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Landmark Payne Mansion seeking buyer again without asking price

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Pre-earthquake Vic turned hotel still for sale after three years

A Victorian house on Sutter Street. Courtesy JLL

The classic but occasionally troubled Victorian mansion at 1409 Sutter Street originally built by Theodore Payne in 1881 is still looking for a new buyer after three years, asking $12 million earlier in 2017 but now listed for no particular price at all.

The Sutter Street house, a registered landmark designed by Irish architect William Curlett, is “a dignified combination of earlier Victorian styles” and “one of the few examples of virtually unchanged pre-fire homes of San Francisco's wealthier class, [...] a reminder of an adolescent city built of wood by California gold and Comstock silver” writes Noe Hill.

Payne made his fortune through his Payne Bolt Works factory. He and his wife, Comstock Lode heiress Mary Pauline O'Brien (the niece of a silver baron), built 1409 Sutter a year after marrying and post-1906 forsook the city for an even larger and more elaborate Curlett-designed home on the peninsula.

Since then the Payne Mansion has been a restaurant, offices, and at one point a YMCA of all things. Back in 2014 the present owners turned it into a 13-room residential hotel, but even then the San Francisco Business Times reports they were trying to sell it.

In those days the price was $13.9 million. By last March the asking had cooled a bit to $12 million. The most recent ads by JLL no longer lists any specific price and notes that “investors should base their offer on the ‘As Is, Where Is’ conditions of the property.”