2950 Pacific Avenue Facade

Having paid $16 million for the nearly 12,000-square-foot Pacific Heights pad at 2950 Pacific Avenue in 2012, Mark and Alison Pincus, the respective co-founders of Zynga and One Kings Lane, have just put their distinctive Dutch Colonial mansion on the market for two million more.

2950 Pacific Avenue Living

Designed by Albert Farr and built in 1907, plans to add a bunker below the home were never acted upon, but the listing notes: “development potential to suit the new owner’s needs.”  And in fact, plans to expand and renovate the entire house, with new bathrooms, kitchens and “new finishes throughout,” were quietly filed a few weeks ago.

2950 Pacific Avenue View

Reached by way of a gated private drive off Pacific Avenue, the home is actually perched on the south side of Broadway and shares the big bay views of its neighboring Gold Coast homes, such as 2845 Broadway.

2950 Pacific Avenue Rear

26 thoughts on “Pincus Selling Pac Heights Pad For $18M”
  1. OH, OH. What is going to happen to that charming inglenook and all that stunning wood?

    What is also interesting is that there seems to be an uptick in Pacific Heights properties being sold, while until recently it seemed that Noe/Mission had a greater rate of sales and/or higher percentage of increase in the sales prices compared to the properties on the northern part of town.

  2. “What is going to happen to that charming inglenook and all that stunning wood?”

    Why it will be painted white and grey of course! This is San Francisco, where homes are products to be flipped, not to be owned for more than a few years and to raise a family in, and not to be thought of as historic treasures to be enjoyed. If you want to buy a historic home that has its interior intact you will have to go down to Southern California.

  3. Haha.. nooo… The wood would only be painted white and grey during the staging… A buyer would take it down to the studs and turn it into something that looks like art gallery with lots of white walls, clean lines, and a mountain of calacatta marble. I love the interior of this place…. I really hope someone decides to preserve it, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  4. Well, one redeeming feature (at least for now) of Mark Pincus is they didn’t destroy that house in the two years they owned it just to sell it now.

  5. Not sure why one would choose to sell this house and have a change of heart after only two years unless you moved onto something better. No one really wants to live inside this dark wooded home and I fear there is a good chance a new owner will have no “choice” but to update the look in most areas. Sadly, this most likely means applying some paint to those wooden surfaces. I just don’t see how it could go any other way. The good news is that you can always get back to that wood via restoration and someone, someday may end up doing just that. But if someone removes the inglenook it would be tragic. I’m sure (hope) that will remain.

    I’d say this home presents a major renovation challenge as the “right” thing to do here would be to carefully preserve all of the detail and make really smart design decision to upgrade the infrastructure and modernize the home whilst maintaining a delicate balance. Whoever buys this home will most likely have the resources to such a job, the question is will they. The cheapest way would be just start the demolition process on the inside and a developer with deep pockets could probably make a killing here. Let’s just pray it falls into good hands.

    I was hoping Allison Pincus would take charge and do an amazing job on a renovation but it looks like that will be up to someone else. Wonder if they ever paid property tax on the new assessment or if it was delayed at the assessors office. I’d also love to see the development plans and disclosures as I’m sure they learned quite a bit over the two years of investigating this home.

    Should be interesting to watch.

  6. No one is flipping 18 million dollar homes.

    And if the new owners can afford the house, they can afford to knock it down if they don’t like it.

    There are a limited supply of properties in Pac Heights and I’m sure that whomever buys this is going to have their own unique tastes and the means to bring them to fruition. You don’t buy an 18M dollar home to half-ass a redesign with a bit of paint and a couple of skylights.

  7. Building permit hasn’t been approved but includes demolition of the carport, demolition of all interior finishes and complete renovation with expansion and excavation. Doesn’t read like the plan is to preserve.

    1. “demolition of all interior finishes” — destroying historic architecture, one irreplaceable property at a time. The sad part is that you only get one chance at preserving things. It’s a little too late once you tear it out and put in IKEA style interiors.

  8. This place looks awful, just Zynga’s HQ in SoMa. Overdone and dark. That fireplace does look cool but SO impractical.

  9. Look at the exterior of the house. What happened to the concept of the exterior and the interior “matching”? Some historical organization ought to appeal those permits.

  10. This is a wonderful house, and many people would be happy to preserve the interior architecture. The question is whether it can be sold to a user who loves old houses, or whether it will go to a flipper with no taste who owns stock in a white paint company. Let’s hope the next owner will be someone who has grown up in a house of this vintage and naturally sees the beauty in it — or at least has been to visit enough good old houses to understands the aesthetic.

    Eddy, above, suggests that the wood can be painted, and some day restored when SF tastes catch up to those of the east coast and LA. Taking paint off is expensive (but who cares) and also uncertain in results. We have faced just that problem, and had to paint again, as much as we hated to do it.

    A poster on another thread suggested that the number of destroyed great SF interiors is proportionately small. In fact, there are relatively few interiors of this quality, and the loss of this conspicuous one, in one of the best locations, will be a real loss to SF.

    By the way, does anyone know what they are planning for the house on Jackson facing Alta Plaza that was until recently the consular residence of France? They are taking off the exterior of the front, and I fear they are doing similar destruction to the interior.

  11. Conifer – how will this be a “loss” when you will never see the inside of this house? Someone’s interior design choice will not effect you…actually I take that back given the hypothetical of such clearly already has. You sound balanced. Feel free to post pictures of your home for us all to see. Show us how you do it better without using white paint…and yes the French consulate interior has already been gutted to the studs inside. It needed it. A lot deferred maintenance and an inefficient floor plan that did not lend to today’s needs…I know what your thinking – how selfish of them.

  12. This is the second house to our knowledge that Pincus bought and never moved into.

    It never received much press but the sale of the former French consulate was highly suspicious in terms of how it was managed. Property hits the market, goes into escrow and closes without a single showing and no real marketing. Buyer was very fortunate on that one.

  13. The French consular residence was known to be for sale. The Consul General told me over a year before that it would be sold, as part of a general policy of his government to reduce the number of residences worldwide. I told him it was a mistake: France should have great houses for her consuls, befitting the Republique!

    This was a terrrifc house, which should have been preserved when updated. The modern monstrosity it will become will produce a profit for the flipper, but diminish the depth of architectural history of SF.

    Did you see the article in NYT yesterday about a new “prewar” apartment building going up on East End Avenue, to a classical design of Robert AM Stern? How come we do not have that here? We get destruction, and white shoeboxes, but other places value their history to the point of creating updated versions.

  14. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the French Consul General. I called the listing agent on the day it was listed and asked for a tour and disclosure packet and was told it was too late. House sold for at least $5M too little.

  15. Eddy is right. The sale price was way too low. But a lot of SF people knew it was going to be sold, just not when it would happen.

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