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Empty Palo Alto Lot Hits Market For $9 Million

PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) -- If you've got $9 million, a parcel of land in Old Palo Alto is all yours, but there's a catch: there's no home, no garage and no driveway. Just an 11,375 square foot lot at 1628 Bryant St.

Empty Old Palo Alto Lot
Empty Old Palo Alto Lot (CBS)

"There's value there because we don't have a structure," said Compass Broker-Associate Adam Touni, who is on the listing. Touni said the fact that the lot has never had a home built on it actually makes it easier and more worth it to build a home because you're essentially working with untouched land.

"The reason being is that there's a lot of historic homes, we're in Old Palo Alto, which is arguably one of the most coveted neighborhoods on the peninsula," said Touni. "A lot of these homes have to stay, they can't be touched, you have to maintain the facade, so you have essentially a blank slate here."

The lot is in the neighborhood where the late Steve Jobs used to live.

"He was just around the corner," said Touni.

But the property does come with some deep rooted challenges in the shape of one oak and several redwood trees. Because they're heritage trees, only 25 percent of the canopy of the trees is allowed to be trimmed, so a home would need to be built around it.

Foreseeing the challenge that prospective buyers would have with that idea, Touni hired an architect from San Francisco's MAK Studio.

"We had conceptual renderings put together working around the existing trees to maximize the square footage of the lawn," he said.

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The lot is selling for triple the amount of the median home value in Palo Alto. Sara Goodison, who is moving to Palo Alto from New York City, said the idea that a piece of land could sell for $9 million is astonishing.

"I can't imagine what you get for $9 million dollars, I can't imagine it's worth it," Goodison said. "I thought New York was the most expensive place, and I think it's actually crazier here."

But while many scoff at the idea of paying that much for an empty lot, Touni said that's par for the course in Old Palo Alto because of its location. The home next door is selling close to $20 million and a lot around the corner for nearly $18 million, he added.

He predicts whomever buys the lot will be sitting on a multi-million dollar property once they build a home.

"If you have a 6,000 square foot house and it's new construction, the value range is somewhere between $15 and $20 million," said Touni.

By the way, he's already shown the parcel four times in the last month and just got a call Wednesday from someone who he said showed some interest.

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