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Is $450K a Good Price for This Worrisome Bayview Lot?

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Right around the corner from the block that used to be San Francisco's most popular spot for homicides

For $450,000, you could buy two houses at the United States median and still get change back. So is it a fair price for a desolate looking empty lot in the Bayview?

The lot at 1208 Egbert is a 5,000-square-foot plot at the very end of the street, just around the block from the Alice Griffith Housing Project and less than 900 feet from the intersection at Fitzgerald and Griffith that cops used to call "the kill zone," the one corner in the entire city that was the site of more murders than any other.

(Six percent of San Francisco homicides happened at that one intersection in 1994.)

The land itself is rather ominous looking. Although there are plans for two new homes on the parcel, the city has had the application for two years without approving it, which doesn’t suggest that a windfall of building permits is about to fall out of the sky anytime soon.

(The fact that the seller, a South San Francisco LLC, now wants to part with the place suggest that they don’t think so, either.)

And yet, a loony but stubbornly persistent argument could be made that this is not a bad deal — or at least, not the worst deal ever offered on a piece of dirt. (Remember that $2.7 million field in Palo Alto?)

First, it's very nearly the cheapest land for sale in all of San Francisco. Six blocks away, on the other side of Third Street, a parcel the same size is selling for $1.2 million, the average price of a one-bedroom home.

Point number two, as the ad notes, the city and developers are putting their all into changing the neighborhood, rebuilding the nearby projects and redeveloping huge chunks of the southeast side.

This is a pretty shaky pitch right now, and many in the community are skeptical about promises to transform the block. But the Mission was a once sketchy place, but now look at it.

You never know what the future brings, but it’s hard to imagine that in a city this dense and busy, any piece of land will stay empty forever.