Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on February 07, 2024
San Francisco's Infamous Pink Mansion Once Owned by Art Fraudster Sells for $6.5MSource: Mark Vasquez

The notorious pink mansion at 224 Sea Cliff Ave., known for its celebrity neighbors and private cove in San Francisco, has finally changed hands for $6.5 million - a dramatic cut from its initial asking price. This seven-bedroom Mediterranean-style manse, once listed at a staggering $19.7 million in 2016, sold on Monday, as per SFGATE, reflecting a tumultuous selling history marred by legal battles and an infamous former owner.

Previously owned by convicted art fraudster Luke Brugnara, the mansion's value took a hit following a storied history of alleged stolen art, FBI raids, and a mysterious fire in 2022. Despite its prestigious neighbors, which include Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, the house struggled on the market due to this notorious past and structural issues, including an illegally built staircase leading to the ocean. The property was listed and delisted five times since 2016, and even the bankruptcy auction last week drew no overbids, with Realtor Mark Vasquez offering no further details on the buyers' identity, as he told SFGATE.

The transaction comes after a court-ordered sale, which detailed that all overbids for the property start at $7 million, not to mention an additional responsibility for the buyer to assume a $90,000 lien. The listing on Redfin alerted potential buyers of the home's financial and legal encumbrances, including unpaid debts tied to code violations.

The mansion's sale represented a rare opportunity for someone to snag a significant piece of real estate at a fraction of its one-time value, but it comes with strings attached. The eventual buyer must tackle code violations, including the perilous staircase, and resolve the aforementioned lien, as reported by Hoodline. The official auction, held via tele/videoconference, was overseen by US Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali, adding yet another chapter to the property's dramatic narrative.

For the new owner, the challenges ahead include not just the renovation and legal compliance of the Sea Cliff Avenue estate, but also the stewardship of a property that has occupied an almost mythic place in the annals of San Francisco's real estate lore.