355 Buena Vista Avenue East: The Park Hill

Built as St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1926, with a façade that was cast as the sanatorium in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, 355 Buena Vista Avenue East was converted to the Park Hill condominiums in 1986.

And the Park Hill penthouse unit #701W which was purchased for $1.1 million three months ago, prior to which it had been completely renovated, has just returned to the market for $995,000.

Keep in mind that having been listed as “355 Buena Vista Ave E” versus “355 Buena Vista Ave,” the current listing for the one-bedroom penthouse won’t show its recent sale, nor its 747 square feet per its condo map, if you’re looking on Redfin or other MLS based sites.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Flash

    I find it really annoying when listing agents try to hide the size of properties, and I love how Redfin automatically looks up the city records. I wish agents who left this field blank had to at least put in a justification. It’s annoying that Redfin doesn’t capture the sales history or gov’t data like size, but I’m not sure if the listing agent did that on purpose. The proper address to use in this case seems somewhat subjective.

    It’s worth noting that, while the listing price is $100k less than the recent sale, it is also $100k more than the recent listing price of $899k. Maybe they figured that the low listing price worked so well last time, they’d try it again (but not quite so low).

    • Posted by jack barry

      They do it to avoid being sued for a mis-statement, even if inadvertent….Ask Zephyr management. They got sued for such .

      • Posted by 94114

        That’s nonsense. San Francisco is the only place where square footage is routinely left out. Look at listings in New York or Los Angeles or any other California city. It’s rare not to see square footage. They could at least put an estimate or a qualifier like buyer to verify.

        • Posted by anon

          they do put qualifiers, and they have still been sued. you are welcome to pick up the tabs.

          • Posted by anon

            If they get the square footage right how can they get sued? And if they get it wrong, well… Given the north of a million price tag on most SF RE and the hefty chunk of commission that agents get is it really too much to ask for them to be able to use a tape measure correctly?

          • Posted by anon

            agents? why? why not have someone with training do it? the solution is to have all sellers hire appraisers, every time. Of course that does not take into account all the illegal spaces, as well as the legal spaces with no recorded additions, or said records lost. And that’s a dilemma as well. So you’re pretty much being naive, and naive with some sort of anti-realtor agenda. Why?

          • Posted by anon

            Wow, making someone use a tape measure is an anti-realtor agenda?

            Look there’s a whole world of things that get sold out there at much lower price points and with much lower margins where the manufacturers and sellers manage to put out specs. The guy at best buy can point you to the 40″ TV’s and he’s probably making minimum wage. He somehow manages not to go on a crazy diatribe about how impossible it would be to measure anything. Plus even for RE, like others said the rest of the world seem to be able to measure sq ft (or sq m or # tatami what have you)

          • Posted by anon

            “Wow, making someone use a tape measure is an anti-realtor agenda?”

            That’s not even close to an accurate paraphrase of the much more complicated issues being discussed. But thank you for proving my point re: anti realtor agenda + why

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        I agree that there’s no excuse for not including footage on listings. All you need to do to protect from lawsuits is to establish a measurement methodology, document that methodology (including acceptable error boundaries), and follow that methodology.

        As 94114 points out footage is included in listings everywhere else in the USA and somehow real estate agencies can operate just fine without being sunk by lawsuits. Why would SF be any more risky?

        Until then buyers who care about footage need to pack a tape measure and notebook when making an offer. That’s just plain annoying.

  2. Posted by Dixon Hill

    So, we’re doing 3-month unrenovated flips again? Does anyone know the backstory on this one?

    Better than average layout (a bit more separation with the dining area would be nice but not often found in a 1-BR). Nice high ceilings. Good location and classic San Francisco building design. I gather from the living room photo that this unit is on the uphill side of the building.

    Worth at least twice as much as the 5th floor unit at the Book Concern Building, in my estimation.

    • Posted by BTinSF

      Good location? If you live in this building, going without a car is pretty much off the table: There is nothing except the park itself to which you can walk nearby. That might be compensated by the view if you are on that side of the building but this unit does not appear to be.

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        This is a great location – very pretty and close to a lot of good neighborhoods. Yes, you’d want a car. But pretty close to everyone in SF in a million dollar place is going to have a car anyway. $1 million for a 1BR is insane, imho, but that is a different story.

      • Posted by redseca2

        I agree a car would probably be useful, but there is an incredibly handy bus line, the 37, that passes right in front of this building that travels between Church & Market (Safeway, Muni Metro) and Haight & Masonic via Cole Street. Whenever I ride that bus I am reminded that it must have the most genteel rider demographic of any Muni line.

  3. Posted by Mark F.

    A very attractive unit.

  4. Posted by sfcommie

    A rather inconveniently located 1 br Buena Vista unit without a view for $1m, lol. Is there anything available for less these days? I’ll keep renting for now.

  5. Posted by jw2200

    Agree with Flash about hiding the size. This one is 747 sf so asking price per sf is $1,332. The address in the MLS is 355 Buena Vista E Ave #701W, the same as it was when listed in January. Both current and previous listing have the same property APN number which (I believe) is what links the listing/sales records in the MLS. Also interesting to note that it’s the same listing agent. When the property sold in February the sellers were asking to stay in the property until April but not sure if that was agreed to by the buyers or if it has anything to do with the quick flip.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The address in the MLS is 355 Buena Vista E Ave #701W, the same as it was when listed in January. Both current and previous listing have the same property APN number which (I believe) is what links the listing/sales records in the MLS.

      Unless changed since we published our report above, neither of those statements are correct (try clicking on the “701W” and “701” links above).

      When the property sold in February the sellers were asking to stay in the property until April but not sure if that was agreed to by the buyers or if it has anything to do with the quick flip.

      Note the furnishings have changed between the previous and current listings.

  6. Posted by steff

    Have heard the building is haunted… really!

    • Posted by Emanon

      Maybe the ghosts were the ones who changed the furnishings between the two listings. Beware of things that go bump in the night!

  7. Posted by BobN

    I can’t believe it’s been 30 years.

  8. Posted by Bruce

    Very nice property, and well staged, but I wonder why they call it a “penthouse.” For the most part, the layout is also good, although for $1M, I’d prefer for my guests to not have to go through my closet to get to the john. I also think that little sliver of a balcony is shared with another unit.

  9. Posted by Senna300

    Looked at a unit in that building a few years ago and as lovely as the views are, the building itself is quite creepy. The hallways have an old hospital feel to them and you can’t quite shake the feeling that The Shining twins are going to show up around the corner at any time.

  10. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: Despite being listed for $105,000 less than its sale for $1.1 million four months ago, the listing for the Park Hill (355 Buena Vista) penthouse unit #701W has been withdrawn from the MLS without a reported sale.

  11. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The sale of 355 Buena Vista Avenue #701W has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,000,000.

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