2510 Jackson (www.SocketSite.com)

From the listing for 2510 Jackson:

This magnificent Pacific Heights mansion consists of seven bedrooms, six full baths and 3 half baths. The home features a ballroom, gallery, formal dining room, library, family room w/ Golden Gate Bridge view, seven fireplaces, two balconies, two terraces, elevator to all four levels, large butler’s pantry and a grand kitchen. The lower level offers a two bedroom, one and a half bath apartment, access to garden and a four car garage. Incredible quality, exquisite details; truly a masterpiece!

From our plugged-in tipster:

Listed in 2002 for 13,500,000 but withdrawn. No sale. Property is [now] bank owned.

And from us: Home to Danielle Steele and John Traina before moving a few blocks east to the Spreckles Mansion in 1989, 2510 Jackson was purchased by Critical Path founder David Hayden in 2000. As Hayden’s fortunes changed along with those of Critical Path during the dot-com bust, Robertson Stephens moved to foreclose on the mansion in 2002. And then a few months later, Robertson Stephens’ fortunes changed as well.

We don’t know who actually ended up with the mansion on their books (although we do know that Bank of America was in for $5 million in 2000), or when it actually landed there (PropertyShark seems to suggest it’s still owned by Hayden). But we do know the asking price in 2008: $14,900,000.

Now about that newfangled dot-com web 2.0…

UPDATE: “[T]ransfered with a sheriffs deed on 4/3/08 for 6.1mil to Robertson Stephens.”

33 thoughts on “Fortunes Can Be Fleeting (And Mansions Can Be Foreclosed Upon)”
  1. So the house is cursed? Is that what you’re telling us? John and Dede live there and divorce. John and Danielle live there, move, and divorce. Dot-commers buys it and loses everything… Bank gets it and closes. Hmmm…
    Anyway, great block, lovely and huge (10,000+ sft!) home, absolutely ridiculous price. Has it been totally remodeled? Or are we looking at 10,000 square feet of dry rot, termites, a shifting foundation, and 20 miles of knob and tube wiring?
    Price it at or under 10 and it would’ve sold yesterday, cursed or not.

  2. Great House! A+ Northside location. This house will sell! If the homes on Scott Street are pending getting $14-19 million this location is far superior.

  3. Too bad they haven’t buried the wires on that part of Jackson St. It makes SUCH an improvement in the streetscape appeal when the utilities are undergrounded.

  4. I worked on the house next door to the left, when it was owned by Linda Ronstadt..we were remodeling it. and Danielle Steele used to get into screaming fits about the construction noise. Linda would scream back at her and just say..”shut the fuck up, bitch..”.. major drama. fun to watch.

  5. “Those wires are for the electric trolley line.”
    In the *really* rich parts of town, the lines are actually diverted so rich folks don’t need to even smell the riff-raff as they rumble by (e.g., the 24 divis, diverted at jackson) 🙂 🙂

  6. When Robertson Stephens (really Bank of America since they acquired Fleet Bank) bought the place in foreclosure in Jan 07 they had the advantage of bidding with funny money. Hayden owes the bank $35million, so this balance serves as a synthetic line of credit for which BofA could seize hard assets to become whole. In reality, there were about $7mm in liabilities attached to the house, so the winning bid of $6.1 million is misleading b/c it doesn’t include 1st and 2nd liens, plus all unpaid back taxes, utilities, etc. Sale was thus north of $13mm.
    The bank sat on the property for a year because Hayden technically had a year to settle his debts and reclaim the house (by the letter of the law in this type of foreclosure), plus any unforeseen liabilities would have to be attached to the house within the “cleansing period” of 1 yr in order to be valid. Point being, the house is now free and clear.

  7. Yes, this was the home of the Episcopalian Bishop of California, and yes, Bishop Pike and his family lived in this house.

  8. Is this the house that the bishop was so embarassed by that he said (per Herb Caen), “It’s not home, but it’s much?”

  9. what is mr hayden up to now? I wonder how freaked out he is, maybe not at all. I get rattled when I have 5k debt on my credit card :-).

  10. The renovation was done over a year and a half — i walked by the house over the entire period — and was an extraordinary high level of material and workanship.
    whatever the history of the ownership and the current pricing — it probaby as good a physical structure as exists in this town / for this age house.

  11. Profiled in the SanFrancisco magazine article The foreclosure close to home .
    Jackson Street, Pacific Heights, San Francisco
    Nine bedrooms, eight baths, seven fireplaces, a ballroom, two terraces, an elevator to all four levels, a library, and killer views of the Golden Gate
    Foreclosed on: February 2006
    Estimated peak value: $15 million
    Listed at: $13.5 million
    WHAT HAPPENED: You sure can pack a lot of gossip into 6,824 square feet. Past owners of this mansion, built in 1895, include John Traina and his then wife Dede (who went on to marry real estate tycoon Al Wilsey and become the Dede Wilsey), followed by Traina and his new (now former) wife, romance novelist Danielle Steel, and their brood of nine. In 2000, it was bought by David Hayden, the onetime building contractor who founded dot-com darling Critical Path and had been married to the heiress daughter of British media baron Robert Maxwell. Hayden liked to live large and spend big—among his other extravagances was an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, purchased with TV mogul Norman Lear for $8 million. When the tech bubble burst—and Critical Path’s executives came under scrutiny—the house ended up in the hands of shuttered investment banking firm Robertson Stephens, which had handled some of Hayden’s money. Bank of America now holds the bag. Perhaps SocketSite tipster Sleepiguy put it best: “So the house is cursed? Is that what you’re telling us?…Hmmm…price it at or under 10 and it would’ve sold yesterday, cursed or not.”

  12. Oh, the stories I could tell about this guy and the wacky company that he founded. But to go from the cover of Red Herring and Fortune magazine to broke is punishment enough, no need to pile on.

  13. Easy come, easy go. No reason to envy them when they are on top, no reason to feel sympathy when they crash. I hope he enjoyed the cash while he had it, and if he was smart, he stashed some of it away anyway. If he wasn’t smart, well, back to my first point – easy come, easy go.

  14. Now about that newfangled dot-com web 2.0…
    I’m all ears. The implication is that Critical Path failed, so all of Web 2.0 is devoid of value and worthless. Is that what you were driving at, Socketsite? That’s what was conveyed.

  15. Sold $11.5M. $1083 per square foot for Prime, Park Facing, Million Dollar Views. It doesn’t get much better than this folks. I’m actually surprised it didn’t go for less given it was a foreclosure sale. Pretty interesting data point.

  16. Indeed, eddy, this is an important comp for the neighborhood, since this house has a lot of everything, including the stuff that cannot be improved, location, size, views, and other desirables such as interior (and exterior) architecture and history.
    Do you know who the buyer is?

  17. I never revisited this thread to see my quote make it to SF Magazine (or the website at least)… lol..
    I’m pleasantly surprised at the 11.5 sale. I thought it would close well under 10. I’ve never been inside, but I still suspect it needs quite a bit of work, especially after being vacant for several years..

  18. sleepiguy, you were in the print edition, too. And I might add, said print addition included some bold predictions by our fearless leader regarding battlefield Noe… I’d say that some action in the eight figures was just what the neighborhood needed. Seven figures would have sealed the fate of lesser mortals. Now, hope springs eternal (buying the zombies another day…) Reread some of the original posts, and, as always, some good insider info regarding the foreclosure and some great fly on the wall observations by noearch.

  19. Who wants to bet that Mr. Hayden, or an entity affiliated with him, has been trying to repurchase this house from BoA?
    Think he got lucky?

  20. This would also be the top sale for 2009 on MLS to date. It will be interesting to see how this data point impacts the various homes on the market at the upper end. If you apply the psf of this home to a few others out there in these ranges you get some pretty big price cuts. And none of those properties have a better address / location than this home.
    I don’t know the buyers here but suspect we haven’t heard the last of this house.

  21. Ok, just for fun, here are some facts for those thinking about using this house as a comp:
    * First floor public rooms are great
    * Kitchen is lovely Christopher Peacock
    * Master suite is just plain odd (the elevator opens into it, for example).
    * The master suite overlooks Jackson St.
    * Jackson has a bus line, which sometimes runs diesel buses when the electricity goes down. Good luck sleeping through that.
    * Many of the other bedrooms, baths and spaces in the house are so-so in terms of finish quality expected at this level.
    * There’s a good view from one pent-room. Most other rooms look onto the neighbors, the street (and then the park), etc.
    * The back outdoor area is bleak.
    * Compared to other high-end properties, this one gets a B or maybe a B+ in terms of overall appeal, in my opinion.
    * Also, check the permit history on this house. LOTS to read. Caveat emptor.

  22. In view of Joshua’s facts, the house price supports the health of the PacHts market, since it is something of a fixer, and would otherwise be worth even more.
    Elevators put into these big boxy houses often seem to open into odd places, since people have to use whatever shaft is available.
    That the view is not good from the second floor must arise from the slope eastward of the hill there.
    Joshua is right about the bus. The part of Jackson-3 that is going to be shut down, unless PHRA has its way, is only from Divisadero west to Presidio. It will continue in front of this house. But on the other hand, it is usually quiet and does not seem to bother many of the distinguished people who live on this part of Jackson.
    Northern backyards are often bleak because they do not get afternoon sun. That is why “south gardens” are sometimes mentioned in real estate puffery.

  23. Joshua’s comments could be said for most any older home of that size in PH. The limited views from the lower floors are offset by the park views and the pretty spectacular open spaces in this home. And the views from the pent room are classic. This home is one of the very few homes on 5 blocks in PH (and all of of SF for that matter) that share a direct bay view and a direct park view. And it took over a year to sell at what could best be described as a fair price.

    This home, its sale price and it’s implication on high end SF RE will be debated for quite some time. Between this home, and the uberprime on Broadway, I’m not so sure that I’d be singing the praises of the health of the high end market. If $1350 is a premium for small space and $1050 is the discount for large space, I’d put the comp estimate around $1200psf for a view home in ‘average to above average’ condition. Obviously a gut remodel will command a big premium. I’ve always thought a view was worth around 250-400 psf.

    There really aren’t a lot of data points here so the limited ones we have are certainly very important. Let’s not forget 2712 Broadway and I’d love to know the selling price of 200 Locust.
    As for the comment about this home being vacant for so long, honestly and sadly, most of these homes sit vacant, or under utilized, for the majority of the year!

  24. My the stories this house could tell; empty for years before Dede and John moved into it, it was the residence of the Episcopal Bishop of San Francisco, it did have a small chapel near the front entry door, it did have the gossip and notorious background of the very Bishop Pike conducting seances in order to contact his deceased son, it was the Bishop’s residence until he was excommunicated for behavior not associated with the Book of Common Prayer.

    Dede and John; as written in the memoir by Sean Wilsey, “Oh, the Glory of it All” the dinner party when Dede landed Al, when everyone ended up in the gossip columns and for some, in divorce court.

    I used to walk by the house, for some time it was empty, a caretaker, one or more of Danielle Steel’s painting crew living in part of the house, it was closed up and forlorn. Then a couple, investment bankers, a new marriage, some minor redecorating, paint a little more work, that garage built with an entry right off of Jackson, some interior changes to the basement to allow for that garage, more work than merely putting lipstick on a hog; then a baby boy arrives on the scene, happy family swallowed up by a huge house, that Chapel for a defrocked Bishop still a feature, as seen from the street. Then the bad vibes, older husband, younger wife, her first child but not his and then, a divorce, the house back on the market, this would have been in 1998. Hop a year or two, the property sells, then a major renovation by an interesting couple; an American married to an Italian, both bringing major assets to the city and address; exotic cars, classy, sassy private chef, license plates, several, from Sun Valley–just about a gut job, new elevator, major chef’s quality kitchen, former staff housing giving way to artist studio for the lady of the house….a lot of cash, some very tasteful renovations, the main, very large drawing room, given a palatial, very formal makeover and goodbye creepy former Chapel.

    Then, upon a visit back to San Francisco in 2001 or so, the property was on the market, goodbye to exotic Italian-American couple, goodbye to private chef, those expensive sport cars–another couple and family out of 2510. Wow, you’d need a major exorcism to clear out all the bad juju vibes from this home; where are you Bishop Pike?

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