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Mark Zuckerberg’s Plans To Flip His Palo Alto Residence Are Met With Board Rejections

Mark Zuckerberg has been trying to expand his Palo Alto Compound for some time now. But Still has not been successful.

By Archana Aithal Rose October 10, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg may be universally responsible for uniting friends with his multi-billion dollar Facebook, but the young CEO’s real life reads more like the script of ‘How to lose friends and alienate people.’ Time and again, Zuckerberg has either managed to snub his neighbors or rattle the city’s board with his ambitious reno plans. This time, a local review board has rejected Mark’s plans to rebuild four homes surrounding his property in Palo Alto, CA and construct a wall around them to form a compound. The board voted 3-1, urging city planning director Hillary Gitelman not to approve his plans, stating that it defies zoning laws and that may reduce the city’s housing stock.

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Zuckerberg’s real estate woes are like ongoing epic sagas that not even his uber-rich status can save him from. Early 2013, he bought homes at 1451, 1457, 1459 Hamilton Ave and 1462 Edgewood Drive for $30 mill on his street, after learning that a developer planned to construct a house next door. Zuckerberg feared that the walls, tall enough to have a view of his master bedroom would cost him his privacy. So, he did what rich folk can and will do- bought all the homes in close proximity to safeguard his privacy. He now wants to unify the four homes, replacing them with structures that’ll be 20 percent smaller in size, surrounded by a wall that marks the entire property. However, board members feel that whole compound concept will ruin the single-family home feel, typical of the Crescent Park neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of www.gibsonsothebysrealty.com
Photo courtesy of www.gibsonsothebysrealty.com

Some board members like Peter Baltay questioned the credibility of single-family homes, “There’s four homes, are there four families living in these homes?” The floor plans for the homes posed further concerns. If the word ‘compound’ conjures up weird cultish images in your head, wait till you see the renderings. With residential functions in mind, one of the dwellings would be designed to cater parties, with a large open room, a vegetable garden, project rooms and a full-service kitchen. Their off-kilter designs are so futuristic the board was afraid they would make them hard to sell as standalone properties. Baltay also commented that, “these types of larger estates with surrounding guest homes, recreational rooms and theatres were something that could be found in the next suburb up in Atherton, but would not fit in with Palo Alto’s single family home feel.”

Zuckerberg’s efforts to stay put in Palo Alto, his old stomping grounds, where he started to build his company raking in the billions have been spiked with nothing but hiccups. Not too long ago, Zuck managed to antagonize neighbors over illegal parking. Nearby residents from Zuckerberg’s $10 million, San Francisco home complained in a letter that his security team was permanently and illegally monopolizing all the desirable parking spots.

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Zuckerberg’s Palo Alto property. Photo courtesy of ABC News

This compounded with the fact that they had already been putting up with noise, trash and blocked streets from his ongoing home constructions. Even as the advisory board has rejected Mark’s plans, the city’s planning director will still have the final say in advancing his project. In an event that they do get approved, his Palo Alto neighbors will have to face a new bout of construction conundrums. Rest assured they wouldn’t be running out of fodder for future Facebook posts.

Archana Aithal Rose

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Archana Aithal Rose

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Archana Aithal Rose

Archana Aithal Rose’s articles have appeared in The Times of India, CNNGo, Condé Nast Traveler and Vogue, covering such broad range of topics as fashion, art, travel, culture, celebrities, architecture and technology. In addition to writing, Archana's also known for her mad photography and cooking skills.

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