The 8,600 square foot Berkeley mansion at 2840 Claremont Boulevard hit the market in the June listed at $5.45 million, or roughly $634 per square foot, a price which led some to expect a bidding war.

Built around 1912 for Paul O. Tietzen, a southern California banker with ties to the oil industry, the home was designed by Charles Edward Hodges and William Garden Mitchell and has been billed as “one of the grandest houses in Claremont Court (and likely in all of Berkeley)” by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.

And after six months on the market, the sale of 2840 Claremont Boulevard has just closed escrow for $3.6 million or roughly $418 per square foot, a sale which will be considered to be within 10 percent of asking according to all industry stats and MLS-based reports as the list price was reduced to $3.995 million at the end of September, the fourth reduction overall.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Mark F.

    A nice house which needs a fair amount of “refreshing.” Congrats to the new owner.

  2. Posted by shza

    I wonder how much seismic/electric/plumbing/drainage work this needs on top of the more obvious (but likely cheaper) cosmetic interior work. My guess is quite a bit. Still, that is a surprisingly low price.

  3. Posted by EBGuy

    Ca-ching. Previously a $180k Prop 13 tax basis (including homeowners exemption).

    • Posted by Notcom

      Wow !! It’s hard to imagine even in 1978 it would have been assessed for (only) that (or less than that, given the 2% indexing). Was that the full assessed value or the fractional basis that used to be used ??

      • Posted by emanon

        I don’t remember the exact year, but it was around 1978 that the first house in SF (Pacific Heights?) broke the $1,000,000 mark. It was big news in Herb Caen’s column. (Of course that would’ve been back in my marijuana-clouded “high” school days so maybe I dreamt the whole thing up!)

      • Posted by EBGuy

        Something seems fishy, for sure. That’s the current value, so back in 1978 is would be around $88k. Bear in mind, Prop 13 fixed the baseline at the assessed value for the 1975-76 tax year. I smell a story…

        • Posted by SFMichael

          Maybe the assessor just doesn’t like beige on taupe.

        • Posted by Notcom

          I walked by this last night – by chance, not as a PI for SS 🙂 – and I think one of the things affecting the value is that it’s on a fairly cramped site; that entrance gate you see on the left in the first picture – which is part of the neighborhood, not the house – is flanked by another on Russel, and b/w them is a quarter circle of lawn tht essentially cuts into the property’s yard…kind of like building on a freeway ramp (in obtrusiveness, if not noise).

          ‘Course none of this explains the absurdity of a less-than-six-figures assessment.

          • Posted by EBGuy

            I still find this hard to believe, but here’s a “comp” from the wayback machine. A similarly sized home at 2909 Avalon Ave sold for $3.85 million in April, 2016. Redfin show that it changed hands for $150k(!) in 1975, with a lot size that is 4 times (23k sq. ft.) that of 2840 Claremont (5.5k sq.ft.). So the less than six figure assessment may be correct (!?)

          • Posted by Notcom

            Must mean the Illuminati opened a branch there ; why not SF ?? we’ll have to wait for Jake to ‘xplain to us whether it’s “overflow” or “diffusion” 🙂

            On a serious side to the international angle, I ran across a piece a while back about Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s connection to the neighborhood. This area has some serious history, too bad people are bidding up prices west of the Bay into the stratosphere just so they can have Thiel et al. for neighbors.
            On second thought…

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