There's a new price for a 2.2-acre lot containing a group of crumbling greenhouses in San Francisco's Portola District. The University Mound Nursery at 770 Woolsey St. is now asking for $10 million dollars, a $2 million drop from its original asking price of $12 million. The property went on the market in 2013.
When we last wrote about the unique property, it was to report news of the Portola community rallying to resurrect the decrepit buildings into functioning greenhouses once more. At that time, we reported neighborhood efforts to turn the area into the cornerstone of an urban agricultural center that would include greenways and the production of food and flowers. Community leaders got the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to include the property in design plans for a creek daylighting project (bringing the long-buried Upper Yosemite Creek to the surface) and secured a $45,000 grant for master planning. Many people in the community hoped SFPUC would buy the property. However, according to a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, the agency has dismissed the idea due to the size of the property and the cost of moving the water mains and gas lines that run beneath it. Tyrone Jue, a spokesperson for SFPUC, was quoted in the article as saying: "We had hoped it would work. It was intriguing, and there would have been a lot of synergies between the Greenhouse and our green infrastructure project. But the numbers didn't pencil out."
However, the possibility of development has long been out there. According to the Chronicle article, a developer interested in putting 120 units of senior housing has explored the idea in meetings with the city's planning department. As zoned, the site could be developed into 34 single-family residences. Previously, real estate company Urban Green Investments was in contract to buy the land, but they pulled out of the deal.
The property takes up a full city block and has been owned by the Garibaldi family since the 1920s. Back in the day, it was a rose nursery, one of many nurseries in the neighborhood. Today, it's boarded up, overgrown, and inhabited by what appears to be an army of feral cats.
· Portola's University Mound Nursery Hits the Market for $12M [Curbed SF]
· Portola's University Mound Nursery May Remain a Greenhouse [Curbed SF]
· Greenhouse Project wants agriculture on site marketed for housing [San Francisco Chronicle]
· Hidden Histories: University Mound Nursery [Curbed SF]
· 770 Woolsey St [Redfin]