Knocking Down the South End Strand

By Dave Fratello | March 20th, 2013

It was a little bit of a surprise, 18 months ago or so ago, to see 112 The Strand get knocked down.

It had been a completely livable, large 1988-built home, and it went for a price you'd think should maybe come with a house: $7.334M (May 2010).

But that turned out to be how someone valued the dirt alone.

They knew what they wanted: A South End lot on The Strand to build on. They took what was available and paid what they needed to pay. And then they got under way. The project has gone on a while, with a vast, deep basement carved out before the current 3-story structure sprouted. It'll be huge.

That $7M+ sale marked out a new high end for South End Strand lot values, but the question was: Would that sort of number be hit again at a time when Strand lots in the middle and northern parts of town were hovering in the 5s and 6s?

Maybe it wasn't much of a mystery. The answer was yes, when neighboring 108 The Strand sold last October for $7.050M.

That house, too, was livable, remodeled in just the past few years, had plenty of square feet (4025) inside and could certainly have worked as a $7M beachfront house. The layout was a bit odd, and might have needed reworking to be improved, but if $7M was the top end of your budget, you could make it work.

Ha, ha, no. As of Wednesday, the structure is no more. (These are "before" and "after" photos.) A giant excavator made quick work of the place.

Next up: Another new build deep down on the South End beachfront.

Sheez, if you're the old little house at 104 The Strand, sandwiched between newer 100 The Strand and the newest construction site down south, you've got to be afraid of bulldozers, too. It won't be forever before that lot gets redeveloped.

All of this new development just accelarates a trend. The South End is being remade as the must-have, ultra-high end of Strand real estate.

Maybe you can say it all began with the triple-lot home at 212 The Strand, a new South End landmark. Three lots were acquired over time for a reported $15M before the home was built. It defied fears and expectations by being not a behemoth, but a tasteful (if huge) home. It actually opens some space along The Strand better than 3 consecutive maxed-out houses would. (See: "Big, Beautiful, Too Much?" from June 2009.) And 212 The Strand began a home-design fashion trend in MB with its island-inspired style.

Recently, after about 3 years of construction, they took the wraps off the next-door double-lot home on the sites of the former 204 & 208 The Strand.

Our photo here shows the new home in the foreground, and some of the triple-lot home beyond.

Those 2 lots sold separately at $6.1M and $6.7M each, respectively, in March 2009. (One, 204, was offered on the public market; the other was purchased off-market by the same buyers.)

It's a little funny to look back at the start price on 204 The Strand, where a little 1920s cottage wasn't providing much of the value. The start price, in the depths of the financial crisis (late 2008), was $8.2M. Obviously it settled much lower.

But the next South End Strand lot just got pricier, with all that the neighbors have done to upgrade the neighborhood. An 8+ number just doesn't seem out of the question, when and if there is a next sale.

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