The Pacific Heights parcel and approved plans for a modern 6,800-square-foot home to rise on the site, which were drawn by John Maniscalco Architecture and the subject of both a confidentially settled lawsuit and unsuccessful Discretionary Review (DR), hit the market earlier this year with a $9.995 million price tag.

While building permits for the project have already been paid and issued, the ground has yet to be broken. And the asking price for the “once in a lifetime opportunity” has just been reduced by 10 percent to $8.995 million.

The unentitled parcel was purchased for $5 million back in 2015, prior to the plans for the site being approved or permitted.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by denis

    So, they are asking 9 mm for the site and approved plans? The proposed building will cost a non-developer buyer minimum 14 mm to build (though I wouldn’t be surprised if the excavation and structural support needed to carry the weight of the hill could eat up 10mm alone). Shocking that someone didn’t snap this right up. /s

    • Posted by Notcom

      What he said. Basically the price doubled for a set of plans and the ordeal of having gone thru an approval process; I’m not an expert on arch fees – I believe they used to be ~6% but that may be far afield from that now – and s’pose there was some risk to the first buyer (now seller) that NOTHING might be allowed there, but still…

    • Posted by John

      Denis, you continually exaggerate the costs of construction in your postings. In another post, talking about the mansion on Upper Broadway, you make a point about the cost of complex structural work and other engineering associated with renovating an existing luxury home. Your estimates there still are massively high. But in this case, we’re talking about brand new construction on a piece of dirt, albeit with a slope. It is ridiculous to suggest that the construction cost for this parcel would be $14M, or that the foundation cost to support the construction would be $10M. Unless, again, you are already assuming its purchase by a billionaire who cares nothing about cost and whose sole goal is to build a vanity project that people like you will talk about . . . on Socket Site. Otherwise, more realistically, the construction cost for a beautiful new home on this site will be $4M to $6M at most.

      • Posted by denis

        I wish I were making up these figures. With the Broadway home, I fully admit to speculating wildly (and said so) based solely on realtor information regarding the remodel budgets of the north side homes. This site, however, is a little bit different. An experienced developer could maybe build this project for the price you suggest (contingent on just how litigious the neighbors are), however I have personally met with ultra high-end developers (whose projects are occasionally featured here) and the numbers they report to me are the ones I report here. A billionaire buyer could simply not build this for 4-6mm.

        I also mentioned my own project in this general neighborhood (but clearly on a less high-end block). In my case, I bring the receipts. I submitted my own project (new development) to a few contractor/developer types and the lowest estimate I got (after much revision) was 1800-1900 per foot, not including entitlement fees. I thought the numbers seemed ridiculously high, so I met with two separate structural engineers who agreed the figures made no sense. In realty, they said, the project could easily run 50% over the proposed budget. I was at one point advised to give up and sell off the lot with the entitlement to a developer who could build closer to cost. And I’m eliminating the absolutely insane drama that come with getting the entitlement in the first place.

        The further north you go from California St., the higher the prices climb. Some friends are building an addition on a similar south side site on the Pac Heights hill and the 600 sft slab alone was 500k. An custom remodel by a billionaire neighbor cost well over 3k per foot. I’m not just throwing out random numbers unless I have information from a first hand source on a similar project from either the developer, owner, or contractor.

        • Posted by Jess

          I have to agree with Dennis, costs in Pacific Heights are between $1600 (cheap) to the more realistic higher end you would expect there of close to $2000 per foot. They are looking at about 8000 square feet construction so $12.8 – $16 million and that doesn’t even account for if they can get approval to build structurally? If they actually can get structural approval they will need to internally shore, as I don’t see the neighbors allowing them to underpin after all the litigation! And that will cost god knows how much $3 million minimum? Plus this site doesn’t have any public utilities!

  2. Posted by Pioneer

    Likely an overseas investor will dig this shovel-ready project, and not mind the price at all. I really like John Maniscalco’s work.

  3. Posted by Metroliner

    I have a feeling someone is going to take a bath on this property (hint: it’s the current owner).

  4. Posted by hundo_p

    Remember to add a healthy legal budget to contend with the neighbors. Can you imagine if one of those uphill properties develops a foundation/structural problem?

    • Posted by denis

      If I owned this lot, I would try to made a deal with the Gunds and Sacklers to sell them the vacant lot at a discount and get out because whoever buys this lot is looking at endless lawsuits. Is that in the disclosure package? Looking at the Gund house, the structural support needed to keep their foundation intact has got to be an engineering nightmare and will make both homes unlivable for years if construction actually starts. Just spend 4mm each buy the lot and protect your homes.

  5. Posted by anon

    Why did they put the bedrooms on the 3rd floor and the kitchen/LR/DR on the 2nd floor where there isn’t that much of a view?

    If it were me, I would add enough structural support to this so that later on you could add more floors on top in case that housing bill gets passed where you can add more height in exchange for something (like paying into an affordable housing fund).

    • Posted by SF A R C H

      So the living space can connect to the yard. Though it is small, it must be important to make the living space feel larger.

  6. Posted by Liz

    The SF Permit website says they have a site permit only, NOT a building permit. Shovel-ready? I don’t think so! I doubt any of those neighbors would allow underpinning, so that will cost an absolute fortune. Someone with this kind of money should go buy a house that is already built and leave this as the garden it has been for over 100 years!

    • Posted by denis

      Wait, all that’s been issued is a site permit? That’s essentially meaningless. Has a full structural set been completed by an engineer and a permit issued? What about title 24, electrical, etc.. Full interior elevations? Anyone interested in this lot needs to confirm that permits have been issued for all these items. A set of “approved plans” and a site permit don’t amount to much. All the above are required for city review and if they aren’t complete, the buyer is still a year or more away from being able to start construction. If any of this made sense economically, a developer would’ve bought this site.

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