On the market for $19.675 million back 2016, returned to the market listed for $17.5 million in 2020, having been “cleaned up” and positioned as a “beautiful blank canvas ready for renovation,” the infamous seven-bedroom home at 224 Sea Cliff Avenue, which has been shielded from multiple foreclosures by way of a bankruptcy filing, has sold for $6.5 million, with no overbids, as approved by its bankruptcy trustee.

As we outlined last month, the property is being delivered free and clear of all existing liens, financial interests, and subordinate loans but the buyer is on the hook for removing the illegally constructed stairway and view points behind the home which lead down to the secluded cove below (which were frequently touted “selling points” for the property despite actually being liabilities).

And yes, this was effectively a lot sale. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

8 thoughts on “Infamous Sea Cliff Mansion Finally Trades”
  1. My guess is that a deep-pocketed developer bought this to develop on spec. $6.5M out the door, they do the work to remove the staircase, they put in another $4M into the property and sell it for $20M.

  2. Estimating demo costs for those stairs seems tricky because it is a unique project that has to comply with requirements from multiple organizations. Uniqueness makes it hard to find a similar project to benchmark against. The myriad requirement sources means you’ve got to be proactive to find out who might have a say in how this is done before you get too invested in a solution. Then there’s the question of the stability of this little piece of the coastline. If the project requires removal of everything artificial, then removing anchors and piers will surely result in part of the cliff crumbling away. And removing that retaining wall about a third of the way up from the beach will surely result in the collapse of whatever it was retaining. My guess is that a reasonable solution will be found that allows some of the concrete in contact with the natural cliff to remain in place, painted a color that blends in better than salmon pink.

    [stairs need to be replaced with an elevator shaft drilled into the cliff with stainless steel doors facing that little beach, a la Triangle of Sadness 🙂 ]

  3. I’d rather see the new owner pay a hefty fine for the stairs, like 90% of the cost of removing them*, and just give the money to the Coastal Commission or Save the Whales.

    * I mean a removal that meets all the unreachable requirements of returning the cliff face to a “natural” state (which can’t happen).

    1. BCDC already voted to have the staircase removed. Rhetorical question: Is it still there? I understand the deadline for removal was by the end of 2023. So this’ll get back on the agenda of a commission meeting some time this year. Video-call in to witness BCDC feed the property owner some humble pie.

  4. Despite obvious reasons for removal, it might not be inconceivable for billionaire with unlimited resources of money and time for vanity project, to try to claim prescriptive easement rights for at least foot path after removal of ugly unsafe structure. If easement were to be evntually allowed, then at that point it might be argued that new owner has to make it “safe” to use, which might open the possibility for other “improvements”.

    1. My recollection is that you cannot get a prescriptive easement against Federal or State owned land. I don’t know if that coastal property from the home’s property line to the ocean is either of those….

  5. Did this really happen? It’s only been almost 12 years… with all of the history, finding that the sale didn’t go through would not be a shocker.

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