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Location: San Francisco, Calif.
The Skinny: Where to start with this stunning Pacific Heights home? The secret Prohibition-era bar? The expansive Art Deco ballroom? The amazing San Francisco Bay views? Or, maybe, the home's prodigious price tag: $27M, which is a whopping $21M more than the current owner, University of Phoenix co-founder John Murphy, paid for the 9,320-square-foot manse in 1997. That's a sizable markup, but the home, which was built in 1905 for a member of the Spreckel's Sugar Company dynasty, does come with an impeccable San Francisco pedigree. It was designed by noted Bay Area architects Bliss and Faville, whose other designs include the American Conservatory Theater and the Bank of California building, and was previously owned by the son of former S.F. Mayor Joseph Alioto. A spiral staircase serves the five-level traditionalist's delight, which has five bedrooms and dive bathrooms, a walnut-paneled library, solarium, and elevator for the stair-wary. Also: the views! So why would anyone walk away from a home like this (aside from, of course, the opportunity for a huge profit-taking sale)? Mr. Murphy tells the Wall Street Journal he wants to downsize and spend more time at his Napa Valley estate.
· 2520 Pacific Avenue [Coldwell Banker via WSJ]
· University of Phoenix Founder Lists Pac Heights Home for $27M [Curbed SF]