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April 8, 2010

Casa Cielo Construction Continues, Sunbelt Still Luxury Magnet


I was on my morning run this week and passed 3690 21st at the top of Liberty, still very much under construction. Remember this home on the Noe/Eureka border? It was the “Casa Cielo” residence of former mayor “Sunny” Jim Rolph, and sold quickly in August 2008. The property was listed at $3,745,000, and traded hands in a “confidential,” all-cash sale for $4.3M.

I was impressed with the home and its assortment of rooms when I’d toured the property. Here’s a look back at a common room, the kitchen, and a bedroom, so you can get the flavor:

The rooms were a bit dated, and screamed out for someone with a lot of financial resources who could tastefully renovate. It looks like the current owners are on the right track. Seems they’ve spent at least $500,000 on basement/kitchen/library/master bedroom/bathroom renovations, as well as lots of reconfigurations, a garage revision, a new roof terrace and balcony, and some concrete wall reinforcing.

That means they’re probably into the house for close to $5M. And you know what? I’m sure they’d be able to get at least that price if they had to sell in today’s market. After all, remember 625 Duncan, the new-construction home at the other end of Noe? It sold for all cash in late 2008 for $5,818,000 (apparently to buyers who were untroubled by the stock market crash). And that location is inferior to the top of Liberty Hill.

Noe and Eureka Valleys are still commanding top dollar for unique homes (though the firehouse at 3816 22nd Street still hasn’t found a buyer and was withdrawn from the market again in December at its last list price of $5,175,000). Chalk it up to the fact that some homeowners would rather be in the south part of the city where the weather is better and the freeways more accessible.

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