Boozy Miscreants Use Dormant Home as Million-Dollar Party Shack

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It is 2014 and San Francisco is booming, housing is scarce, real estate is ridiculously expensive, and Bernal Heights is officially the sexiest neighborhood in the entire galaxy. And yet, somehow, in the middle of all this, it’s still possible for a million dollar home to become a semi-abandoned party shack where local miscreants can get drunk, enjoy the view, and trash the joint.

The party house is that Tahoe-style ski chalet that came up for sale on Mullen last March. The place sold for $950,000 in April, but since then it has had no regular occupants — except some errant local youths.

Neighbor Ian explains the rest:

The house that recently sold on Mullen Ave has sat dormant since the sale, encouraging locals to break in and party. It’s unclear who the culprits are, but there have been many gatherings of youth on the open space next to the house. Police responded a few weeks back and apparently nabbed a few people, but the partying continues. The next morning, dog walkers typically find liquor bottles strewn about, (along with the security caps found on higher-end booze.)

Neighbors have not met the new owner, but workers have come from time to time to add new plywood to the facade, only to have it pried off within 24 hours. I took these pics from outside, but I could have easily entered this million-dollar fixer-upper. Neighbors worry that these gatherings will continue. What is the obligation of the new owner to prevent these break-ins?

On the bright side, this can only mean Bernal has not yet gentrified to the point of becoming like Greenwich, Connecticut. Woo hoo!

PHOTOS: Neighbor Ian

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21 thoughts on “Boozy Miscreants Use Dormant Home as Million-Dollar Party Shack

  1. If I’m not mistaken, last year there were signs in the windows of that house saying the owner was trying to evict (not sure if it was Ellis Act or owner move-in or what) the longtime tenants. I guess we can add this to the long list of ways evictions hurt not just the people evicted, but the whole neighborhood…

  2. I live directly across from Mullen/Peralta mini park (The “open space” next to this house) I’ve lived there for 3.5 years and every single summer, regardless of the state of the homes around, teens and young adults gather and drink and hang out. MOST of the time we let them be. The police come to chase them off if the crowd gets too big, too noisy, or destructive. Occasionally they start to throw bottles onto the street in front of my house, which is definitely time for me to call. Usually that happens with teens + alcohol. It’s seasonal when school’s not in session.

    RE: the fixer upper/Ellis act – the home was in serious disrepair. I toured it when it was open and it was un-livable. There’s no way there had been tenants there for quite a long time given the state of things. Having someone buy and actually rehab this property will only help the neighborhood by having another invested neighbor keep a watchful eye on the kids on the hill and help us from keeping it from getting out of control.

  3. Semi-related question: anyone know what’s up with the house in (very) poor repair at the corner of Prentiss and Chapman? It’s brown, with the fence falling down, a questionable walkway to Chapman from the house, etc. Is it occupied? When I first saw the headline on this post, I assumed it would be about that house.

  4. I live up the street and have noticed it is way too easy to break into the house. Scratch that. You can just walk into that house. Not that I have, but dogs have gotten into that house for sure and their owners went in after them. It would be great if the owner could put up a fence or something as there is a huge gap in the outside wall.

      • @ nsfw I’ would love if u would as I have tried and absolutely nada happened I guess the city don’t rate it as a high priority- we have 2 really badily blighted dwellings on our block one of which also has a vehicle hoarding tendency and I can only see them getting worse and worse as the occupier’s get older. I worry what would happen in an emergency as i would say the interiors are even worse than the exteriors.

      • I don’t know the house in question, but if it’s a serious nuisance and other attempts to solve the problem have failed (as it sounds from BH IRL’s comment), you should contact the City Attorney’s office. Jennifer Choi is the Deputy City Attorney assigned to Ingleside (or she was the last time I checked) — jennifer.choi@sfgov.org.

  5. Perhaps starting with a note in the mailbox to the new neighbors alerting them of the lack of security/partying happening at their new property? Whether the new owners are investors/flippers or planning to move in themselves, I would imagine that most people would want to minimize the risk of damage and liability from trespassers. Best case scenario, the new owners are preparing to renovate the currently unlivable house and not aware of the extent of the trespassing and threats to their new home. If there is no response or corrective actions taken, then escalating to a formal nuisance sounds reasonable to me.

  6. The house is not an attractive nuisance to the night time parties, they’re separate issues. As Jenna noted this happens all the time. While I cannot say for sure what is happening at the vacant Tahoe Chalet, I suspect someone’s working on a renovation. Read: architech design, permits, etc.

  7. Traditionally the corner mentioned has been the “territory” of local kids. This goes back at least to the 1970s. Problems occur when newcomers and old-timers don’t mix well. If you’re interested in the history of that part of Mullen Avenue see MULLEN AVENUE by Richard W. Hall. A copy is in the Bernal Branch library. You might also contact local, long-time residents, Peter Wiley or Carol Deutsch.

  8. This seems to be a terrible cycle of us (SF city & Bernal permitting/review) shooting ourselves in the foot. I assume the developer is trying to get going on the rehab, but is probably stuck in some endless permitting/approval delay hell – in part created by concerned neighbors. In the meantime, the house sits empty, waiting for the process to go through and is overrun with trespassers. It’s lose-lose IMHO.

  9. yeah, or maybe he’s an absentee owner who ain’t really innerested in the community, but saw a nice opportunity to make purty penny. These things take time, dang it, and ya can’t expect him to give a hoo ha about what the neighbors think. He pays taxes dang it (well, some of ‘em anyway) so the police can take care of the property. He’s a man of vision… not surveillance!

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