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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How Much Would the White House Cost You in San Francisco?

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM

click to enlarge How much for a sublet?
  • How much for a sublet?

In San Francisco, a building hailing from the mid-19th century is a source of wonder. In Europe, they've got public toilets that old.

The White House, which was completed in 1800, would be an oddity out here -- to put it mildly. San Francisco has its share of palatial estates, but none that were burned by the British in 1814.

What would the White House command in the City by the Bay? The real estate website Movoto aimed to answer that question. It figured that the presidential residence would command perhaps $115 million on the open market. But that's back East. What about here?

Well, by plugging and chugging the average price per square foot in our city -- and others -- and figuring the White House is 55,000 square feet, the website figures a White House West would cost you $147 million.

click to enlarge Forget The White House. If we had spare millions, we'd sink them into Julius' Castle.
  • Forget The White House. If we had spare millions, we'd sink them into Julius' Castle.
It's a good bit of fun and a conversation-starter. Of course, San Francisco is not homogenized -- in real estate or any other field. A White House in Bayview would not cost the same as a White House on Nob Hill or a Marina White House to sink into the earth when next The Big One strikes. Similarly, real estate in New York City -- where the White House would, by Movoto's calculation, run $387 million -- is not uniform from Rockefeller Plaza to Staten Island.

The notion of erecting a White House in San Francisco, meanwhile, conjures up stomach-churning imagery of bureaucratic hurdles, endless public meetings, and, perhaps, a committee to propose a name that better fits San Francisco's idiom.

Finally, just because the White House ought to command $115 million in D.C. or $147 million here doesn't mean it would. A scaled-down White House replica in McLean, Va., was unable to move at $4.65 million, then $4.25 million -- and is now off the market.

No news on how much it wouldn't sell for if it were here.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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