3083 California Street

Purchased as a two-unit building for $1,350,000 two years ago, the “stunning rebuilt Pacific Heights residence” at 3083 California Street has just returned to the market listed as a “Modern/High Tech” single-family home for $4,895,000.

The 4,658-square-foot home’s listed four bedrooms include the new “media room/guest bedroom” with a “wet-bar” on the lower level.

3083 California Floor Plan

The five full bathrooms, plus a half bath on the main floor, include the master bath on the second level, outfitted with heated tile floors, the requisite dual showers in a single enclosure and a designer soaking tub.

3083 California Master Bath

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    Ignoring location for a moment, I’d say this is one of the better jobs on a gut that we’ve seen around these parts. Some nice well thought out details and finishes really help this place stand out. I think it will sell quickly. The location is really unfortunate being right on a busy block of California. A few blocks north and this sells for $6M+. I think I would take this home over the recently revealed home and more expensive on Clay St. (2807).

  2. Posted by jamesjr


  3. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    Lovely. The only thing worth preserving in these Victorians is the facade and they did that nicely. Behind it is a beautiful, very comfortable home. Nobody with $5M wants to live in a musty museum of a dozen cramped chambers with wainscoting and crown moldings.

    • Posted by seriously

      you make a lot of assumptions:
      1) that “nobody” wants to live in a victorian interior (there are people that do)
      2) that victorian interiors have to be musty (they don’t)
      3) that wainscoting and crown molding is bad (it isn’t)
      there are still a lot of historically preserved mansions that are $5mil+ with happy owners

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        +1 on each count

      • Posted by SFadmirer

        +1 as well, I’ve seen a lot of places that have been restored and renovated and do a great job of mixing victorian and modern. Also its interesting that this place skips the crown molding and wainscoting, but keeps the baseboard. Feels inconsistent.

        • Posted by SFadmirer

          ‘Scuse me: opened more pictures and see that some rooms do have crown molding. It still feels somewhat inconsistent though.

    • Posted by Not a Techie

      Speak for yourself Techie.

  4. Posted by Conifer

    A leading candidate for white shoebox of the month.
    It now appears that location is secondary to white-shoebox-ness. In the Mission, or Lower Pac Hts, $5,000,000 is the entry point for a new white shoebox. There was a time, not ten years ago, when $5m got you a very nice real-SF house in Presidio Heights.
    “When will we ever learn?”

    • Posted by Anon

      Oh common – this is barely a white shoebox. The kitchen is nicely separated from the dining room, the ceiling is not one expansive face, the baseboard and crown molding are white while the walls are an obvious warmer shade (and ready for the new owners to choose some new personal paint colors if they so desire it). While they probably removed a corridor (for the better) and maybe some separation between the dining and living room they completely respected the different zones of this house. It’s so easy to just say “white shoebox” but this is not quite it.

  5. Posted by Anon94123

    I was visiting some friends who own a Victorian townhouse in Brooklyn recently and all through that neighborhood, people are living modern lives without having to erase every historical reminder from the interior of their homes. I actually found the design aesthetic going on there more sophisticated than the over repeated DWELL look. Just do a Google image for Brooklyn New York Townhouse to see what people are doing back there.

  6. Posted by Michael

    I like the main floor and that is a nice looking tub in the master but terrible bathroom design – a view of the wall or toilet while relaxing in your $5 million bath?

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      LOL, yup – few ever actually use those sculptural freestanding tubs anyway (and they can take forever to fill, unless you’ve broken the law by getting a higher flow rate fixture), but this one’s particularly silly.

      • Posted by Live Smart

        I see these tubs all over the place including putting one inside a huge shower. Weird. I feel like I want a bowl of cornflakes or Prince is going to climb out of it in the “When Doves Cry” music video. For the next design trend of 2015, a plexiglass toilet bowl (so you can see everything.)

        • Posted by foggydunes

          almost fell out of my chair laughing at the Prince reference.

        • Posted by BobN

          As far as I’m concerned, the only place for a big tub is in a big shower enclosure — coming, at some point, to a renovation near me 🙂

          We keep the house in the mid 60s. I can’t imagine taking a shower or bath in the open air. It’s only comfortable because the previous remodel left teeny bathrooms that steam up quickly.

  7. Posted by swiftamine

    Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. The exterior still contributes to San Francisco’s “charm and character,” and most people will never see the private interior anyway, so why complain about personal choices and taste? (Of course, I’m sure someone will try to be clever and say something along the lines of “lack of taste,” blah blah blah.)

    • Posted by Not a Techie

      It’s just that once this boom fades and all of you out-of-state blow-ins go back home you will have completely denuded San Francisco’s history. Yes, some of the facades are “preserved” but everything behind is new construction and without character, patina, or history. The shame of it is that San Francisco is a non-renewable resource. Walnut Creek, Corte Madera, San Mateo, and even many buildings in the City have the kind of white sheetrock environment that you techies like, so why not buy them?

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Do you realize that SF and the bay area’s population almost entirely consists of ‘out-of-state blow-ins’ and their offspring? Maybe even you too.

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        I think that “Not a Techie” must be being sarcastic. There are so many more good to great neighborhoods in SF than there were 20-30 years ago. The “boom” has made SF the envy of much of the world, and the city is a way, way better place for it. Nothing has been “denuded” and much has been tremendously improved.

  8. Posted by formerly%whatever

    Cool that master closet has a 2nd means of egress. You never know when fire will happen!

    • Posted by anon

      Seems like its worth the loss of a little shelving (already tons) for another door if two people will be using the long narrow closet. If it only had one door it would be annoying if you were in there and the other person started digging through drawers/etc between you and the only exit.

      • Posted by formerly%whatever

        I guess that’s one way to look at it. If a single door were more towards the middle then you could have a “his” and “her” side (or his & his, or her & her, or it & it, not to exclude anyone) and the other wouldn’t be getting in the way.

    • Posted by noodle

      If you or your partner works night float, the ability for one to get dressed and slip out of the bedroom without disturbing the other is a feature. I doubt the flipper had this in mind, though.

  9. Posted by BDB

    Location is better than the more expensive 601 Broderick, and 1 Million less expensive.
    Broderick I would think is due a price cut.

    • Posted by Craig

      I would personally prefer the location of 601 to this, assuming it was re-priced to the price of the home at issue in this post. YMMV.

  10. Posted by jimmy

    This is a 2U bldg; so pay cash.

  11. Posted by anon3

    How were they able to collapse two units into one? Aren’t these permits hard to get?

  12. Posted by Mr. E.

    The media room/guest bedroom is the second unit, y’all. Just put a door between the elevator and the bath. . .

  13. Posted by Conifer

    Is this yet another “dwelling unit merger”? The criminal removal of an affordable unit. Is it a felony?

    • Posted by Live Smart

      Sshhhhh! I don’t want the tenants’ rights groups to hear about this — they are still mourning their personal loss. Please be respectful.

      • Posted by DanRH

        I was going to ask about that: is it difficult for a permit to combine two units, like they’ve done here? I would have thought so even back when this was being remodeled.

  14. Posted by Live Smart

    I like the elevator — you don’t see many of those unless in much larger homes.

  15. Posted by DanRH

    BTW, I will say that the link to the website where this is all displayed (Vanguard)…bravo on the website. One of the easiest to use and maneuver and quickly get an understanding about this property. Why can’t they all do this?

  16. Posted by Matt in Uptown

    Another Darth Torian…

  17. Posted by ess

    Hi-Tech? No mention of how much Ethernet was run.

  18. Posted by Schaetzer

    Very interesting. All the building permits show as “existing: 2 family dwelling/proposed: 2 family dwelling. There is a categorical exemption dated in 2012 that shows this as a 2 family dwelling with “change of use” not checked . Total permit value (3 permits) is $457K. No planning apps are shown for merging the 2 units to create a single family home. Good luck to the buyer.

    • Posted by Conifer

      So what if it was merged? As I have asked before, in all seriousness, what is the penalty?

  19. Posted by Realestateguru


    • Posted by eddy

      Yup and happens all the time. City can’t force owners of multi-unit homes to rent out the second unit. Not sure why folks get so bent out of shape over it.

      I find that these conversions forcing developers to put in a mini kitchenette downstairs actually ends up creating a nice feature that otherwise wouldn’t be included in a flip.

      • Posted by DanRH

        OK, interesting – didn’t realize that this is what folks do. Makes sense.

  20. Posted by katdip

    The whole 2 unit issue is such a scam, both preserving them or restricting them. Homeowners game this all the time. That little kitchen in the basement will be gone by the time the owners move in. Meanwhile, I know at least 4 SFRs on my street where they have installed an illegal kitchen on the ground floor after the inspectors have gone through so they can rent it out. The City allows them to install rooms with no connection to the upstairs under some bizarre rubrick of exterior access, when it is totally clear that the owners will rent out the units. People don’t do it legally because of zoning designations, and even where it’s allowed they avoid doing legally because they don’t want to be stuck having two units forever.

    When will the City see that all these well-meaning rules and policies (don’t merge units, don’t build inlaws) are completely unenforced, drive up costs and lead to lots of unpermitted and inspected construction (which negates the public safety rationale of most of these policies anyway). We all would be far better off if they permitted units to flow back and forth legally based on the desires of the desire of the property owners, and use design guidelines to ensure they don’t overwhelm the neighbors.

    For every millionaire seeking to combine units, I see older couples or small families seeking to rent out an in-law apartment so they can afford to stay in the City. I bet from a housing perspective it would be a wash.

    • Posted by DanRH

      Yep – agree. I think it would be somewhat of a wash.

  21. Posted by observant neighbor

    Regarding dwelling unit “adjustments” (which are defined as mergers if more than 25% of one unit is incorporated into another), I’d be VERY interested in hearing from anyone who has experience with how the Planning Dep’t is enforcing (or not) the Dec. 2013 ordinance that supposedly disallows this in most circumstances, and mandates a hearing before the Planning Commission.

    • Posted by Conifer

      So then the answer to my question is that the city does nothing, except if you want to have a hearing, and then it will probably be disallowed. Is that right? That explains why soccermom knows of so many in the Noe that are de facto single family houses but still legally multiple units.

  22. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The listing for the remodeled home at 3083 California Street has been withdrawn from the MLS after a month on the market without a reported sale.

  23. Posted by Anon94123

    Perhaps this shows that buyers are no longer interested in homes that have interiors completely stripped and transformed into one of Conifer’s candidates for “white shoebox of the month”?

  24. Posted by Belen

    There were three offers on it and one got accepted. Must be an off market sale.

  25. Posted by Victor Osborne

    Back in the late 60s to early 70s my family lived at 3085 California Street (which was absorbed into 3083 California Street. It made my heart sad to see what was done to this property. I understand what was done, but it did bring a lump to my throat to see the interior. What hurt more was the back of the property. I remember stairs that went from what was the top residence (3085), and there used to be a structure that our cats used to sun themselves on. All gone. Going to go cry now.

  26. Posted by Victor Osborne

    Are there any interior pictures before the renovation of 3083/3085 California Street?

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