I come across the craziest things in San Francisco. Sometimes it might be a people-watching mermaid at aquatic park. Other times, it is an unexpected house. While Britton and I were on broker’s tour last week, we took notice of this rather large house on an incredibly large lot (for San Francisco). Located in District 4, I’ve probably driven by the house more times than I count but for whatever reason it grabbed my eye last week so I took a note of the address – 85 St. Elmo Way – with a note to look it up in the tax records.
When I looked it up in the tax records, I was expecting to find that it was owned by a private family, and was also expecting that it would have been owned by them for decades.
I couldn’t have been more wrong!
While it has been listed for sale (and eventually withdrawn) numerous times over the past decade, the last recorded sale was in 1997. Even more interesting is the owner. The tax records list the property owner as the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, with the tax bill going to 1450 Laguna St., which is where the consulate general for China is located.
So is it the personal residence for the consulate general or other consulate staff? A secret spy house for Chinese operatives? A meditation center for the falun gong?Â (bad joke, my apologies).
I’m having a hard time deciding which is more Â unexpected? AÂ 5,760 square foot home (on a roughly 40,000 square foot lot) surrounded by substantially more modest homes, or the fact that said property is owned by the Chinese government? Conspiracy theorists, take it away in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you are a neighbor that can chime in with actual facts, even better!