How Did This 15-Bedroom Mission Victorian End Up On the Market?

Now here’s something you don’t see every day: A 15-bed, four-plus bath Victorian “manor” right smack dab in the middle of the Mission, listed for $4.88 million.

Ordinarily a Victorian of this age (dated to 1890, per the ad) and proportions would have long since been chopped up into smaller units. But no, amazingly, this place is now being offered as one, enormous single-family listing at 822 South Van Ness Avenue.

What in the world is going on here? Well, as those who recognize its tall, thin, colorful profile already know, until recently this place was a busy residential care facility, dubbed South Van Ness Manor. The family-run operation once housed 29 beds for patients and was in business here since 1981.

But the owners announced their retirement and the facility’s closure in 2019, sparking a scramble to relocate everyone. The city stepped in, vowing to buy South Van Ness Manor in order to preserve its status as a care facility; Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who represents the Mission on the Board of Supervisors, said at the time that the neighborhood couldn’t afford to lose any more beds after seeing so many similar facilities close down.

So what happened?

According to realtor Cathy Candelaria, who is now handling the listing, the city actually turned down the building in the end, claiming that repairs and other expenses made the purchase insufficiently economical.

“They had a lot of expectations,” Candelaria told the Front Steps. She says she’s now angling for a “special use” buyer willing to put work into fixing up the old place. The previous listing last year asked $4 million and went off the market after 185 days.

Neither the Mayor’s Office of Housing nor Ronen have yet returned request for comment about the quashed city purchase plans. Most of the residents had already been relocated by the time City Hall announced its intentions, but about half a dozen still remained as of early 2020.

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