Bullish on Cow Hollow lot with view of Golden Gate

10K sf parcel lists for $15M, offers options to would-be developers

2556 Filbert St (Redfin) Golden Gate, $15M
2556 Filbert St (Redfin)

A potential two-for-one deal offers a rare opportunity in the hip Cow Hollow district of San Francisco: A rare view of the Golden Gate Bridge on offer with a chance at splitting the lot for a new development.

It’s a “once in a lifetime opportunity” at 2556 Filbert Street, according to listing agent Janet Schindler, who writes on the property’s marketing site that the 10,000-square-foot parcel could be “possibly the very last Cow Hollow, Golden Gate view lot.”

The property is in the midst of a lot split, which thus far has only tentative approval for subdivision. Full approval would hold the potential for creating a choose-your-own-adventure for intrepid developers. For $15 million, buyers could get the entire 55-foot-by-188-foot lot, as well as unapproved plans from architect John Maniscalco with several concepts for how to best use the space, including designs for a nearly 15,000-square-foot home.

A 12,000-square-foot spec house next door was one of the biggest deals of 2021 when it closed for $32 million at the end of last year.

But would-be buyers could also choose to spend $8.5 million on just the “flag-shaped” portion of the lot where the existing 3,500-square-foot mid-century modern at its rear has 180-degree views across the Bay–– including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge––and is centered around an interior courtyard. For decades, the 1956 home has been owned by the same family, according to public record. They reside largely in Hawaii, and many of the home’s mid-century features, including wood-paneled walls and linoleum kitchen floors, appear untouched.

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“The nostalgic buyer may move right in and enjoy the classic 50’s style home serviced by an elevator,” according to the listing site.

The home’s exterior needs a city-mandated fire proofing before the lot can be legally split, but the sellers will do so if someone does not buy the entire parcel, according to the listing site. If it is split, the larger part of the lot will stay with the house and developers could have the opportunity to purchase just the undeveloped 25-foot-by-141-foot portion of the lot for $6.5 million, according to the listing site. Architect Maniscalco has also created unapproved plans for a 6,500-square-foot home designed to take advantage of the bay-facing views that could fit into the remainder parcel.

There are a few other options that Maniscalco has also prepared, depending on how the property sells, including rebuilding the existing home to 9,200 square feet and adding a new build that is over 5,000-square-feet. This being San Francisco, it’s anybody’s guess if any of these projects will end up getting approval, especially as the city eyes making larger home builds more difficult. But developers can always dream.

“Imagine your own secluded city estate in coveted Cow Hollow, surrounded by verdant gardens and featuring spectacular Golden Gate and Bay views,” the site reads.

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