2-parcel waterfront estate in Marin takes $20M price cut, could go to auction

Seller “knew he was overpriced” on Belvedere property when he asked $60M last fall, agent says

445-455 Belvedere Avenue and Sotheby's Olivia Hsu Decker (Jason Wells, Sotheby's)
445-455 Belvedere Avenue and Sotheby's Olivia Hsu Decker (Jason Wells, Sotheby's)

Two adjoining Belvedere waterfront parcels previously listed at a combined $60 million recently took a $20 million price cut, and could follow the lead of neighboring owners in the ritzy bayfront community who are putting their adjoining high-end properties up for auction later this month.

The owner of 445-455 Belvedere Avenue “knew he was overpriced and knew $39.5 million is the right price,” said listing agent Olivia Hsu Decker of Sotheby’s via email.

445-455 Belvedere Avenue (Jason Wells)

445-455 Belvedere Avenue (Jason Wells)

The original $60-million listing price last fall was a reaction to the then-$55 million price tag on neighboring properties at 333-337 Belvedere, which Decker also represented around the same time. When those owners dropped the price to a combined $39.5 million for their 11,000-square-foot estate and neighboring lot, the owner of 445-455 decided to drop the price for his adjoining properties, too.

The owner, who is hidden behind an LLC, “owns hundreds of properties worldwide and is a very sophisticated property investor and developer,” according to Decker. If his neighbor’s auction goes well later this month, and he hasn’t gotten any acceptable offers by then, he isn’t opposed to going the auction route as well, she said.

445-455 Belvedere Avenue (Jason Wells)

445-455 Belvedere Avenue (Jason Wells)

The owner bought 445 Belvedere in 2007 for what was then a record price of $15.5 million. The 8,000-square-foot home with a glass-door three-car garage and barrel-vaulted bayfront great room was featured in Architectural Digest in 2005 and designed by the same New York-based architect who restored and expanded the Guggenheim Museum in the early 1990s. When 455 Belvedere came up for sale in 2015, the property owner bought that too, and also added 441-443 Belvedere for $10 million in 2018.

“The owner wanted to buy all his neighbors’ homes,” Decker said.

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The seller demolished the home on 455, near the tip of Belvedere Island, leaving only a two-car garage with a large guest apartment above. The developable lot has all utilities onsite and panoramic views from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate. Decker is asking $8.5 million for the lot at 455, which is slightly more than what the owner paid in 2015, and is asking $31.5 million for the sleek home next door at 445. For a short time, Decker was listing all four of the owner’s properties for a combined $75 million; but she sold 441-443 Belvedere for $6.5 million to real-estate investor Antonio Castellucci, who already has a home in Belvedere, earlier this year, according to public record.

Like the properties at 333-337 Belvedere, buyers have the option to purchase one or both of the lots. But Decker said that is where the similarities between her listings end.

“​​Most buyers told me 333-337 Belvedere is a resort-like family compound or a business retreat and 445 is a bachelor pad resemb[ling] a luxury mega yacht,” she said. “The two homes are very different.”

Plus, 445-455 are waterfront properties, whereas 333-337 Belvedere has water views but not direct access. Several neighbors have had boat docks approved nearby and it may be possible to get approvals for a boat dock for 445-455 as well, Decker said.

Despite both her $30-million-plus Belvedere listings taking a major price cut this spring, Decker said Belvedere’s “island enclave” vibe is still appealing to ultra-high-end buyers. Three offers that the owner of 445-455 rejected came in before the price cut, she said, and some of those buyers are circling again, as are newly interested parties. She said Belvedere is largely unaffected by interest rate increases—”I rarely sold a home with a mortgage,” she said—or even the recent tech stock market decline, the combination of which is having a cooling effect in much of the Bay Area.

“Tech stocks declines might impact [the] Silicon Valley market, but not the Belvedere market,” she said.

Belvedere buyers are turning away from the more formal European-inspired estates of old, however, and showing a decided preference for contemporary, light and airy homes, she said. She pointed to two modern Belvedere homes that fit that description and “flew off the shelves within days.” One went for $1.5 million over its $18-million ask and a two-bedroom home with less than 3,000-square feet sold for $6.7 million. Meanwhile, her $11.5-million eight-bedroom listing on Golden Gate Avenue, walking distance to two yacht clubs, is still sitting unsold after nine months on the market “because it’s a classic Italian-style home,” she said.

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A photo illustration of 337 Belvedere Avenue (Jason Wells, iStock)
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