Foreclosure Auction for Infamous Sea Cliff Mansion PostponedMay 5, 2023
As we first revealed last year, the private stairway behind the infamous seven-bedroom home at 224 Sea Cliff Avenue, which leads down to the secluded cove below and has been a frequently touted selling point for the property, appears to have been built beyond the property lines of the home, with said lines having been misrepresented when the permits for the construction of a new retaining wall, deck and stairway were secured in 2004.
A permit to remove “all non structural elements observed beyond [the] currently presumed property lines” of the home was subsequently requested but has yet to be secured, with outstanding penalties now needing to be paid and a review by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and possibly a number of other State agencies, in addition to the City, before the permit can be approved and issued.
At the same time, a foreclosure auction for the Sea Cliff mansion, which has been in the hands of a bankruptcy trustee, is now slated to be held on June 8, having been postponed from yesterday (and previously as well). We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Again out of prison, the house’s former occupant (Luke Brugnara) recently obtained a Coronavirus-related PPP loan from the SBA of $422,500.00 in April, 2021.
Despite claiming 24 employees (in the Commercial Air, Rail, and Water Transportation Equipment Rental and Leasing industry), the Brugnara Corporation claims to occupy an attorney’s office (at 870 Market) in San Francisco. The referenced loan was from Readycap Lending LLC.
These are everyone’s tax dollars at work.
New?? More like ongoing (Which is ironic given that the entertainment value could provide a six-figure income, if licensed)
On an unrelated note: why is this under the BCDC’s purview?? I always took the name rather literally, and would have thought jurisdiction stopped at that large structure in the background of the bottom pic.
The McAteer-Petris Act, which sets up the BCDC, defines San Francisco Bay as being east of the line between Point Bonita & Point Lobos. That puts the house, as well as that large structure in the background, well inside BCDC jurisdiction.
ProPublica has a search tool that lets anyone look up the names of PPP recipients, and it corroborates what is stated here. I really hope we find out someday how much Covid-era fiscal support was stolen by dishonest people.
i still think they should just burn it down for the insurance money and start over.
in reality, i love this house and the rear stairs
minus the BS this house is dreamy in every way
a day after this all gets cleared up, it’ll probably slip an inch off the foundation and get red tagged
Well, “they” attempted just that approach last summer, but apparently the real-world heroes at the SFFD extinguished the fire before it brought down the entire house.
600 El Camino Del Mar recently sold for $12,250,000. It was perfect in every way. Who needs all the drama this house will provide for years to come?
i think the properties with their “feet in the water” would disagree that a block back is comparable
Yes, 600 El Camino is very nice livable condition at 9,500 sq. ft., so it sold for $1,300/sq.ft. 224 Sea Cliff is 5,500 sq. ft., so 224 is worth $7M at $1,300/sq. ft. IF the BCDC work is done ($12M – $15M) and the fire damage work is done ($2M)…and any renovation work to update the circa 1920s bathrooms and kitchen ($2M). The foreclosing 1st TD is $7M.
In summation a buyer would need to spend $30M+ million cash on a house worth only $7M…SMH….
I’ve lived in SF for a very long time but this is the first time I question if it’s going to be worthwhile to invest so much money into an SF property. It’s going to take a long, long time for the city to bounce back this time and anyone with $10 mil+ has far better options almost any place else.
Normally that would make sense, but given that someone just paid $5M to live behind Bernal’s infamous The Worst Safeway in the World (TM), I really have no clue why rich people do what they do.
Years ago I speculated this house would crumble into the sea before this mess was all cleared up. Nice to see we’re still on track.
The owner is not doing themselves or anyone else any favors by painting the staircase to the cove that salmon color. It is an eyesore and should be painted to blend with the cliffside. There’s no point in matching the house color, the only place you could see it is from the sea.
current buyers are most likely just parking money. i could see an overseas buyer who just rents it out.
maybe a seasonal house to a domestic buyer
it would be nice to live and grow up back there. but i don’t think people are buying $10M+ houses to just “raise a family” anymore.
Barring any relatively price-insensitive remote buyers bidding, this place should trade for substantially < $10M.
A buyer would be well-advised to account for the amount of money the new owner is going to have to shell out to land use lawyers to resolve the legal issues surrounding the private stairway. They also might be on the hook for the issues around the erosion of the cliff impacting the repair of said stairway. For liability reasons, they probably aren’t going to be able to “just rent it out” until after both of those are taken care of, which could easily take years.
Well obviously I meant once all these matters are settled.
At some point this all becomes part of the colorful history of the property, but would be settled and behind it.
BCDC had the hearing on 224 Sea Cliff May 25, 2022 and voted unanimously 16-0 for the entire staircase and decks to be removed by Dec. 31, 2023 (see BCDC webpage). VANACKER and NIBBI have bid $12M and $15M to comply with BCDC order. This property is completely underwater just on the BCDC Enforcement Order.
A fire had started in this house and during the wee hours last year. Fortunately the fire department extinguished the fire quickly. One fireman was hurt.
The SFFD Arson inspector Lozano still has an an open arson investigation on 224 Sea Cliff for the July 2022 “fire”. Interestingly, according to the investigation there were four men who worked for the owner in the house when the house went up inflames. This lender, PSG, filed total liquid assets of $5 with the BK Court and is over $1.2M delinquent payments on the foreclosing 1st TD. The BCDC Enforcement Order is senior to the $7M 1st TD, so there is $20M due, plus the fire repairs.
Great info re the BCDC etc. Thank you.
Well the Real estate agent Mark Levinson, who has repped the sale of 224 Sea Cliff a number of the previous times it has come to market over the past decades and even represented Brugnara himself a decade ago, has said on the record that:
it will need a big renovation; he estimates a “$3.5 to $7 million” update (not including addressing the outstanding legal issues with BCDC). This was given prior to the fire last year and the rise in construction/renovation costs recently
“this is easily a $25 million house”
“Techies will tear it down and start again”
I certainly claim no expertise about the market in Sea Cliff, but I can’t see anyone bidding enough to satisfy the enforcement order and the 1st lien holder, so it’ll be interesting to see what actually happens.
I believe Luke Brugnara will be back living in his house at 224 Sea Cliff before the end of the year. The existing 1st TD is still in Brugnaras name
That would probably be the best way to get the arson to stop.
I guess I am confused. The foreclosure auction is presumably at the behest of the bankruptcy trustee, so won’t Brugnara will be wiped out?
If this stairway is beyond the property line, what about the one a few houses over in the photo?
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