Yammer founder and Textline CEO Alan Braverman more likely to see thousands and thousands in losses on $7.9M San Francisco penthouse
Yammer founder and Textline CEO Alan Braverman and his wife Angela, president of Space Lace Auctions and Atelier, could lose $4.6 million restoring a historic Jackson Square penthouse.
That’s assuming they get their asking price of $7.9 million for the indoor-outdoor lot with a 3,000-square-foot “sky garden” on the roof.
The couple spent more than $9 million over several years to convert the 3,200-square-foot top floor of an 1860s Jackson Square penthouse into their “dream home,” without considering resale value, she says Listing Agent Gregg Lynn of Sotheby’s International Realty.
“It should be her forever home,” Lynn said via email. But those plans changed as the couple’s baby got older and they realized they wanted to be closer to family in the Midwest. “No one wants to sell at a loss – they would strongly prefer to sell and recoup their costs, but they recognize that this is not possible and that will not prevent them from continuing their life close to their family.”
The couple paid $3.5 million for the top-floor condo at 42 Hotaling Place in August 2012 after “seen everything on the market” and fell in love with the property’s history and its location near the Embarcadero, he said. They also purchased the ground floor commercial space at 38 Hotaling Place for nearly $5.7 million in January 2020 to house Space Lace’s couture and vintage collections. They’re asking $6 million for the ground floor space that’s now vacated. The middle floor of the building has another owner and is occupied by an architectural office.
Lynn described the years of renovation of Hotaling Place — an alley flanked by mid-19th-century buildings that were saved from the fires after the 1906 earthquake because it housed one of the West’s largest whiskey shops — as “Similar to renovating a historic house on a canal in Venice.” The alley’s antique shops and art galleries were forced to close when building materials were scraped into the property, he said. Other “expensive considerations” included seismic structural work and upgrades to electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and technology systems.
Aside from the period facade, the three bedroom, two bathroom home retains only a few original brick and wood features. The rest is all new, Lynn said, with Venetian plaster walls crafted by a third-generation plasterer and a commercial kitchen with an “on-demand wall” that rises and falls from the peninsula to separate the cooking area from the Separate the rest of the open living space concept.
Most of the couple’s favorite features aren’t even in the house, Lynn said, but in the rooftop “sky garden.” It features a large pond with a water feature, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a theater pavilion with an outdoor TV, a hot tub, a bocce ball court, and a yoga area.
Lynn said the unusual location in a non-residential area of the city near downtown is the main reason the Bravermans are likely to suffer such a big loss.
“If this property was in Pacific Heights, it would be listed for $15 million,” he said.