While Buckingham Palace remains the world’s most expensive residence — valued at some $1.5 billion — it’s unlikely that the British Crown will list on on Zillow anytime soon. Meanwhile, obscene real-estate records have been falling stateside lately. Earlier this month, hedge-fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin paid $238 million for a five-floor penthouse suite in a 1,000-foot tower on Manhattan’s Central Park South that isn’t even built yet. That almost doubles the previous record for the most expensive home in U.S. history, a $137 million transaction in Long Island’s affluent hamlet East Hampton.
Even though the Bay Area is home to four of the 10 richest Americans, nothing in California has ever come close to that kind of absurdity. But San Francisco inched its way up today, with the announcement that a penthouse at The Avery has hit the market, priced at $41 million, a figure that would be a record for the city. The 8,482-square-foot unit and its 1,580-square-foot roof deck are poised some 600 feet above the Transbay Terminal area, in a building designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaas‘ firm OMA. Koolhaas is a winner of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor, and also the author of Delirious New York, a 1978 “retroactive manifesto” about urbanism. Perhaps it’s time for a West Coast sequel centered on 420 Folsom St. in the so-called “East Cut.”
Real-estate company Related is no stranger to these types of transactions, having sold a $55 million penthouse in New York’s Tribeca and a $35 penthouse at The Century in L.A. (Although related to Related, The Avery is unrelated to the Fillmore restaurant Avery, which offers a $289 tasting menu that few people besides residents of The Avery can afford. Got that?)
To be fair, an adjacent building that’s part of the overall project will have affordable dwellings. Curbed reported last year that San Francisco architect Anne Fougeron designed several units for mortals, situated above the ground-floor retail area and beneath the $1 million one-bedrooms, $2 million two-bedrooms, and $3 million three-bedrooms. The Avery is expected to open to residents this year.
In other news, the city conducted its biannual Point-in-Time count of unhoused persons over the weekend, the results of which will let us know in a few months how many of our fellow citizens lack a home to call their own. Meanwhile, there was a rally and “walkaround” at City Hall today as the Coalition on Homelessness prodded San Francisco to allocate funds from its unexpected $181 million tax windfall to solving the city’s most intractable crisis.