Albion Castle
A few months after Laughing Squid launched their blog from Albion Castle in early 2005 the Hunter’s Point property at 881 Innes Avenue was auctioned off at the Palace Hotel in front of a thousand spectators and sold for $2,090,000 (purchased for $400,000 in 1999).
The mortgage banker buyer had planned to resurrect the Albion Porter & Ale Brewery for which the castle was originally constructed and open a restaurant on-site as well. And while the restaurant and re-brewery plans never materialized, the interior of the San Francisco Historic Landmark was renovated and restored.
Albion Castle Living
Back on the market and asking $2,950,000 which includes water rights to a 10,000 gallon per day underground spring (think late night “pool” parties back in the day).
Albion Castle Caves
∙ Listing: 881 Innes Avenue (4/2) – $2,950,000 [MLS] [Map]
The Albion Castle [Albioncastle.Us]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by J

    I would like to live in a castle some day, but not in a warzone!

  2. Posted by garrett

    i was at that auction. i don’t remember it being a thousand people in the room, but i suppose that really doesn’t make a difference. the most exciting part was watching the shorts and t-shirt wearing young, tattooed winning bidder get after it.

  3. Posted by bornnraised

    Might be worth considering if it came with your own personal army and moat.

  4. Posted by LS

    The hood sort of grew up around the “castle” didn´t it? When I look at the original photos of houses, without the mature trees, and then see the same house with nice shade trees around it, it becomes obvious the value of mature shade trees. And, then we have the the type of person who cuts down those same trees.

  5. Posted by Mike

    Notice the gang-bangers hanging out on the street! that is a scary neighborhood…

  6. Posted by WC

    What’s up with Google Street View not showing any of the streets immediately south of Innes and east of 3rd Street? Couldn’t this be a project for a summer intern?

  7. Posted by EH

    Man…no parking?

  8. Posted by sparky-b

    EH,
    The red doored garage on the building to the right is part of this property.

  9. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “Price/SqFt: 2,054.32″
    Man, that’s gotta be a record for Hunter’s Point

  10. Posted by Shza

    I would think even $400 psf would be a record for Hunter’s Point.
    This one is a serious head-scratcher. Who in the world is the market for this? It’s indisputable that HP is the most violent/least safe part of SF. And someone living in a CASTLE in the middle of it is going to be target #1.
    The bluntness of this as a signifier of socioeconomic divide is really pretty hilarious (in a “what kind of tone-deaf idiot would do this” kind of way, not an “isn’t it funny how poor some people are” kind of way).

  11. Posted by J

    I hope it’s not really just 1,436 sq ft

  12. Posted by Drew

    I love the fact that you get water rights with it, but after the Navy dumped all their crap at Hunter Point, I doubt it would be safe to drink. Beautiful house, though.

  13. Posted by sparky-b

    J,
    That sq.ft. is about what I remember it being.

  14. Posted by Mose

    4bd and only 1436 sq ft? On a street with zero charm in the most dangerous neighborhood in SF? For $2.9 million? I do love the history of the place and the underground caverns. The lot seems to be pretty good size -if the house can be expanded that would explain the price somewhat. Still, I can’t imagine there are too many people who want to spend almost $3 million to live in a small house in Hunter’s Point.

  15. Posted by FormerAptBroker

    Maybe ACORN can buy it with our tax dollars since it is close to so many housing projects:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunters_View
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayview-Hunters_Point,_San_Francisco,_California
    It looke like prices are going to rocket up out there since it is now a “gang free zone”:
    http://www.streetgangs.com/injunctions/topics/102306sfhp.html

  16. Posted by sparky-b

    What sucks is that this guys $2M purchase of a fixer was used as a comp. for the rest of the castles in Hunters Point.

  17. Posted by MarinaLocal

    I saw this castle on Craigslist in August. I wonder if the buyer will have to evict tenants?

  18. Posted by Shza

    for the rest of the castles in Hunters Point.
    Well played, sparky-b.

  19. Posted by dissent

    So, is it so that this place is backed by a hillside of housing project? Yikes.

  20. Posted by redseca2

    The underground space wants to be Blacula’s pot farm.

  21. Posted by Mole Man

    If ACORN is worth posting about, then it should also be worth understanding. Their money comes from a range of sources including donations and goes to various attempts at community organizing including voter drives and local group meetings. There is no evidence that ACORN is buying properties anywhere, though they do rent some offices. ACORN never got much leverage in California in large part because other political instruments such as local Brown Act councils were already in place. Doesn’t ACORN opposition get enough attention in other channels? If they were big here then maybe, but they are most active in the Midwest and the Other Coast. We should be able to talk about the Bay Area real estate market without ACORN even coming up.
    The gang free zone is intended to enable cops to take unusual measures in areas with longstanding gang problems. Like China having most favored nation trading status it doesn’t mean what casual and uninvolved observers think it does. Cops can kick your ass and get away with it all over the City. Fajitas anyone? These signs just make that particularly clear in that area.

  22. Posted by comrealest

    Looks like it has it’s own BatCave.

  23. Posted by Saylor

    Wow. Love the old photographs on the Albioncastle website. I would think water rights would be some sort of access easement to the waterfront across the street?
    It’s stating the obvious that it’s a shitty neighborhood. What’s more interesting is the history of the place that ties into the history of San Francisco. I would never have expected this property in Hunters Point. Very cool! Unfortunately this will sit for a long time on the market.

  24. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    I’d happily buy it for the 1999 price, and divert the spring water to fill the moat that I’d build around the property.
    Then I’d use my super-duper engineering skills to build my own drawbridge, saving thousands on construction costs.
    Do you need a permit for a drawbridge?

  25. Posted by Lookielew

    I went here several years back for an SF Open Studios event (In October) out at the Shipyards.
    Hey this will definitely attract alot of people the day there is the Open Studios at the shipyards. Anyhow, it was a hot day and they were letting people swim in the caves — they were filled that day. Such cool SF geologic history. There were so many rivers throughout SF that have gone underground. Cool. Would be a cool location for a restaurant/cafe or theater space maybe.

  26. Posted by sarcastic

    perfect purchase for a hp druglord ;-)

  27. Posted by jaja

    i cannot imagine anyone who can afford a $3M house would want to live next to projects. Gorgeous house but wrong location. In this market, I say $1M-$1.3M at best. I think the best thing that can happen to this house is turn it into a local community center.

  28. Posted by Shza

    Personally, I can’t imagine paying even $10k for something in Hunter’s Point. The $3M price is ludicrous but I think even a $1M tag would be crazy. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they couldn’t get more than $700k.

  29. Posted by EBGuy

    There doesn’t appear to be a Deed of Trust on the property; good luck to Albion Castle LLC and its investors.

  30. Posted by J

    EBGuy,
    What are you implying? Does it just mean there is no loan on the property?

  31. Posted by EBGuy

    Yes, no mortgage that I can see. Perhaps the LLC took out some small business loans to fund the enterprise, but my hats off to the investors. True patriots — taking one for the team.

  32. Posted by Shza

    Wow, even more amazing that multiple people/entities thought this was a good idea.

  33. Posted by Cid Young

    I could see CRUSHPAD as a tenant, perhaps!
    Not as a buyer.

  34. Posted by smokin gun

    The owner made millions selling subprime mortgages that cost many people thier homes. They actually funded bad loans to build up thier books so they could sell the company to an investor. They retained 1/3 ownership and were forced to file chapter 7 for 100 million. They shut down operations without paying employees and severence packages. Karma? I hope they take a hit on this one. It would be small in scope to the damage that was done.

  35. Posted by Tom

    Who in the world will pay that kind of money to live in the worst neighborhood in San Francisco? Middle Point and Harbor Roads. That is gangland central.

  36. Posted by patricia gardner

    hunters point is not the most dangerous neighborhood. where the castle is located nothing happens their its at the bottom of the hill. no gangstas or thugs hang their if you go and see it for yourself you will understand its a beautiful neighborhood

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