San Fran­cisco street sells for $90,000. Neigh­bors not happy

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Th­ese days, the price of a San Fran­cisco home can eas­ily top a mil­lion dol­lars. But one savvy in­vestor has bought up a whole street in the city’s most ex­clu­sive neigh­bor­hood for a mere $90,000. Trou­ble is, some of the ex­tremely wealthy res­i­dents of Pre­sidio Ter­race were not aware their street was up for sale and are not pleased it has been sold.

Pre­sidio Ter­race is an oval shaped street sealed off by a gate from the tony Pre­sidio Heights neigh­bor­hood. Lined with tow­er­ing palm trees and mul­timil­lion dol­lar man­sions, the street has been home, over the years, to fa­mous res­i­dents in­clud­ing Sen Dianne Fe­in­stein and House Demo­cratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Thanks to a city auc­tion stem­ming from an un­paid tax bill, Bay Area real es­tate in­vestor Michael Cheng, and his wife Tina Lam, bought the street and now own the side­walks, the street it­self and other ar­eas of “com­mon ground” in the pri­vate de­vel­op­ment that, the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle re­port ed, has been man­aged by the home­own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion since at least 1905.

Cheng says re­ac­tion to the sale has been less than neigh­borly. “I thought they would reach out to us and in­vite us in as new neigh­bors,” Cheng told AP. “This has cer­tainly blown up a lot more than we ex­pected.” It turns out the home­own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion for Pre­sidio Ter­race failed to pay a $14-a-year prop­erty tax, some­thing that own­ers of all 181 pri­vate streets in San Fran­cisco must do, the Chron­i­cle re­ported.

So the city’s tax of­fice put the prop­erty up for sale at the cost of $994 in an on­line auc­tion to re­gain un­paid back taxes, penal­ties and in­ter­est. The cou­ple even­tu­ally won the street with a $90,100 bid in an April 2015 auc­tion. Scott Em­blidge, the at­tor­ney for the Pre­sidio Home­own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, said in a let­ter to the city that the own­ers failed to pay be­cause the tax bill was mis­tak­enly be­ing sent to the ad­dress of an ac­coun­tant who hadn’t worked for the home­own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion since the 1980s, the Chron­i­cle re­ported. Em­blidge said the res­i­dents didn’t know their street was put on the auc­tion block, let alone sold, un­til May when a ti­tle search com­pany hired by Cheng and Lam reached out to ask if any res­i­dents had in­ter­est in buy­ing back the prop­erty. That was one of sev­eral op­tions Cheng and Lam have con­sid­ered for mak­ing the in­vest­ment pay off.

An­other op­tion is to charge res­i­dents to park on their street - and rent out the 120 park­ing spa­ces that line the grand cir­cu­lar road. “As le­gal own­ers of this prop­erty, we have a lot of op­tions,” Cheng said, ad­ding that noth­ing has been de­cided. The mat­ter could be headed for court. Last month, the home­own­ers pe­ti­tioned the Board of Su­per­vi­sors for a hear­ing to re­scind the tax sale. The board has sched­uled a hear­ing for Oc­to­ber. The home­own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion has also sued the cou­ple and the city, seek­ing to block Cheng and Lam from sell­ing the street to any­one while the city ap­peal is pend­ing. — AP

SAN FRAN­CISCO: A side­walk leads into lux­ury homes in the Pre­sidio Ter­race neigh­bor­hood on Mon­day. — AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.