When the hedge fund manager who lives in the 4,400-square-foot Presidio Heights home at the corner of Walnut and Jackson learned that the home next door at 3311 Jackson, a smaller 3,000-square-foot home which had been in the same family since being constructed in 1928, was going to be put up for sale at the end of 2013, an idea was hatched.

While the Jackson Street property had been pegged as a potential historic resource, a commissioned evaluation by Page & Turnbull has determined that the property “does not appear to be a historical resource.”

And as such, having purchased 3311 Jackson for $4.95 million in early 2014, the aforementioned manager is planning to demolish the home and rebuild upon the site, aligning the new building’s floor plates with his home at 101 Walnut and connecting the two structures internally to create a supersized single-family home measuring over 7,000 square feet, the formal application for which has just been submitted to Planning.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Just My Opinion

    If existing zoning allows for this, then fine. There is no reason for any variance or spot zoning. That said, my first reaction is YECH – such gross over-consumption.

    • Posted by oh my

      Yes …i will alert the appropriate soviet.

      • Posted by Just My Opinion

        There is a huge gap between communism and a 7,400 square foot single family residence. Just my opinion.

        • Posted by Anon123

          Doesn’t really matter if it is a hedge fund manager, a NBA player or Michael Jackson – nobody NEED that much space, but they do it because they can (and because they can afford help cleaning it).

          • Posted by Futurist

            So, may we all determine how much space you “need”?

          • Posted by Anon123

            I have more space than I NEED – because I want to, but I would not want 7000 square feet because I would have to clean it myself … same as when I eat cheese cake, I don’t need any of that at all, but I enjoy it immensely 🙂

          • Posted by Brian M

            Yes. And there is nothing wrong with pointing out how grotesque this kind of overconsumption can be.

          • Posted by Futurist

            San Francisco: the most intolerant “tolerant” city where everyone wants to tell everyone how to live.

    • Posted by Futurist

      It’s not your business how much they consume or don’t consume. I want to inspect your trash to see how many Bud lights you had last week.

      24 is just too much.

    • Posted by Pierce Smith

      Does too much regulation based on a personal opinion stiffle progress?

  2. Posted by sfdragonboy

    Sorry, pretty anything associated with a hedge fun manager is suspect or fishy….

    • Posted by Brian M

      I like Taibbi’s term: “Vampire Squids” squeezing the life out of the economy drop by drop.

      All those retailers failing in the news? Ain’t really only or even primarily Amazon. Most of them have been taken private by vampire squids, larded up with debt, then dumped when the desiccated carcass can’t attract a buyer. Toys R Us: Taken private by KKR.

      But the Squid has already extracted interest, management fees, consulting fees, and that lovely blood.

  3. Posted by Amewsed

    When is the housewarming?

  4. Posted by Noodle

    Let’s not go down this road of merging already large houses into larger ones. Need more space? Buy a country home.

    • Posted by Someone stole my burrito™

      Or, buy the house next to yours and enlarge the one you have. Either way, it’s none of our business.

    • Posted by Chris

      If it is allowed, it is allowed. If not, then not. It is not a matter of what anyone here thinks. It is either permitted or not. This is a legal matter, not a matter for public input. Yes, it is fine to have a personal opinion, but that is all it is, an opinion.

  5. Posted by Notcom

    I don’t normally resort to “who cares”, but, really, who cares ?? If the elevation is of what he/she is planning , and it’s really so close to the undistinguished building there now I had to resort to window counting to tell it wan’t the same – then so much the better.

    Let’s save the hand wringing for the loss of important structures…the ones I like 🙂

  6. Posted by Stop Driving

    Might as well add another story while you’re at it, unless the roof of the new home will be used as a large patio.

    • Posted by Harambe

      Guess we’ll never know… 😉

      • Posted by Sutro_Tower

        We’ll just have to resort to Google maps / satellite view a couple years from now. That or grappling hooks.

  7. Posted by scott f

    Oh look, subsidized housing for rich people! 3311 Jackson is zoned RH-1 or single family home only, which artificially holds down the price this hedge fund manager has to pay. If it were zoned to allow six units, the house would likely fetch more from a developer, who would build more modest homes. Or if the hedge fund manager still wanted to snarf up the land, he’d at least pay a fairer price and a fair property tax, which the city could put toward affordable housing. End single family zoning now.

    • Posted by Serge

      They paid $1650/SF to acquire a teardown. If you price it on the dirt, it’s nearly $2000/SF.

  8. Posted by Neighborhood Activist

    I thought that it was against city policy to permit removal of housing units, which this proposal would do. Wouldn’t the Planning Department be, at the very minimum, obligated to take a position against this proposal, which would make it tough to prevail at the Planning Commission?

    Though clearly the disappearance of one $5 million home does not significantly change things in SF, it seems to me that it’s bad policy to allow this kind of thing in a city with the kind of housing shortages we have.

  9. Posted by frozentoast

    What is the relevance that he/she is a hedge fund manager and why put it in the title other than to try and provoke negative responses. Is it more ‘acceptable’ if they were trust fund kids? How about if they were lottery winners? 7000 sf is not huge in this neighborhood btw.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Perhaps to head off speculative comments that the buyer is tech-related (tho of course it could be a twofer: a tech hedge fund)
      And who’s to say it was to provoke NEGATIVE comments…why not a hope was for positive ones ??

      • Posted by frozentoast

        Yes I forgot that among certain tribes in this town techie is dirty word even more so than hedge fund manager Lol. At least he’s (ofcourse it’s a he) not a techie!

  10. Posted by anon2.5

    Sigh. The city needs to rethink the price threshold for dwelling mergers. While $5 million is not affordable for the avg. family by any stretch of the imagination, it is also not out of reach for a dual income professional couple with a couple decades of savings. I am thinking a law firm partner/doctor couple. This is still a city, not Atherton, and there are negative externalities to removing dwellings, including impact on local commerce and increased demand down the line for more “affordable” homes. There are no easy policies that will discourage this, but we should at least think about whether additional restrictions make sense. Definitely not advocating for any system which is discretionary, that’s ripe for abuse.

    • Posted by scott f

      How about if we allow dividing and adding dwellings and let it balance itself out? I bet plenty of people would love to live in 6-to-12-unit buildings in this neighborhood if such options existed.

      • Posted by anon2.5

        Are people not allowed to subdivide under current regulations? If so, that’s absolutely draconian. I just assumed we don’t see more divisions because larger units sell for more per square foot.

        • Posted by scott f

          That’s right, the zoning is RH-1. They might be allowed to have one ADU under state law at this point (not sure), but 3+ units on a lot is not allowed — even though a 3,000 square foot SFH could easily become 3 very generously sized units.

          • Posted by anon2.5

            Ugh. Yes, that needs to be changed before anything else.

  11. Posted by DCR

    We recently had a project review meeting with Planning to merge two dwelling units, having met all the pre-requisites for an administrative approval. The Planning Quadrant leader simply let us know that no new dwelling mergers are being approved…period. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes.

    • Posted by Just My Opinion

      Except planning is essentially approving unit mergers by allowing the “remodeling” of a two condo (or TIC) building where two reasonably sized units are remodeled and the end result is a very large unit and a micro unit. And, you guessed it, the large unit and small unit are purchased by the same buyer. Technically still a two unit building, but effectively a SFR. Happening all over town.

      • Posted by anon2.5

        THIS. I just heard from a coworker that he’s staying in one of these micro units of a friend’s house temporarily while his house is being put on the market because his friend’s family just keeps it empty.

      • Posted by Amewsed

        Also, the micro unit may be used by the live-in housekeeper/nanny while the family lives in the main larger unit. It is really no different than any SFH with an in-law basement unit. This also happens in the rental market as well (for rent-controlled units.) Surgeon wife and consultant husband rents top unit as main living quarters and also rents out lower unit for full-time nanny. Couple also owns cabin in Tahoe.

        I don’t see the point of the gripes. Are folks going to complain about people flying in business or first class cabins as well? Different market segments. Live and let live.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Flying in business or first class cabins is not the same level of gluttony as a 7,000 square foot house.

  12. Posted by Eddy

    Breaks my heart. This place sold fast and I could never figure out the buyer. Hate to see it go.

  13. Posted by anti-snark

    This is a big who cares.

    And the fact that he is a hedge fund manager is unnecessary snark (which this website usually avoids).

  14. Posted by MarinaBoy

    I think this makes sense for the buyer, if he needs a larger family home and likes the location. The design is great and keeps the house looking inline with the area with out adding an additional floor. Plus the amount of outdoor rooftop space is going to be great. Good for him, can’t wait to see it finished. Size of homes is all relative. Some people have 2 or 3 kids and can’t imagine living in 3,000 or less. I am a household of 2 with 2 dogs and live in about 2,500 and can’t imagine living in anything less. I have friends that live in 1,000 and love it. I also have a friend that is a family of 2 and lives in 6,500 and wants a larger place. Size is all a preference and loosing one single family home is not going to destroy the area or solve any problems by keeping it not merged.

    • Posted by Just My Opinion

      Friendly suggestion, do not say out loud: “I…live in 2,500 and can’t imagine living in anything less.” And if you are a good friend, suggest to your buddy that he or she NEVER says the 6,500 sf is too small. They can think it, but never say it. I’m just sayin’.

  15. Posted by Conifer

    Is there any other city in the western world that restricts mergers of two houses or adjacent apartments? Good luck to the owners; they are doing no harm to anyone.
    For those who may not know (recent arrivals no doubt), one of the most visible couples in SF, indeed in the whole country, live in three merged houses on Broadway. No one cares and no one should.

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