Vacant Russian Hill lot looks to set new mark on price for undeveloped resi parcels in SF

5,400-square-foot lot has been empty for a century, foreclosed on twice since 2012

San Francisco /
Apr.April 29, 2022 11:30 AM
The vacant lot and previous rendering of 1000 Broadway (Redfin, Page & Turnbull)
The vacant lot and previous rendering of 1000 Broadway (Redfin, Page & Turnbull)

A vacant lot in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood would reset the current benchmark on undeveloped parcels in the city if it gets even close to its $13 million.

The property at 1000 Broadway does not come with plans, approved or otherwise, and has been empty for over a century. Previous owners went into foreclosure twice since 2012 amid attempts to develop the corner parcel.

The lot has been empty since the home built on it in the 1850s was demolished in 1910, though a historic retaining wall from the 1890s still stands and reinforces “the uniquely Russian Hill theme of a walled ‘city in the country,’” according to the Russian Hill Neighbors historic walking tour of the area.

The home was demolished to make way for a garden for the granddaughter of Charles Homer, a builder who bought the entire block for $5,000 in 1853, according to the neighborhood group. In the 112 years since the teardown, the closest the 5,400-square-foot lot has come to being developed was the 2016 approval of a subdivision to allow the “Wysteria” project—two single-family homes and two condominiums with a shared garage for up to 10 cars.

Those plans were first drawn up back in 2006, but in 2012 the hedge fund that provided $15 million to build the development foreclosed on the property, according to SocketSite, which has been following the saga of what it called the “Corner of (Broken) Dreams” for almost a decade.

In 2017, a new loan of $13,335,000 was taken out on the site, presumably with the idea of developing it again. Yet by September 2019 the property was back in default and, having failed to receive its opening bid of $10.8 million, it reverted to the bank once again.

Last fall, the property listed for $13 million–it was taken off the market in March. This week the lot came back on, still asking $13 million, and touting a “fantastic location for this incredible opportunity to build or develop one or more luxury homes on this coveted Russian Hill corner site,” according to listing notes from Sotheby’s agent Michael Harrington.

It is the most expensive listing currently in the northern San Francisco neighborhood, known for its steep streets, historic homes and bay views. Giants co-owner Scott Seligman recently sold his 5,400-square-foot Russian Hill home for just under $10 million.

The second-priciest land listing in the city is a SoMa lot with approved plans for 24 two-bedroom, one-bath units over ground-floor commercial space. It is asking $5 million.





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