CFAH

112 Kensington Way: Lot

The empty Forest Hill Extension lot at 112 Kensington Way above.  A rendering of the “approved” plans for a 5,652 square foot “French Provincial estate” to rise on the site below:

112 Kensington Way: Rendering

Asking $998,000 for the lot and plans (presumably). And sorry neighbor(s), we kid you not.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by ebro

    Wow, what sloppy graphics. Looks like it was rendered in Second Life. If this was to scale, the curb would be a foot high. (They forgot the cutout too.)
    Perhaps they should build a moat and call it “Ile Saint-Francis Foret”.

    • Posted by Janet Campbell

      I am the architect. That is a completely unauthorized, hideous rendering. Computer renderings are, and the colors chosen are not at all what I had envisioned, plus the detailing was changed. Grossly. I am in books for my architectural illustrations for many years. FYI. And no, it’s not as big as you think. It is however, very close to other designs just as tall and look almost like this a few blocks away.

  2. Posted by Tony Wessling

    oop. there goes breakfast.
    And, once again, we have to assume that the $998K includes the cost of purchasing and tearing down the neighbors’ houses, and landscaping in the manner of the Palace of Versaille, as the rendering indicates.

  3. Posted by perplexed

    So in the rendering, are they assuming that the neighbors transform into shrubbery?

  4. Posted by Saylor

    Wow, now that’s hideous.

  5. Posted by Gil

    It’s a shame these tiny lots can’t be purchased by neighbors or the City and turned into permanent open space. Cramming this monstrosity on this tiny lot will further the cementing in of SF.
    On Bella Vista there are 2 steep empty lots and there is talk of squeezing 3 units on them. I don’t see how that can happen because of the single family zoning.
    In any case, the open feel of Bella Vista at this point will be ruined if these lots are developed. Maybe the Miraloma Club can do something – not that anyone listens at the Miraloma Club. It has to be the most ineffective neighborhood organization in the city.

  6. Posted by tipster (not the realtor)

    I’m the Realtor and wanted to comment on some of the concerns people may have about the rendering, which we think is accurate.
    The curb cutout to the driveway was intentionally omitted from the drawings because we figured that anyone who would like a property like this, already probably drives a Hummer, and therefore has no real need for sissy curb cuts. And the new owners will likely raise the sidewalk height to make it more fun to drive over. If unsuspecting drivers park in front of the garage, the new owner will simply back over them every morning.
    As for the shrubbery on either side, we figure that, once the neighbors light and air is blocked nearly completely by our project, that they will simply abandon their properties, leaving the existing mature landscaping to take over.
    We’ll be having open houses every weekend for a month, after which we’ll put in the secret realtors notes in the MLS that the buyers realtor compensation will be goosed to 4%, so that the realtor you think is helping you will creatively make suggestions using all that personal knowledge you have given him or her to try to get you to buy this monstrosity. I hope everyone will show up to the opens, as I paid good money for the description sheets I’ll be handing out.

  7. Posted by rob

    Don’t forget that the cost includes the razing of the forest behind this monstocity! lol

  8. Posted by sfrenegade

    Wow, it doesn’t even seem plausible for that tiny lot to have a place that big.
    Are plans worth very much? How much would it cost for someone to have plans drawn up for a less tacky place and get them “approved”? Do they disclose how much it would cost to build that monstrosity?

  9. Posted by stucco-sux

    The best part? Its hollow inside and will be a massive grow house.

  10. Posted by eddy

    tipster gets post of the day.

  11. Posted by sparky-b

    Is the lot w/plans around the hill on Garcia still for sale?
    [Editor’s Note: Withdrawn (and deleted) from the MLS without a sale in August as per the comments: Under Two Hundred Per Square Foot (Just Not Including The House).]

  12. Posted by sidelined

    Razing the forest? They’d also need to remove the large hill where the picture shows blue sky (we live a block from there).
    Why would I even spend the energy to ask why one would spend all that money on a lot so small and still have to spend all that money building a house, when you could just shift your focus right across Portola to Saint Francis Wood and find something equally ugly on a larger lot for a lot less total? It’s not like there isn’t anything for sale over in SFW now (I counted 9 just now).

  13. Posted by Rincon Hill Billy

    Totally…foux de fa fa

  14. Posted by Kurt Brown

    LOL @stucco-sux 🙂

  15. Posted by PaulG

    I live just across Portola from here and walk past it regularly. Any house in this location will have nice views down to the ocean from front on the upper floors (when it’s not foggy) but, because it’s on the slope of the very steep Knockash Hill, the sun won’t rise until 10 or 11am some days. It’ll need very good insulation/heating.

  16. Posted by Gil

    “Wow, it doesn’t even seem plausible for that tiny lot to have a place that big.”
    I agree.
    But beyond that why every rare sliver of land in a city with virtually no open land in most neighborhoods has to be built on is beyond me.
    Look at the Sunset, the Mission, Geneva. These neighborhoods are perfect examples of what happens when you build wall to wall. The result is San francisco has more unattractive neighborhoods than most other cities. Even middle class neighborhoods like the Sunset are ugly – to put it bluntly.
    In the hilly parts of the city its a little less easy to build wall to wall block after block. Not that the city doesn’t try. Bernal Heights is an unattractive hodge podge of shoed in structures, too narrow streets and way too many people and cars.
    This massive structure will aesthetically be an eyesore on the neighborhood. I really wish there was a fund so that these few empty lots could be bought up and made permanent open space – Lord knows the city needs that more than it does this faux French structure.

  17. Posted by justme

    More cowbell lens flare.

  18. Posted by justme

    Hmm, it says I can use tags. Just imagine cowbell with a strike through it.
    It was funnier in rehearsal.
    [Editor’s Note: And on that note…we finally get around to enabling the strike tag in comments.]

  19. Posted by Delancey

    sim ugly

  20. Posted by tjg

    this lord’s manor leaves no land for the peasants to work

  21. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Peasantry has been outsourced to China these days …

  22. Posted by sunnyvalesteve

    I think I saw this place at Legoland…

  23. Posted by Dakota

    The size and design of this place are so ridiculous that I’m having a hard time believing it. How is it possible that these plans were approved? And $1 million for what looks like a small, dried up mudslide…..total joke.

  24. Posted by corntrollio

    Does anyone have any idea how the $1M price for this parcel compares to lot value for other places in this area? The price here seems extremely high relative to something like 535 Ulloa, a 2/1 for sale at $845K. Granted, this appears to have a bigger lot, the math doesn’t appear to pencil out (but then again, maybe a lot of math doesn’t pencil out in this city without a bubble, although I defer to someone like sparky-b who knows more about this than I do).
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/535-Ulloa-St-94127/home/1043254

  25. Posted by sparky-b

    corntrollio,
    It doesn’t pencil out for sure, and that’s why I asked about garcia above. That was a better plan, on a better part of the same hill, and it failed to sell at $100K less.
    I would also look at this place vs. the Ardenestates on 15th. They are 3000+ feet of actual house right at West Portal for $1.65M to $1.9. This place does not compare favorably to those. There was also a 4/2 cosmetic fixer in WP a while back at $900K, a better buy.
    Finally, they don’t actually have the permit yet. I don’t understand why people sell these without the actual permit in hand, it is more valuable that way.

  26. Posted by corntrollio

    sparky-b — thanks for the comparisons and comments. How expensive are the actual permits? Also, seems like the ridiculous number of DOM at absurd prices will just result in an expired permit…
    I know that this is a common problem in Santa Monica too. In that case, not so much open lots, but teardowns that people sell with “plans” for ridiculous prices. So you still have to add demolition costs, although it means the lot might be better prepared for building than this one.

  27. Posted by StockBoySF

    Now, now, folks. The seemingly big house on a small lot surrounded by lush a forest is completely true. After all, this is a dollhouse. As far as the sky and clouds in the background- that is the best part! The backdrop is thrown in for free!

  28. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    sidelined wrote:

    … why one would spend all that money on a lot so small and still have to spend all that money building a house, when you could just shift your focus right across Portola to Saint Francis Wood and find something equally ugly on a larger lot for a lot less total?

    I’m guessing the reasons are along the same lines as the reasons some people, instead of adopting a child, will purchase eggs, have them fertilized in a lab, and pay gestational surrogates in third-world countries to incubate and deliver the baby.

  29. Posted by jwb

    When I was looking in Forest Hill this past May, this empty lot was already on the market. Been sitting for much of the year already.

  30. Posted by justme

    Thanks, Editor.
    For the love of God, though, Never. Enable. The. Blink. Tag.

  31. Posted by sparky-b

    corntrollio,
    Permits for this I would guess are:
    Architect: $18K (permit set; no details/materials)
    Engineer: $7K
    Soils: $2k
    Mapping, Engergy, Etc.: $1K
    City Permit:$20K
    Total: $48K or so

  32. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    They should build something here, but probably not this. I don’t think that leaving muddy plots like this undeveloped does anything nice for the neighborhood, on the contrary.

  33. Posted by sidelined

    As someone who lives in the neighborhood, I gotta disagree. It’s not a spot that too many people walk by or even see. They haven’t built anything on this lot (or the Garcia one) yet because it’s a stupid place to build. They already had a slide in ’97 (allegedly due to the construction of 118-138). Better to incorporate it as part of Edgehill Park, where you could put some trees instead of causing the rest of the hill to slide down.
    Looks like this is some sort of subdivided lot. PShark shows only one (unnumbered) lot between 100 and 118 Kensington, but redfin shows two.

  34. Posted by Juanita

    Wow…so awful it takes my breath away.

  35. Posted by Janet

    Yes the rendering is hideous. Looks nothing like how it was designed. For all those green-eyed monsters in the comments, you really should see the plans – and why the neighbors had not one complaint. Have you seen the truly hideous Tahoe-monstrosities to the left? Apparently not.
    There are easmeents to the side. Hence, lots of greenery. There is a park above. Hence, trees. To the right is a huge backyard – not on the property. Hence, greenery. So when you misread an albeit bad rendering, why don’t you ask for copies of the plans?
    You would be shocked. The front is set way back of the garage and the monstrosities to the left. Hence, a much smaller footprint.
    The hill is over a 50% slope – hence not much on each floor.
    This place is full of a lot of whiners and complainers – and a lot of uneducated and totally misinformed comments.
    And that’s what makes San Francisco such a miserable place – and why over 1 million or more professionals have left this state. It needs to go back to its origins – large fields and no houses, nothing. Would you be happy then?
    Of course.
    Sorry to see so many folks who refuse to find out the facts first – and narrow-minded. We have a name for that in other parts of the country…ever think about that?
    Open your eyes, truly find out the facts first – and stop making assumptions.

  36. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Hey, price reduced to $599k. You could probably get it for half off if you wanted.
    Alas no legoland simcity lens flare rendering anymore.
    So Janet, are you saying that the left side of this house won’t be built to the lot line ? From the rendering it looks like at least ten feet of open space to the left.

  37. Posted by sfrenegade

    “why over 1 million or more professionals have left this state”
    Care to provide us a cite on that? Professional what?
    If the rendering is so terrible compared to the plans, why even provide it?

  38. Posted by conifer

    What a refined lady Janet is. A credit to her profession.

  39. Posted by sfrenegade

    “What a refined lady Janet is.”
    If San Francisco is such a miserably place, why buy a lot there in the first place? And then why try to build a feudal castle on it? I think we’ve defined a bitter buyer.
    The biggest thing our friend Janet forgot, beyond common courtesy, is that the rendering and the plans are worthless anyway, because whoever buys this property will probably have their own designs on it.

  40. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Doubt it.^^

  41. Posted by sfrenegade

    ^miserable — sorry, lots of typos today.

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