It's whale season around here, so we thought we'd enjoy exploring some of the more dramatic downward dives on the San Francisco real estate scene. These are failed whale tales, folks: homes that hit the market hoping to sell at the city's highest prices, only to find fame instead for cutting millions--and millions-- off asking. Here are the top three whale fails, in ascending order.
3. Villa Belvedere:
Debuting on the market at $45 million, this Belvedere mansion—over 15,000 square feet including 7 beds, 9 baths, cellars and theaters, pool and more—found no one willing to buy. Sellers then cut the price to $36 million. This too failed to attract the right kind of attention, as luxury buyers for whatever reason sailed on past this whale. Finally its owner put it up for auction. Now, Villa Belvedere is in contract, but the listing agent makes us aware they're still accepting back-up offers, perhaps in vain hope of getting somewhere near the original list..or even the $9 million reduced version.
2. 2901 Broadway:
Readers will know Billionaire's Row as place where the very rich buy and sell real estate, but it's also a place where prices come down as much as eight figures. 2901 Broadway landed on the market in 2006, a 7 bed, 7.5 bath "Italian Renaissance" of debatable appeal and condition, asking $58 million. Failing to find a buyer, sellers cut the price first to $48 million, then to $45 million, then suddenly to $38 million. According to the still functioning website (equipped with suitably serious Classical piano soundtrack and Flash powered gallery), this whale was finally harpooned. Final price? $28,250,000. 1. 2845 Broadway:
Our biggest failed whale tale comes also from Billionaire's Row, where the many storied (but markedly un-walled) 2845 Broadway finally found a new owner. It began life as a project for heir to the Phoenix University fortune, Peter Sperling, who bought it for $32 million in 2002, then gutted it. Without bothering to put it back together, he re-listed the 17,500 square foot mansion for $65 million. This would have been the city's most expensive residential real estate sale in history. But that history was not to be. Instead, Yammer founder David Sacks finally purchased the still-unfinished home for just $20 million. A lot of money to be sure, but $45 million less than original asking, and $12 million less than Sperling spent in 2002—which makes this transaction a whale of a fail.
· This Is What a $45,000,000 Belvedere Mansion Looks Like [Curbed SF]
· Villa Belvedere to Sell to Highest Bidder [Curbed SF]
· Villa Belvedere [official site]
· Pacific Heights Priceless [Curbed SF]
· SF's Most Expensive Home Receives an Offer [Curbed SF]
· SF's Most Expensive Home Sells for $28,250,000 [Curbed SF]
· 2901 Broadway [official site]
· Flipping Limestone [Curbed SF]
· Infamous Billionaire's Row Mansion, Still City's Most Expensive, Still Unfinished, Sold? [Curbed SF]
· And the Rumors Fly Lower [Curbed SF]