As we outlined back in 2017:

Purchased for $440,000 in 1995, the Castro District duplex at 517-519 Sanchez Street has been raided numerous times over the past seven years, resulting in the seizure of large quantities of crystal meth, heroin, ketamine, cocaine and cash.

Two years ago the City of San Francisco sued the building’s owner for violating California’s Drug Abatement Act, charging ongoing habitability and safety issues – such as a defective exterior staircase and a lack of stairway handrails; missing smoke detectors and improper electrical wiring; unpermitted construction work; and a lack of heat – for which the defendant faced civil penalties of up to $1,500 a day as long as the violations were allowed to persist.

The lower level unit’s door, which had been “made of an old cabinet door,” has since been replaced and numerous other violations related to “building safety, heat, rodents and criminal activity” have since been addressed (albeit with complaints as to potential work without a permit).

And three months ago the “Wonderful Victorian home in amazing Dolores Heights location” at 519 Sanchez Street hit the market listed for $2.6 million, the sale of which is now in contract to close escrow.

As we added in in May of 2018:

Having failed to close escrow, the duplex caught fire this past February.

And today, the fire damaged property is back on the market with a “$995,000” list price, suggesting that one brings their “contractor and imagination,” and touting a “[w]onderful opportunity to restore this amazing Dolores Heights Victorian!”

And the sale of 517-519 Sanchez Street, which then measured around 3,000 square feet, ended up selling for $2.0 million in June of 2018.

Since completely redeveloped, the now five-bedroom home – which is technically “two units,” with two bedrooms and “a kitchenette” on the ground floor and an internal stairway between the units – returned to the market priced at $5.35 million this past September, with high-end finishes and three distinct outdoor spaces, including a new 400-square-foot roof deck with panoramic views.

And having been reduced to $5.25 million last month, and then dropped to $4,998,500, the sale of 519 Sanchez Street has now closed escrow with a contract price of $4.8 million.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by L'Urbanista_SF

    Why contractor flippers ever think that recessed downlighting is a good idea in a victorian/edwardian will always mystify me.

    • Posted by Matt S

      Recessed downlight in victorians often looks much worse in pictures than in real life, because the light really “pops” in photos. Also with a good smattering of design and product selection – for example strong symmetry and trimless lights, recessed lighting can highlight the geometry of spaces well. But like anything else if cheap products are used without much thought to design it can look terrible.

  2. Posted by SFRealist

    If there are any million dollar views in San Francisco, that deck has one of them.

    • Posted by jimbo

      no bridges in view, no water view

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Personally I just like a long view which need not include bridges or water. The view from this property looks spectacular.

      • Posted by Ohlone Californio

        There’s gonna be some Bay visible. Probably part of the bridge too.

    • Posted by Cave Dweller

      When I lived in San Francisco, I had views of Golden Gate Bridge / Alcatraz on one side and San Mateo Bridge on the other. I got bored of that eventually. Now I have the view of never ending blue Pacific with an occasional fishing boat or breaching whales. I didn’t pay $5 million for that.

  3. Posted by aerl

    LOL, that fake cow in the yard… what stager thought that was a good idea?

  4. Posted by Davester

    Maybe they thought it would mooooove the property quicker.

  5. Posted by Panhandle Pro

    Yet another example of Planning turning a blind eye to use of a multi-unit building as a SFH. If they are taking the housing crisis seriously, interior stairs between two distinct addresses/units shouldn’t be allowed.

  6. Posted by soccermom

    If elderly parents live in the second unit, if a college student or boomerang young adult live in the second unit, all totally cool and not otherwise displacing another renter.

    Congratulations to the developers – hope they made money. One less drug den = a better San Francisco.

    • Posted by Conifer

      And what if the new owner or owners live in their whole house? Maybe their elderly parents are dead and their kids live elsewhere. In any other major city this would be no issue: Boston, New York, London or Paris. Is it wrong to enjoy what you own? How did SF become the outlier in controlling the real property of its residents?

    • Posted by NOPA

      Pharmaceutical curators need housing too!

      • Posted by Conifer

        So do people who just want to live comfortably, who may be art collectors, or work from home, or have another reason to want a large house. The so-called “loss” of the second unit has no measurable effect on the housing stock. I does allow people to enjoy their lives. Why is this the business of the city government?

  7. Posted by sf

    One of the best neighborhoods and streets in all of SF. I lived nearby many years ago and loved walking around the neighborhood.

  8. Posted by Mystery Realtor

    I hope they have the air rights over the garage next door, otherwise that view is unprotected.

    • Posted by sockettome

      It’s protected. The garage is non conforming. It’s in the required rear yard of the apartment building that fronts on 18th Street. It may have been permitted way back when, but not today.

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