292-296 Townsend Entrance
In 1996 Dan Friedlander, the founder of Limn, designed and built a three part modern compound spanning 292 to 296 Townsend Street behind his store at 290 Townsend.
Friedlander sold the 1,900 square foot two-bedroom condo at 296 Townsend for $1,012,500 in 2002. The remaining two thirds of the compound hit the market in 2009 asking $7,490,000 for 292 Townsend (the Limn Art Gallery) and 294 Townsend (Friedlander’s four bedroom condo) combined, reduced to $5,700,000 in 2010.
Withdrawn from the MLS without a reported sale, 294 Townsend has just returned to the market asking $2,500,000 for the approximately 2,500 square foot condo alone.
294 Townsend Living
Keep in mind that it’s officially an “Artist Use with License Required” property according to the listing, although we’ve seen a bit of license taken with said requirement in the past.
∙ Listing: 294 Townsend (4/3) – $2,500,000 [vanguardsf.com]
292-294 Townsend: The Gallery House [galleryhousesf.com]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by CH

    Has anyone heard of the city ever enforcing the ‘artist use’ requirement? I know plenty of people living in ‘artist only’ lofts but none of them make a living as an artist.

  2. Posted by jlasf

    6 pictures of living room and no pictures of any bedrooms or bathrooms. Hmmm…
    [Editor’s Note: Try the non-listing link we provided above.]

  3. Posted by Mole Man

    Most code enforcement like that is complaint driven, so nothing happens unless there is a problem. Oddly enough, the way the law is written things tend to go the other direction. That is, in an artist loft it is legal to engage in production and crafts that might not be considered legal in an ordinary residential unit.

  4. Posted by Fishchum

    I think it’s also very difficult to define what constitutes “art”. Technically, I can make a crayon drawing on a piece of paper and slap it on my wall and BOOM! I’m an artist.

  5. Posted by A.T.

    I’m curious what it would take to get the “requisite” license. I suspect the city is limited to some pretty basic objective considerations to avoid legal problems, and I’m guessing it may be pretty easy to get this license and avoid any potential hassles (but it sounds like that risk is very low anyway).

  6. Posted by Mole Man

    For potential buyers there are certification details on the arthouse site.

  7. Posted by wifey

    Passe modern art/furniture is looking mighty boring these days. I guest the abundance means more is more.

  8. Posted by SanJoseRenter

    wifey: if this house belongs to the owner of LIMN, then he prolly just cycles furniture through here and the showroom. One of the perks of being a retail business owner.

  9. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 294 Townsend has just been reduced from $2,500,000 to $2,390,000.

  10. Posted by tipster

    Reduced again. 2.195

  11. Posted by Zim

    It probably doesn’t help that it’s zoned sli and due to the large unoccupied lower unit, doesn’t meet owner occupancy requirements for a normal mortgage. Wouldn’t the bottom unit count as a loft conversion if it was formerly an art gallery? Aren’t conversions now prohibited?

  12. Posted by SocketSite

    The sale of 294 Townsend has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $2,000,000 ($800 per square foot).

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