Couple Buys the Street Rights to One of SF’s Only Gated Communities

published Aug 8, 2017
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There’s real estate speculation and opportunism, and then there’s this dramatic tale from one of San Francisco’s most expensive neighborhoods, where a couple of investors swooped in and bought the rights to an entire private street — right out from under the nose of the HOA board and residents, in what someone might call an attempt at “reverse gentrification.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a San Jose couple snatched up Presidio Terrace — a block-long, private circular drive in a gated community, lined by 35 multimillion-dollar mansions — for a high bid of approximately $90,000 in a 2015 city auction, after the Presidio Terrace homeowners association neglected to pay its $14/year tax bill for almost 30 years, or about $994 in unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest.

Why would anyone want to buy the rights to a street and its common areas in a city — let alone a neighborhood — where they don’t live? That’s where the story gets a bit juicy. The long, sordid, still ensuing, and fascinating tale of a controversially exclusive neighborhood, a neglectful HOA, “the culmination of a comedy of errors” in unpaid city fees, and one opportunistic investor couple, was captured in detail yesterday by Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier & Andrew Ross.

Featuring homes in the Beaux-Arts, Mission Revival, and Tudor Revival styles, Presidio Terrace has a pedigree for guarding the privacy of aristocratic A-listers, including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and former SF Mayor Joseph Alioto, among others. Of the 35+ homes in the community, the few that have recently sold have gone for multiple millions of dollars — $6.5M, $8M, and $16.9 million for these three listings recently featured on Curbed SF.

Check out the full story about the history of Presidio Terrace, its famously private, exclusive and gated community status, and its recent (controversial) sale, wherein investors may try to sell or rent parking publicly, over on the San Francisco Chronicle and Curbed today.