Hill Section Dirt Over $5M

By Dave Fratello | August 20th, 2014

It took a few months, but they've now sold 828 Highview, a favorable, large corner lot with potential views from the second floor of a new home. (Lot size: 8900 sq. ft. and change.)

The price for the lot: $5.400M.

And from there, you have to start spending to create a home to take full advantage.

The sale price here is quite a drop (-15%) from the start price of $6.350M, which everyone was told was "firm." Until it wasn't, apparently.

One of the comps for this lot would be 724 10th, a slightly bigger lot (10,500 sq. ft.) just a couple blocks north. That one had been a frequent traveler on the MLS in 2011-2013, with asking prices from $5.690M down to $4.895M. It finally sold off-market in March this year for $5.630M. (Looks like that 2011 start price was basically right, just the wrong year.)

There on 10th, the view potential seems more straightforward. (See this post from last year, where we noted that the Southwestern house on site does not have a reverse floorplan to show off the views – only the 2 master showers (!) get views.) We haven't seen them get to work yet at the Southwestern, but it's only been a few months since title changed hands.

We simply never climbed on the roof at 828 Highview to make out the views for ourselves. But we did note power poles in close range that would be part of any view from that spot on Highview. (Unsurprisingly you don't see them in the MLS photos.)

Speaking of power poles, another Hill Section view lot on the public market this year was 919 1st. (We say "was," because it was recently withdrawn, but you'd think they'd still sell.)

Unlike the Highview and 10th, this one is pretty far from downtown. A plus is the wide street at 1st and a favorable drop in the hill toward the south, where the views are.

This strategically cropped MLS photo (also) doesn't show the collection of power poles in the area that are part of the view. They say those things disappear as the mind blocks them out, once you are used to them.

919 1st was asking $4.500M for a few months this year before the recent withdrawal.

All of this sure makes the view lot at 636 8th look positively cheap by comparison.

Offered at $4.850M in early 2012, it settled way down from there 2 solid years ago, in Aug. 2012, at $4.100M.

The 9500 sq. ft. lot is very well located just where Highview lets off and fairly near Pacific Ave., one of two prime view streets running north/south.

Views at 636 8th have no obstructions as the hill drops down and there are no power poles anywhere nearby. They were removed in the first wave of undergrounding several years back.

We know those views well, having sold nearby 620 8th St. twice this year.

There's a new high-end home going up on the site at 636 8th St. If we were to even hint at who's building it – which is not really our style here, anyway – we're certain we'd get a nastygram from a lawyer, because someone else already did.

But it will be one of the best new homes in the Hill Section for a long time, on one of the least-pricey lot trades, as land values exceed $5M, apparently. Nice combination for whoever-it-is.

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