The Silicon Valley mega-mansion of the late Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen, who died a year ago at age 65, has just hit the market for $41.5 million.
Allen, who left behind an estimated fortune of over $26 billion, bought the three-level, 21,000-square-foot home in Atherton, Calif. for $27 million back in 2013, the same year it was built.
Just 30 miles south of San Francisco, Atherton is still the priciest zip code in the US. In this low-key community, the average home price is currently a staggering $8.1 million, according to property data specialist CoreLogic.
A-listers who call Atherton home include former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, former Hewlett Packard boss Meg Whitman, Charles Schwab founder Charles R. Schwab, plus NBA star Steph Curry who in September spent $31 million for his Atherton estate.
The Allen compound is exceptional among the city’s exceptional properties in that it sits on a flat, wooded, almost two-acre lot—twice the normal acreage. The house was built on spec by Pacific Peninsula, Atherton’s most prolific developer of luxury homes. It sits hidden away behind a gated driveway on an unassuming side street, right next door to the Las Lomitas Elementary School.
Set in park-like grounds, the contemporary, understated main house features a large pool out back with cabanas, patios for al fresco dining, an outdoor fire pit, plus a separate guest house. At the front, there’s garaging for four cars and a motor court that can accommodate another 20.
Inside it’s all floor-to-ceiling windows and light oak floors, a large, open-plan kitchen, a library and spacious movie theater. Climb the stairs and there’s a total of seven bedrooms and eight full and five partial bathrooms.
How regularly Allen actually used the house isn’t clear. But with a portfolio of more than 10 super-luxury properties and two huge yachts, he had plenty of other options for accommodation.
“The entire estate has been impeccably maintained. Anyone who walks in says it feels like new,” explains broker Courtney Charney, of Parc Agency who holds the high-profile listing.
So far the Atherton estate is the first of Allen’s residential properties to hit the market. His foundation, headed-up by his sister Jody, recently listed the landmark, 120-acre piece of undeveloped land overlooking Beverly Hills, named “The Enchanted Hill” by Greta Garbo, for a staggering $110 million. Also up for grabs, for an equally jaw-dropping $326 million, is Allen’s beloved 414-foot super-yacht Octopus.
Still in the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is Allen’s 4,000-acre Idaho retreat, worth, according to the Wall Street Journal, an estimated $50-plus million; a 10-acre compound on Hawaii’s Big Island, also worth an estimated $50-plus million; and a 387-acre peninsula on Lopez Island, Washington (worth $120m to $150m).
Then there’s the New York City Fifth Avenue penthouse ($50 million); his spectacular 18-bedroom mansion, Villa Maryland, on Cap Ferrat in the South of France ($100 million); and his sprawling, eight-house, 13-lot compound on Seattle’s Mercer Island which he called home (WSJ estimate, $130m).
One thing’s for sure; all the proceeds will be put to great use. Since Allen’s foundation was launched in 1988, it has handed out more than $2.3 billion to causes varying from fighting Ebola to brain health research.
Long before his death from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he had signed a Giving Pledge, committing to contribute at least half his wealth to charity.