Sunset to build S.F. ‘Idea House’

Sunset Magazine’s “House of Innovation” Idea House in Alamo sold this week for an as yet undisclosed sum, while a magazine representative said it will be building its first-ever San Francisco idea house next year in the Mission District.

The program, first created in 1998, involves the Menlo Park magazine partnering with local architects and builders to create high-end homes of the future. The Alamo home, listed for $5.3 million and sold to an undisclosed, out-of-state party for an undisclosed sum, involved a partnership withPopular Science magazine and San Jose’s De Mattei Construction.

At around 6,500 square feet, the Alamo house featured a four-car garage, windows that could turn opaque with a push of a button for curtain-free privacy and a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen “to rival most kitchens in a home,” Alain Pinel Realtor Peggy Cortez said.

“This property, it was very well constructed, and has beautiful views of Mount Diablo,” she said. “Everybody just flipped over … the windows in the master bathroom.”

The home was also shown with innovative gadgetry that could be purchased separately, including little robots to clean the floors and mow the lawn, she said.

The home being built over the next year in San Francisco will be an environmentally certified remodel, said Shannon Thompson, Sunset Idea Homes project director. It will be situated in an unusual neighborhood for a high-end property: in the Mission District south of the 24th Street corridor. The architect is John Lum, and the building company is Meridian, Thompson said.

“We’re going for platinum [LEED certification], but who knows,” she said. “It will be fully solar, there’s cisterns, a lot of interesting new green building technologies. There’s going to be a roof garden.”

It will also feature recycled and reclaimed materials, she said. It will be open to the public in August 2007 and available for sale in the fall, likely for $4 million or more, she said.

Since 1998, Sunset has built 16 Idea Homes, with none in The City but four in San Mateo County. All of the latter were in Menlo Park.

Cortez represented the Alamo home’s seller, De Mattei. Its buyer was represented by Diane Gilfeather and Mary Ann Schultz of Blackhawk Real Estate.

WHERE: Alamo

ASKING PRICE: Sold; asking price was $5.3 million

PROPERTY TAX: $68,874*

WHAT: 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 6,500 square feet

AMENITIES: Home theater with 112-inch screen and surround-sound speakers, GE Monogram walk-in wine vault with bar-code scanner and inventory tracker, bathrooms with tankless toilets and digitized showers, remote-controlled whirlpool bath.

AGENT: Peggy Cortez, Alain Pinel Realtors, (925) 648-6500

*Estimate based on 1.3% of asking price.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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