Coming Attraction in the Sand

By Dave Fratello | September 13th, 2010
For a week or so they're going to tease us with still photos and a pseudo virtual tour (still photos in motion!) of a new modern west of Highland. Not till Friday, when agents come through, will there be any showings, and they've not yet posted a public open.

222 17th (5br/4ba, 4275 sq. ft.) could be a bit of a sensation, partly thanks to playing hard to get, and largely because it's got style, newness and location wrapped up in a tight package.

The home's a complete reworking of a 90s-vintage duplex on the site that traded a few times in this decade before the current owners came in with their ambitious plans.

After paying $3.7m at about the local market's peak in March 2007, they undertook a 2-year renovation that brought the home squarely into the 21st century. With a start price of $5.250m, they're aiming now to achieve one of the biggest non-Strand sales in the Sand Section this year.

The pics show you a modern home with extensive use of attractive woods – eucalyptus flooring with a cherry-wood look, mahogany doors, plus various accents inside and out. Living spaces are big and open, as is the high-style, ultramodern kitchen. The big home gym just off the master is more attractive than some high-priced gyms we've dropped in on, and hey, it's right at the foot of your bed – no membership fees, and no one blocking your treadmill.

While we watch to see how the market reacts to that list price, we thought of a few sales of interest and general comparability:

200 19th (5br/4ba, 4200 sq. ft.), a brand new Cape Cod that sold in March 2008, came to mind mainly because it wound up defining the market peak for new construction on the downtown-adjacent walkstreets. It sold for $5.6m about 2 and a half years ago. (See "High/Low Prices for 2008.")

204 19th (4br/4ba, 4260 sq. ft.) is a different case entirely, a newer (2006) but not new Mediterranean belonging to former Dodger pitcher Derek Lowe, which suffered from endless market exposure when overpriced and finally closed in May this year for $3.9m. (See "Way Lowe-r.") Probably this sale defined the low end for values of newer homes on these walkstreets.

128 9th (4br/5ba, 4100 sq. ft.) (pictured), a brand-new modern with some Asian influences, seems like the closest home in overall style to 222 17th that has closed recently, though its South End location backing up to commercial property on Manhattan Ave. makes it difficult as a direct comp. The sale closed in late November last year at $4.9m, down quite a bit from a start at $6.499m but impressive regardless.

228 31st (4br/4ba, 3950 sq. ft.) is a brand-new modern up in the North End that's in escrow now. Last list price was $4.395m. It's special, but once again hard to draw into direct comparison with the new 17th St. listing because of location differences – 17th easily gets the nod here – plus the unquantifiable extra bonus factor for truly new construction (advantage, 31st).

We'll provide some more detail after a tour of 17th this week, and will let MBC readers know of any public opens as well.

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