Tudor and neo-Gothic aesthetic here.

My 2009 opinion of this as one the great houses of PacHts has not changed.

Posted by: conifer at August 23, 2013 6:34 PM

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