BELVEDERE -- There goes the neighborhood.
Or least a $4.2 million chunk of it.
Within days, the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house at 333 Belvedere Avenue will be a dusty scrapheap of memories on one of the toniest blocks in one of the Bay Area's toniest towns. After shelling out big bucks for the repossessed home next door to them, Clark and Sharon Winslow are having it razed and planting it with trees and shrubbery.
Originally built in 1909 to shelter horses for the Blanding Estate on top of the island overlooking the San Francisco Bay, the current home was not considered to have historical significance. So the city's planning commission told the Winslows last July they could call in the
"They then applied officially to remove the building in March of this year, shortly after taking title,'' said Felicia Wheaton, assistant city manager for the ritzy enclave of 2,125 lucky hilltop residents.
The Bank of America had taken back the property from the previous owners, who had bought it in 2004 for $7 million. The Winslows purchased it at an auction.
So why buy it only to tear it down? Neither the Winslows nor their realtor could be reached Monday. But it could have been the buyers' desire for an even better view than the killer view they already have.
They purchased their own home next door in 2008 for $19 million. But despite its girth (11,200 square feet) and its glitz (a "resort-style health
Then voilà! -- a fire sale next door, where the owners had fallen behind in their mortgage before abandoning ship.
The demolition, which has been under way for several weeks, appears to be popular with neighbors. Several residents voiced their support at a Planning Commission meeting to consider a demolition permit.
Olivia Hsu Decker of Decker Bullock Sotheby's International Realty, who has sold many high-end homes in Belvedere and lives across the street, said the project will improve the neighborhood and increase her own view.
"The house was pretty beat up anyway," she said. "The people hadn't lived there in the last two years."
Contact Patrick May at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at patmaymerc.