Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hit a rocky stretch of his tenure as boss of the world’s largest social network. After an earnings call in which he warned investments in security and privacy would cut into profitability, bearish investors began shedding their holdings. The massive sell-off caused the tech mogul’s personal wealth to plummet $16 billion in one day.
While we’re sure he’ll get by on the $66.8 billion he’s now estimated to be worth, there’s always Plan B: His real estate holdings.
We took a tour through Zuckerberg’s impressive network of pricey properties, and there’s plenty to like.
Zuckerberg’s childhood home
The 34-year-old entrepreneur grew up in Dobbs Ferry, NY, a small village in Westchester County, about 30 minutes outside of Manhattan. As recently as 2012, his parents, Edward and Karen Zuckerberg, were still living in the place they purchased in 1981, where they raised Mark and his three sisters.
Edward ran his dental practice out of the home, and the hassle of communicating between floors inspired middle-school student Mark to create one of his first successful programs. The young Zuckerberg created an instant-messaging service for the home and dental practice that he dubbed ZuckNet (pre-AOL instant messenger). By the time he got to college, he was known as a programming prodigy.
Fast forward to 2004. The startup concocted at Harvard headed to Silicon Valley. Zuckerberg dropped out of school to focus on getting his company off the ground, and moved into a rental in Palo Alto, CA. Now known as the “Facebook house,” the vibe of the abode was vividly captured in the movie “The Social Network.”
The Facebook team lived and worked in the home, which is now rented by students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business during the year, and aspiring entrepreneurs over the summers, according to Business Insider.
The four-bed, three-bath, single-story abode includes a pool out back. An apparent true-to-life scene in the movie re-creates a moment when the residents secured a zip line from the roof to the pool, busting the chimney. (Business Insider reports the landlord now expressly forbids this.)
“It was run like a frat house. Kids sleeping two or three to a room, basically just like mattresses on the floor, people crashing everywhere,” former Facebook President Sean Parker once recounted, according to Business Insider.
And, of course, there’s a Facebook page for the house.
Palo Alto properties
As it began to grow, the company was headquartered in Palo Alto (until 2011, when it moved to a much larger space in nearby Menlo Park). Zuckerberg also made his home in the tony town. Or shall we say, homes.
In 2011, the entrepreneur shelled out $7 million for his first home in the Crescent Park neighborhood.
The modest (by tech standards) residence has been restored and offers 5,617 square feet of living space, wood floors, a saltwater pool, banquet-size dining room, glassed-in sunroom, five bedrooms, and five bathrooms.
After Zuckerberg’s marriage to Priscilla Chan in 2012, the two invested in four more surrounding homes, for a total of $30 million, according to Architectural Digest. Although the homeowner identities are masked, the LLC associated with the purchases is Iconiq Capital, a money manager said to represent Zuckerberg, Forbes reported.
Not all the transactions were smooth. One seller filed a lawsuit against the tech titan, claiming that Zuckerberg had promised him networking introductions, but never followed up after the sale went through. Zuckerberg’s lawyers countered that the agreement had become way overblown in the seller’s mind.
The reason for the land grab? Privacy, of course.
Zuckerberg then announced plans to demolish the recently purchased homes to build anew. But city officials gave that idea a “thumbs-down,” leading the billionaire to scale back his compound scheme, opting to renovate rather than rebuild two, and replacing the other two.
By the way, Mark isn’t the only real estate wheeler-dealer in the family. His sister Randi Zuckerberg put her Georgian-style Los Altos spread on the market in 2015 for $5.5 million, and it sold for $6.5 million. Considering the home was purchased in 2011 for $4.7 million, that’s a pretty sweet profit.
San Francisco pied-à-terre
The Bay Area shopping spree wasn’t over. Zuckerberg reportedly bought a San Francisco pad in an off-market deal in 2013, according to multiple news reports. (And once again, the Facebook CEO’s name isn’t attached to any purchase documents.)
The $10 million he paid for a 5,542-square-foot home in the city’s Dolores Heights neighborhood was just the beginning. According to reports, Zuckerberg put in permits for a $1.6 million renovation and expansion of the space, including an office, media room, half-bathroom, mudroom, laundry room, wine room, and wet bar, plus new roof and reconfigured landscaping.
The ambitious plan led to a 17-month renovation caught on Google Street View, and was described by irritated neighbors as “an ordeal that has torn up their sidewalks, left them without street parking, and put the block under the watchful eyes of a 24-hour security detail,” according to Curbed SF.
The Facebook founder values his privacy. How much? In 2014 the Zuckerbergs reportedly shelled out $100 million for two huge tracts of land on Kauai’s North Shore, creating a 700-acre spread for family getaways.
The land has 2,500 feet of ocean frontage as well as a working organic farm. The couple made plans to build a 6,100-square-foot, two-bedroom residence on the property, along with a 16-bay garage complex and a “ranch administration building” that includes keycard-protected offices and security headquarters.
The plantation includes plots of land passed down through the generations that dotted the acreage. In 2016, the Zuckerbergs filed eight lawsuits to force locals out of the plots they owned. Most of these holdings were less than an acre each and, as you can imagine, the move didn’t go down well with longtime residents, who called Zuckerberg “the face of neocolonialism.”
The couple eventually dropped the suit, calling it a mistake.
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