Listed for $3.5 million eight months ago, with big plans for ten new “luxurious view residences” to rise on and behind the undeveloped Bernal Heights lot(s) at 1513 York Street and “non-appealable” site permits for the development having been secured, the “asking price” for the three lots, plans and site permits, which have been issued, was reduced to $2.995 million in June, a price which was just further reduced to $2.6 million, a sale at which would be considered to be “at asking!” according to all industry stats and aggregate reports.

If you think you know the market for vacant land and development opportunities in San Francisco, or “hot, hot, hot” Bernal Heights, now’s another chance to tell.

12 thoughts on “Big Bernal Heights Infill Project Parcels Reduced, Again”
  1. I’m wondering if the houses surrounding the block could team up and buy the space. It could be their community park or garden, accessible to the people who live there.

    There are about 30 houses circling the lot so it would be, what, 80k each?

    1. Thanks for the laugh — the idea that you could get 30 homeowners to voluntarily cough up $80,000 each for a community garden … LOL LOL LOL.

    2. North Beach, ideas similar to yours come up every time one of these oddly-shaped-and-placed lots comes on the market and featured here.

      What York St Resident is alluding to — other than the nontrivial dollar amount per homeowner called for here — is that, even if the neighbors organized an effort to acquire the property, if one or more surrounding households didn’t pay into the fund but the effort suceeded anyway, the holdout households would still gain the benefit of not having ten new “view residences” being built up and overlooking their back yards without having to bear their portion of the cost of acquiring the land and the ongoing expense of paying the marginal increase in property taxes. All involved parties would know this in advance.
      This means that even though it would be in all the neighbors interest for the acquisition to succeed, there would almost certainly be at least one Ayn Rand devotee who would try to not pay into the fund, but would try to derive the benefits (i.e., increased home price appreciation over time) from the successful acquisition. Such a household could be called a free rider.

      Getting all the neighbors to agree to fund the purchase would be a classic collective action problem, just like the ones described in any social science textbook you would have been assigned in college.

  2. Foreclosure Sale Scheduled: 10/24/2023
    Sale Date: 10/24/2023
    Sale Time: 1:30 PM
    Property Address: (VACANT LAND) 1513A, 1513E, 1513C YORK STREET

  3. Sad ending to this story…

    [Editor’s Note: The property was, in fact, foreclosed upon as scheduled and noted, three weeks ago, by inclinejj above.]

    1. “Quinlan bought the lot with his friend Merle Honaker in 1978 from the Gavriloff Family of Santa Rosa for $45,000.”

      Sounds like he would have been better off just being a banker….landbanker, that is.

        1. That’s the power of leverage, and an example of how it can hurt you when you use too much of it.
          I’m not a mortgage expert, but as I’m sure you are aware, prior to 2007, there are all kinds of mortgages that allowed you to never pay down the principal. Even without employing those, as the property increases in value over time, an owner can always just borrow more against the land, a practice folks like Patrick Quinlann, a hanger-on in the S.F. real estate “game”, would have been familiar with.

        2. I’m guessing there’s quite a bit more to the story – as you would imagine for something that started in 1979, even if only quite a bit more money involved (in legal and development costs…which can occur, of course, even in the absence of development).

          So while I don’t disagree with the poster(above) who called it a sad ending, I’m not sure it’s sad for the reasons people are likely to spin it – “evil bureaucracy destroys mans’s dreams” (and throw in “prevents much-needed housing” for goodbad measure) – but rather more like an amateur getting in over their head. (And the old standby of not putting all your retirement eggs in one basket…regardless of how great the idea may seem).

  4. Wonder if someone could buy the property and achieve North Beach’s proposed result by putting up a boundary line fence surrounding the property and excluding all the surrounding properties access. Put poles for the fence on the land at the corners or the property line of each property owner.

    Give then an easement to use the entire property for $80,000. When a neighboring property owner pays, drop the fence excluding that property so that the landowner know has access while continuing to exclude the nonpaying neighbors.

    Haven’t really thought it through. Just something that popped into my head while reading the comments about the free rider problem.

    And if you could figure out a way for whatever easements exist to somehow turn into proportional ownership of the property with those easement owners able to continue to exclude the non -paying owners…I don’t know … I’m trying to envision some structure that gets you out of the land so you’re not continually paying taxes and ultimately responsible for the land while also providing a deadline at which point the hold-out landowners know that if they don’t act, they will permanently lose access to the land…

    Thoughts for some very smart real estate deal making lawyer….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *