Having hit the market priced at $1.4 million in December of 2016, and briefly in contract early last year, the list price for the 120-foot-wide chunk of Telegraph Hill’s hillside which fronts Sansome Street, below the homes at the end of Alta Street above, has just been dropped to $998,000.

Once again, the 1235 Sansome Street site, which is technically three parcels and was once part of the quarry from which stone for San Francisco’s City Hall was harvested, is actually zoned for development up to 84-feet in height.

And rough renderings for either a 9,000-square-foot private “estate,” or a 13-unit development totaling 22,000 square feet, have been drafted.

Keep in mind that any development of the site, which sits within the boundaries of the Waterfront Historic District and is under the purview of the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Association, “will require some engineering of the hillside as is normally required by [the City] for sloped lots.”

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    And as was pointed out earlier, a lot more than the price dropped in that neighborhood in the past. Ahem.

    I think that has a lot more to do with the slowness of this selling – ‘cuz @ $1M:13 units the land is practically free – than any macro- factors…e.g. general market slowing (or “not growing as fast as before” for those who are differential-challenged).

    • Posted by NoPa Kid

      The slow rate of growth shouldn’t affect whether or not a deal pencils. $1m land basis for 13 units will pencil in Telegraph Hill… assuming the neighborhood association approves the plans.

      That latter is a huge assumption. No one wants to take that bet because any engineering to the hillside will drastically alter the appearance. No one on the top of that hill will approve anything built there.

      • Posted by Notcom

        It may have little to do with w/not it “pencils” – i.e. (projected)selling price/costs – but I would certainly think it affects w/not that selling price is actually realized.

        But anyway, I think we’re saying the same thing: THIS is not a good example on which to extrapolate wider trends.

  2. Posted by c_q

    I got curious and looked on the assessor website, current assessed value is about $20k for the 3 lots it looks like – so whoever has it now is carrying it fairly cheap.

    And yeah, it needs to be priced practically free because I’m sure major $$$ will be required to fortify the hillside enough to do anything here – assuming it would even be possible, and if it isn’t, someone will be stuck paying for the lot to remain empty.

    • Posted by Adam

      Make a gift of it to the local Neighborhood Association. Let them pay the property taxes to keep it vacant in perpetuity.

      • Posted by Anon123

        And they should welcome the gift – with assessed value of 20K, taxes will only be a couple hundred per year, and they no longer have to attend public meetings to prevent the erection of large cardboard boxes.

      • Posted by Patrick

        The neighborhood is a nonprofit so it doesn’t pay taxes. Why not just buy it out of the City’s Open Space Fund?

        • Posted by Anon123

          After a couple more price cuts the owner may give up and offer it to the city at the assessed value so he/she doesn’t have to pay for removal of the falling rocks. It is not a suitable building site even in SF and there is no reason that the city’s fund provide the current owner with a profit.

  3. Posted by donjuan

    No one would dare purchase a property where they had to get permits blessed by Aaron Peskin. Unless you plan on building a 500 sqft shack, there’s no way you could get anything approved with the telegraph hill dwellers breathing down your throat.

    • Posted by scott f

      Three words: Housing Accountability Act. Activists would be salivating over the chance to sue The City and win if a 13-unit development in Peskin’s backyard was illegally denied.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Exactly. This is a tough physical location already, but with Peskin around it would be simply impossible to build anything here.

  4. Posted by ramon sampedro

    What a bargain! At that price The City should buy it and make it part of the GGNRA. I’ll go and introduce some endangered species of moths and butterflies tomorrow during lunch. That should help!

  5. Posted by Cody

    I witnessed a building crumbling down the edge of Telegraph Hill many years ago. A determined & deep pocket needed to bite on this one.

  6. Posted by Frisco

    Build a Salvador-style public elevator tower! The Filbert steps aren’t ADA compliant.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Maybe we can have Salvador-style drug gangs haunting the entry points!

  7. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    As I said a year and a half ago:

    “If you wanted to buy these parcels, you could have purchased at least 2 out of 3 in the 2015 SF Tax default auction for peanuts. These parcels went unbid. Nevertheless if you had paid a few thousand dollars instead of the million plus now asked, you’d still really need quite an erection to make this work.”

    This ‘price cut’ is nonsense. Although, the architectural model such that it is, must have been an interesting afternoon of work for Mr. Butterworth’s 8th grade Art and Design elective class, in the spring of ’89.

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