A $400K San Francisco Bay Area property surfaces, but there’s a catch — it’s underwater – Yahoo News Canada

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A property just across the bay from San Francisco — situated among million-dollar-plus homes near a beach, parks and shopping — is available for only $400,000.

Located on a quiet residential lagoon on desirable Grand Street in Alameda, California, the listing calls on buyers to “come create and build a slice of heaven where the backyard is an aquatic oasis of calm and peace.”

It’s all true.

Also, the property is literally underwater. There is nothing on the lot. The listing is quite clear about that.

“This is a water lot,” the listing states, also noting that it’s an opportunity for an investor or developer “where location, location is everything.”

Listing agent April V. Jones, a Realtor-broker with East Bay Realty and Lending, told The Sacramento Bee in a phone interview how her client came to own a completely underwater property and then decided to sell it.

“This is a very special one,” Jones said about the listing.

Lot was part of tideland

In 2023, Alameda County, which owned the land because of a tax lien, sold the lot to the current owner for $100,100, according to public property records.

The lot was originally part of the San Francisco Bay tideland and one of three parcels — 610, 650 and 700 Grand St. — owned by wealthy fruit-processing magnate Arthur Cleveland Oppenheimer. When Utah Construction later filled the tideland to create South Shore in the 1950s, much of Oppenheimer’s waterfront estate was submerged and the unusual 610 Grand St. situation was created. Oppenheimer’s estate included a main house, guest house and tennis courts.

The buyer purchased the tax-defaulted parcel as an investment property, but did not realize it was underwater until Jones visited the site.

When she was asked to list a vacant lot, Jones discovered the property wasn’t easy to find in the first place. She didn’t know it was a water lot at the time, and her GPS guided her to a different address.

“When you receive a listing as an agent, you go take a look at the property, you take pictures, and so when I finally figured out where it was I looked and said ‘Whoa, there’s no land here,’ not that you can walk on,” Jones said.

The county property assessor’s office describes the lot as residential with zoning for a single-family home or a building of up to four units, Jones said. The underwater element was not obvious, she added.

‘Look on his face’

Then, she had to explain the situation to her client, who had hoped to make money off a real estate turnaround.

“So he looked at (the pictures) and he probably had a look on his face,” Jones said. “I can imagine what was going through his mind. You know, he’s just an average person. You grow up hearing, or people tell you, invest in real estate to get a vehicle to build some wealth over time. And that’s what his intention was. “

The lot measures just under a quarter of an acre. A buyer would likely need to navigate through an extensive approval process involving several agencies — the city of Alameda, Army Corps of Engineers, Water Board, Public Works and Bay Conservation and Development Commission — before construction could begin.

But once a buyer and building permits are in place and the lot is surveyed, the property could end up being a beautiful spot to live in an upscale neighborhood, Jones said — especially for someone who has the money to create a residence as unique as the lot itself.

Looking out across the lagoon from the underwater lot for sale in Alameda, California, for $400,000.

Looking out across the lagoon from the underwater lot for sale in Alameda, California, for $400,000.

The underwater lot was once part of a fruit-processing magnate’s estate.The underwater lot was once part of a fruit-processing magnate’s estate.

The underwater lot was once part of a fruit-processing magnate’s estate.

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