SOLD: Quintessential Pacific Heights Residence

This beautiful top floor, two bedroom condominium sold in four days! This swift sale bridged the gap to allow our sellers a stress free purchase of a larger Pacific Heights home. They were thrilled with our seamless sales cycle.

$1, 550,000 - Seller Represented

Art Deco Pacific Heights penthouse asks $8.2 million

Circa 1925 co-op polishes its penthouse credentials

CURBED SF - MAY 11, 2017


1940 Broadway Street

1940 Broadway Street

The top-floor unit at 1940 Broadwayin Pacific Heights is on offer for a staggering $8.2 million, a sum liable to give house hunters a touch of vertigo even before they ascend to the penthouse level.

The ad for the three-bed, two-and-a-half bath, 2,900-square-foot condo frames it as a ticket to “one of San Francisco's most exclusive clubs: penthouse ownership.”

“It’s only a penthouse if it’s the only unit on the top floor,” realtor Joseph Lucier tells Curbed SF, insisting that while some people will try to pass off any tip-top home as a penthouse that this one is the real deal for sticklers.

1940 Broadway Street

Other ads for homes in the Art Deco building on Broadway date it as early as 1923 or as late as 1926, but the city pegs it as a 1925 building. The listing for the number seven unit credits its design to “noted architects George A. Bos and Frederick W. Quandt.”

Bos’ name adorns the gorgeous George A. Pos Apartments on Green Street in Russian Hill, a building so charming that it even earned the nickname “Paris Block” for the mini-hood surrounding around it.

19409 Broadway Street

But, oddly enough, despite being named for Bos, it was actually Grace Cathedral architect Lewis Hobart who designed that one. Go figure.

Quandt was a German architect who worked in Seattle before coming to San Francisco, famous in his day for the now-defunct William R. Davis & Brother Department Store on Mission Street, which the San Francisco Chronicle in 1923 called “a large three story Beaux-Arts design costing $1 million.”

1940 Broadway Street view

But the building at 1940 Broadway is probably his most visible contribution to the city these days. Lucier notes the extra classy portico entrance, carved plaster ceiling in the lobby, and classic black and white marble floor.

Speaking of class, the penthouse itself has “annexed part of the living room” to serve as a library, but although the ad talks up its wood-paneled appeal there aren’t presently any photos of it, which seems like a loss. But we do get to scope out the picture-frame moldings.

HOAs come to $2,397/month. And this is a co-op, so interested buyers would have to be accepted by the board. In other words, tacky high bidders need not apply.

1940 Broadway Street bedroom


The Pacific Heights Bet

2865 Vallejo Street

2865 Vallejo Street

1997 - Sold for $1,825,000

2003 - Sold for $2,750,000

2014 - Sold for $6,995,000

2016 - Sold for $7,450,000


2204 Pacific Avenue #4

2204 Pacific Avenue #4

1998 - Sold for $1,000,000

2009 - Sold for $2,400,000

2011 - Sold for $2,720,000

2014 - Sold for $3,900,000

2016 - Sold for $4,200,000


By Joseph Lucier

Pacific Heights known the world over as San Francisco’s premier neighborhood is home to architecturally significant residences, quaint boutiques, and, of course, iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Since 1996, the median price for a Pacific Heights single family home has increased 367% from $1,200,000 to $5,600,000. The condominium market followed showing a 286% gain to $1,450,000. There have been downturns during this time - most notably the precipitous value drop in 2009-2011; but a long term real estate hold in this blue chip neighborhood remains a wise investment. Even so, buyers (and sellers) often hedge and play the market timing game.

“In 30 years in this business, I do not know anybody who has done it (market timing) successfully and consistently, nor anybody who knows anybody who has done it successfully and consistently.” So were the words of John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group of Investment Companies. Cycle after cycle, we continue to note a strange phenomenon with well heeled individuals in the high end market. With a balancing market ahead, sellers need to be careful of their psychological penchant for "rear view mirror" pricing and avoid following the market down to capture reduced gains. During the inevitable market correction, buyers tend to resist the opportunity to buy real estate on sale. This is when the truly savvy take advantage of discount pricing and ride the market when it turns. Again and again in a hot market, we hear, “I am going to wait until the market cools off to buy.” And yes, they do wait…and wait…and wait!  Most agree that timing the bottom (or top) is luck.  Without the confidence of seasoned professional advice,  we always see many “smart” buyers fervently chase each other back to the multiple offer market place after the market turns upwards. Makes sense right? Uh?

"These numbers show one thing for certain. Time is your friend when owning a home in San Francisco. Blue chip properties protect value in a downturn and take the most advantage of a market cycle in full swing."

The reality of purchasing a home often relies on factors outside of market economics. A job transfer, an equity event, a marriage, and downsizing are some of the life events that call for a new home. My advice to San Francisco clients today looking at a mature market cycle is to protect themselves by specifically buying blue chip real estate. Practice time honored fundamentals. Location, location, location. Buy the least expensive house on the best block. Get into the 2000+ sqft condominium market. Of the 2,694 condominiums in Pacific Heights only 427 are 2000 sqft or more. This is a relatively safe sector since buyers are increasingly getting priced out of this neighborhood's single family home market and alternatively choosing to stay by purchasing a large condo.  Playing defense in a balancing market is an astute way to build confidence and be prepared to strike when the right property comes along.

In the last twenty years the Pacific Heights market has topped twice. The 2001 high water mark of $3,684,000 toppled with the dot-com bust, then another peak achieved in 2007 with a median price of $4,037,000. The market took approximately five years each time to climb back to peak values. Currently, the Pacific Heights single family home median price is up 38% from the 2007 top to $5,600,000.  How about that!

What to make of these market cycles when coupled with the lives we lead in our homes? Well - time is your friend when owning a home in San Francisco. Take note that blue chip property protects value in a downturn and is the most advantageous when the market moves again.  I encourage a bet on Pacific Heights real estate as a prime asset to any financial portfolio and a place to enjoy life amidst the San Francisco real estate merry-go-round.

Pacific Heights homeowners took great care in restoring 1895 Victorian

San Francisco Chronicle  July 1, 2014

By Jeremy Schnitker

Rarely does a recently restored San Francisco home that has not been gutted and completely modernized come on the market. Enter the six-bedroom, six-bath Victorian-style home on the 1800 block of Jackson Street in Pacific Heights. The 6,650-square-foot property is filled with original detailing such as wood paneling, beamed ceilings and a number of unique windows. But the home is modern where it counts, said Sotheby's International Realty agent Joseph Lucier, who, along with Caroline Kahn Werboff of Hill & Co., is listing the property for $4.995 million.

The home was built in 1895 for Henry Lund, a native of Germany who served as royal consul for Norway and Sweden on the West Coast. To build the home, Lund hired William H. Lillie, a sought-after architect in the 1890s.The home, which occupies an oversize lot, was renovated by its current owner with help from interior designer Susan Clark. It features custom Grace Richey Clarke window coverings and Lefroy Brooks faucets, as well as a modern kitchen, an upstairs library, a top-floor media room and a lower-level guest suite with a kitchen.

"The principal level has been restored to its original grandeur," Lucier said. "And painstaking effort and care was given to the mahogany and oak woodwork throughout the entry foyer, living room and dining room. The original mantel in the living room and the built-in sideboard in the dining room are representative of the craftsmen that were commissioned when the house was built."

There is also a south garden that includes tall ferns, Japanese maples, a stone terrace, a large, level lawn, decks and a three-plus-car garage.The front of the home features large London plane trees and an expansive front deck and shelter that are set back from the street. In the entryway, there is a marble stairway, an intricate mosaic-tile landing and mahogany double-front doors that open to a grand hall with quarter-sawn oak floors.

On the main floor, the living room is accented by mahogany details, as well as linen walls, a fireplace, a glass chandelier and oak flooring. The front library, which has a fireplace, is currently used as a formal dining room. A large carved oak buffet and fireplace highlight the family room. There is also a deck off the family room. 

The kitchen holds marble counters, wainscoting, white subway-tile backsplash, Wolf range, stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator, two dishwashers and built-in La Cornue French rotisserie.

The second level has a staircase with a LaFarge stained glass piece that sits over a window seat and a Juliet balcony at the top of the stairs, as well as a copper leaf ceiling over the second-floor landing. The entry hall, complete with candle sconces, leads to a remodeled bath with marble tiles and a bathtub with a rain shower.  

The master bedroom suite comes with a fireplace and a walk-in closet, as well as heated marble floors, double sinks, a soaking tub and a separate shower.

The third floor features two bedrooms, one with a balcony and skylight, five closets and a bathroom with an antique bear-claw tub. A media room with skylights and star lighting is adjacent to the card room and deck. 

There is also a wet bar with a storied marble top, which was quarried in the 1930s and originally used in a post office. The bar has a nickel sink and custom fixtures.The lower level holds a living area, a kitchenette and French doors that open to an expansive deck with Ipe wood.

"The home has an elegance that conjures up images of San Francisco during the turn of the century," Lucier said. "Being in the home, you can imagine the large-scale entertaining that went on in the home - particularly in the dining room - which could have easily held a table for 25. There's also a sense of privacy and comfort with the ... house being situated back from Jackson Street."

Built: 1895
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 6
Size: 6,650 square feet
Agent: Joseph Lucier, Sotheby's International Realty, (415) 260-9791