Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims to be a man of the people by continuing to live in the first house he ever owned, but he just bought, and is now set to demolish and redevelop, the four surrounding homes to his liking.
As the sixth-richest man on the planet, with a net worth of $50.7 billion, Zuckerberg bought the four houses surrounding his Palo Alto neighborhood home at 1462 Edgewood Drive to stop real estate developer Mircea Voskerician from building an imposing house next door.
It seems that Voskerician acquired an adjacent house to Zuckerberg in 2013 in the Crescent Park neighborhood, located just north of downtown Palo Alto and near the Bayshore Freeway. The developer had been moving forward with the city Planning Commission to build a house tall enough to look directly down at Zuckerberg’s master bedroom.
It is unknown exactly what Zuckerberg paid to buy out the developer’s interest. But according to a lawsuit filed in March 2014, Voskerician claimed Zuckerberg had reneged on a promise he gave the developer to provide a discount on the sales price by making introductions to Silicon Valley CEOs and venture capitalists that might be interested in buying homes in the area. Voskerician claimed that but for the promise of access to tech movers and shakers, he would have charged more to sell the home.
Zuckerberg denied that he had made any such arrangement, and the developer’s lawsuit alleging fraud and breach of contract was settled without the Voskerician extracting any further cash payments.
Norm Beamer, president of the Crescent Park Neighborhood Association, told the San Jose Mercury News that the neighborhood is “curious, but also concerned about the use of the planned structures:
“Is he just developing it or is he creating some sort of compound which will have a constant turnover of visitors and employees?” Beamer said. “It’s a question of whether it’s a normal residential development or some unusual use that might create traffic and security issues and so forth.
Neither Beamer nor his association has not voiced support or opposition to the city planning application.