940 Grove (www.SocketSite.com)
While the down to the studs renovation of 924 Grove (a.k.a. the Colgate Mansion) is complete, with 940 Grove it’s all about the bones and enviable 125 foot by 137.5 foot lot.
940 Grove: Lot
Currently home to Burt Children’s Center, the 10 bedroom and 5 bath single-family home will be delivered vacant. And hey, if you think you’re into “commercial grade kitchens”…
940 Grove: Kitchen
Original design by Albert Pissis, the founding father of San Francisco’s Beaux-Arts style and architect behind the Hibernia Bank.
∙ Listing: 940 Grove (10/5) – $2,750,000 [MLS]
924 Grove: New And “Improved” For A Whiter Smile And Space [SocketSite]
Albert Pissis [wikipedia]
Hibernia Bank Buyer Unmasked (The Dolmen Property Group) [SocketSite]

29 thoughts on “Whiter Than The Colgate Mansion (But Not As “Improved”): 940 Grove”
  1. That’s a 10 BD? Jeez.
    Kitchen is very commercial, tis true. I may have to take a look at this.
    Yeah, Albert Pissis also designed my building I think.

  2. That house is awesome. It’s way bigger than anything I’ll ever need in my life, but it has a very old and commanding look to it. Maybe sort of like one of the many admiral’s houses they have on the East Coast. I think it’s across from the Archbishop’s mansion, right?

  3. That avant-garde shabby chic staging is refreshing.
    But seriously wow, this place is amazing. It’s got to go for over asking despite the condition. Surely the dirt value alone is worth more than $2.7M (not that the city would allow its demolition)
    Interesting MLS record : almost no text but tons of photos.
    And yeah, I do like commercial kitchen but this one would need a little bit of a tune up.
    A true mansion, no “Mac” at all.
    Can I have a house 1/4 this size for $700K please ?

  4. I’m not seeing or reading any hint of parking, and google street view doesn’t show any sign of a garage or curb cut (unless it disappeared in the photo joins).

  5. @Delancey,
    If the playground pictured in the listing is part of the property, you could easily have a used car dealership on this lot. I’m guessing whoever buys this will do a pretty serious makeover inside and outside. I doubt it will be worth anything near cost once it’s done, though.

  6. @Jorge —
    I thought of that, but the satellite view doesn’t show any alleys, and the lack of an existing garage door prevents an easy connection to the yard.
    Agreed that this place will be seriously redone, but it is “historic”, and SF planning rules do try to pretend that folks buying multi-million dollar properties are willing to live without cars…

  7. @Delancy,
    I was being facetious. Most likely the new buyer will have a helipad and helicopter for transport. Ramped curbs are for the lower class 🙂
    The automobile access is the least of their worries. You are completely on point with respect to remodeling and passing any city ordinances. Seems like a big gamble to me, but it only takes one sucker…

  8. Humongous lot, incredible house, great location as far as I am concerned with the park at your feet.
    All of this for less than a Eureka Valley flip…
    Lots of work though to make it the trophy house it will eventually become. The current white paint doesn’t do it justice at all. Had I the 5-6M to make it happen, I’d jump on it.

  9. No garage or alley? I haven’t double checked. However, I bet one could pull off knocking a hole in the wall and getting a curb cut there on the Steiner side. It would be an unobtrusive garage, around the corner from the facade. And in that neighborhood, from Fulton north to Geary, I’ll wager the Nimbyism isn’t as bad as other areas. Now, if somebody were to want to try to out a double garage below one of the Painted Ladies …

  10. This is a great house with a lot of potential to become very grand, but even though this has a better location, I just don’t see why you would spend that kind of money to live in this neighborhood. The painted ladies are nice, but I wouldn’t want to live in one. That area is downright scary at night. I wont go near Alta Plaza in the heart of PH after dark; and you couldn’t pay me walk through Alamo on a dare after dark. I’m not intending to trash this area at all; I actually think this part of town is incredibly charming and has a lot of potential. The city should buy this place and turn it into a kid friendly rec center or some type of project to help make this area more friendly or something. But if I have $6M — I’m not investing it here.
    There was an incredible stately home on Pacific and Scott that sold for around 3 and is undergoing a massive transformation now. The infamous McGuire home with the p-chopped street parking sold for a pretty good price and had tons of potential. I’m biased toward PH / D7, but there are similar opportunities in prime SF. I just can’t cite the history as fluidly. Point is, why would you want to invest $6M to have the best house in Alamo Square.
    All things considered though….. I would take this place and it’s potential over the other Grove street home. You could do a lot here fast and have a fantastic home.

  11. But Kurt7, it certainly would not cost one that much money to add a garage off of steiner into that brick wall facade, and it would also add a visual improvement to the pedestrian view by adding one..

  12. @Howard Hughes?
    “I wont go near Alta Plaza in the heart of PH after dark; and you couldn’t pay me walk through Alamo on a dare after dark.”
    Where are you willing to kick around after dark? I could see someone having this sentiment, though a bit overcautious in my mind, about Alamo, but Alta too?
    -Never been through Alta at night but certainly have felt safe many times in Alamo, from sundown to post-midnight. Granted, that was 5-6 years ago. Has the vibe in/around Alamo changed much since then?

  13. Parks in general draw a lot of characters after dark. Maybe my comment on Alta Plaza was a bit over reaching.

  14. “Where are you willing to kick around after dark?”
    Places that have a lot of pedestrian traffic.

  15. Real estate’s rule of thumb: Never buy the most expensive house on the block unless you’re planning to live there till you die. Example: 940 Grove.

  16. Alamo Square scary?
    I mean I wouldn’t leave a trail of dollar bills behind me, day or night, but in my experience, it doesn’t seem particularly worse than just about everywhere else in SF.
    Of course, to me, even the Tenderloin looks a lot scarier than it actually is, as long as one minds one’s own business, and doesn’t leave the mercedes parked with the keys clearly in sight (which is why I drive a 12 year-old beater).
    Anyway, cool house, way out of my range, and this one is just begging for the NIMBYs to veto any plans for it. Don’t fool yourselves – a friend had all plans shot to hell by the locals with something very close to this in terms of location and size. Heaven forbid we let one do what one wishes with the interior and *shudder* add a garage.

  17. My kids just saw the playstructure and started jumping up and down – ohhohhh, let’s live there. Interesting spot! Lots of potential.
    And just a word as to the renovations – I’m pretty sure that you can do more or less do anything you want to the interior of a structure around here. Expand beyond the footprint and you’ll need to go through the planning department (yippee skippy). However, your neighbors will get a say if you try to add a garage or expand the footprint.

  18. “However, your neighbors will get a say if you try to add a garage or expand the footprint.”
    This would be the test for neighborhood input ridiculousness. If the local vetting process shot down a simple garage add for such a huge lot then no-one has a chance.
    I really doubt that anyone could come up with a valid reason why a garage could not be added here.

  19. Sure they could. “The proposed addition will increase traffic in the neighborhood.” That’s usually good enough to kill any proposal.

  20. Besides the tour buses, most of the “traffic” in this area is people circling for parking places. The residents around here would love for there to be more parking.

  21. “And just a word as to the renovations – I’m pretty sure that you can do more or less do anything you want to the interior of a structure around here. Expand beyond the footprint and you’ll need to go through the planning department (yippee skippy). However, your neighbors will get a say if you try to add a garage or expand the footprint.”
    Suuuuureee… Yeah… That’s it…
    All I can say to any prospective buyer is do your homework before you plunk down 2+ M… The neighbors here suck… Don’t take it from me… Public records are free…

  22. I used to live at Hayes and Steiner, and I don’t live that far from there now, and have walked home many nights from Hayes Valley after midnight and never once encountered anything.
    It’s an amazing house, but probably too much house for many people.
    There’s no way the neighbours would prevent someone putting in a driveway.
    the area is nice, but has a lot of tour buses going around Alamo.

  23. This property has amazing potential, but obviously it will take a tremendous amount of work and money. The rewards will be totally worth it.
    925 Fulton is right around the corner and is a beautifully restored Queen Anne listed at $2,845,000. That house is truly special and really helped turn the neighborhood around.

  24. I actually used to work at this facility for 4 years until a few years ago. It was a children’s center for kids with emotional disturbances. Heard it was up for sale and was curious at the price. It is unbelievably huge on the inside. There’s some nice old-fashioned touches around the house. Parking would be possible on Steiner side with conversion. There’s also a huge courtyard in the middle. To the poster that was curious about the school closing: money issue. But think about a hundred year old house that housed some rather “rambunctious” youth for 30 years and you get an idea of the amount of work that would be needed to put into the place. Safety? Alamo Square is fine, but there’s some projects a block the other way that can be a bit sketchy. Actually, I can’t wait to see what becomes of this. If someone’s got some foresight and willing to put in some work they’ve got a 10 room live-in bed-n-breakfast.

  25. I’m really sad to see this place being sold. I used to go to the group home there. v.v Hopefuly something great will happen to it i’m just worried about the kids it used to hold in there im sure the kids i met there are already gone but still i will miss that place.

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