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$3.5M ‘Corona Compound’ features two separate homes: Which do you prefer?

By Amy Graff, SFGATE Updated 7:38 am PDT, Tuesday, September 24, 2019

"Every square foot is designed like a yacht," says Wakelin. "Every square foot is designed in a utilitarian way." Photo: Open Homes Photography /

“Every square foot is designed like a yacht,” says Wakelin. “Every square foot is designed in a utilitarian way.”

Perched on a hill rising above San Francisco, the so-called “Corona Compound” features two stand-alone homes, each with its own flavor and style, on a double lot with lush gardens.

While 48 Mars Street is a grand historic home that has been beautifully preserved, 46 Mars is sleek, modern and smartly designed to make efficient use of a small living space.

The entire property, including both houses and a garden stretching between the two, is listed for $3.5 million. The front home with 1,656 square feet can be purchased separately for $2.199 million, and the back 716-square-foot cottage for $1.3 million.

Listing agent Kevin Wakelin of Compass explains the property was originally built in 1903 as a single-family home with a small cottage in the back. About 15 yeas ago, two friends purchased the property and did a lot-split.

“They split the lot so she could own the front house and he could own the back house,” Wakelin explains. “That created two condos from a legal perspective — that includes a condominium plan with an HOA

association allowing two friends to live together but apart.”

The Corona Compound is now owned by one family and Wakelin says the listing offers the opportunity to accommodate a multigenerational family or a single owner who wants to live in the main home and rent out the back cottage or use it as a yoga or art studio or a lavish office.

“The possibilities are endless,” says Wakelin. “It offers a buyer so much flexibility, choices, options.”

48 Mars: A home built before the earthquake

With a distinctive peaked roof and shingled exterior painted a pale lemon yellow color, 46 Mars is a storybook charmer. When you walk inside, you find the same allure and grace of a classic S.F. residence with old-plank Douglas fir floors, period details and paneling, a clinker-brick fireplace, and lattice-work window details. The home hasn’t been altered by a major remodel and has only been brightened up with a fresh coat of white paint.

The home features a living room, dining room room, kitchen with eat-in counter, two bedrooms and 1.5 bathroom on four levels. The view from the master bedroom is stunning and stretches across the city and the bay.

“People stop in their tracks when they see this glorious view,” says Wakelin. “It’s not like going into the high rise and you know you’re going to get views up there. This is unexpected.”

46 Mars: A modern take on the backyard cottage

The modern home in the back of the main residence isn’t visible from the street and was fully reimagined in 2017 by the current owners who have a furniture design company. While small, the home was design to make use of every inch of space. A walk-in closet, for example, features a carousel to offer easy access to clothes.

The cottage includes living and dining rooms, a kitchen with an island, one bedroom, a second bedroom that could also serve as an office, and one bathroom. Multiple decks offer garden and city views.

“Every square foot is designed like a yacht,” says Wakelin. “Every square foot is designed in a utilitarian way.”

Amy Graff is a digital editor for SFGATE. Email her at agraff@sfgate.com.