2 Times a Half is a Lot

By Dave Fratello | September 11th, 2013

It's funny sometimes to see what kind of real estate is offered in Fall.

Right now in two different parts of the Sand Section, there are separate, adjoining half lots being marketed, at least in part, as full-lot sales. Buy both, combine them and just like that, you've got a full lot for new development.

The most prime of these is at 128 8th. St.

Oh yes, a 100 block near downtown.

Legally, this is 128 8th Street and 129 7th Place, two separate lots with separate parcel numbers, offered for sale together.

As you see from our little collage, the front/main home may not be much, but the views are nice in both directions. The site just needs a better platform from which to drink those in.

The $4.150M start price is certainly rich if you're viewing this (properly) as a pure lot sale. (The existing structures are obsolete, dark and difficult, and the front unit – even if you could imagine a remodel – is "landlocked," meaning no garage or alley access, a major impediment.)

How rich is that lot price?

Last Summer, we saw new and newer construction in 100-block locations – both 128s, actually – sell in the 5's.

Those were new 128 18th ($5.650M) and newer, completely tricked out and customized 128 5th ($5.850M).

This year, we've seen workable structures needing remodels hit $4.200M (112 20th and, another 128 address, 128 20th).

New construction just a little up from the 100s has been in the 5's over this past year, too:

So what do all of these tell you? It's impossible to build a spec house with a $4M land acquisition price, and even buyers with an eye to building for themselves would likely choke on that number. You have to think it's coming down.

We should note that 8th St., despite its 100-block address and proximity to beach and town, does have a public works liability – the public bathroom at the bottom of the street makes it a highly trafficked street, easily the busiest among downtown-adjacent walkstreets.

On the positive side, years ago they filmed "Weeds" there, so it's kinda famous.

Moving way north now, go up to the 400 blocks right near Grand View school.

Actually, across the street from the school.

There you'll find the other 2 lots being sold separately or together – if the right buyer comes along.

There are separate listings for 424 24th St. ($999K - pictured) and 425 23rd Place ($929K). 

The existing homes here aren't ghastly, but they're dated. The 24th St. home is just 1100 sq. ft. and 2 stories on a lot where you could go up to 3.

The alley home on 23rd place is a whopping 500 sq. ft.

Both listings point to one another, beckoning buyers to grab the whole lot.

That'd set you back $1.928M before you started talking to an architect.

This location isn't going to ring a lot of bells for people. You're literally across from the Grand View playground, and 24th is busy with school traffic and other cut-through traffic, people going to and from the beach down to the Tree Section.

We were looking at possible comps in the area, well aware that true lot sales in the 400 blocks up here have been rare.

There's a back alley half-lot sale from 421 32nd Place that closed in May at $825K. (That was a huge comedown from the $1.299M start.)

There's a full lot sale that took absolutely forever to close, due to some legal wrangling, but the $1.190M closed price on 441 28th from June this year is so shockingly low for a full lot, you'd be forgiven if you thought someone might be prosecuted for grand theft.

That's not today's value for the full lot.

So is the combined value of these two lots $1.9M, or $1.2M, or where in between?

It seems clear that both of these double half lots are aiming high, presenting interesting puzzles for the market to solve, perhaps this Fall.

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