San Francisco is renowned for the Golden Gate Bridge, steep hills, and frigid temperatures in the summer. Yes, the summer.
In decades past, San Franciscans with means decamped to warmer climes about 35 miles to the south, to the tony town of Atherton, CA.
Located on the San Francisco Peninsula, Atherton is known as the most expensive ZIP code in the country, sunny weather, and more than a few multimillion dollar mansions. Now, the exclusive enclave has broken into nine-digit price territory.
A spread that served as the summer retreat for the Fisher family, the founders of the Gap clothing company, has come on the market for the first time in nearly 50 years. The most expensive property on the market in Atherton, it’s available for the hefty price tag of $100 million.
Purchased in in 1975, the compound stands out for its large price and enormous size. Measuring 8 highly coveted acres, it’s one of only 10 properties of this size in Atherton, the listing notes. Spread over three parcels, it has two homes and four gated entrances, plus a poolhouse, guesthouse, pool, as well as a tennis court.
The five-bedroom main house features interiors by the San Francisco designer Michael Taylor, as well as two en suite bedrooms.
A second home, recently configured for entertaining, also includes a detached one-bedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse.
The parklike grounds are dotted with groves of California live oaks, mature landscaping, meandering pathways across green lawns, and 2 acres of extraordinary art.
Donald and Doris Fisher founded the San Francisco-based clothing company the Gap in the 1970s. (Donald died in 2009.) The longtime art collectors, whose substantial contemporary art collection is on view over three floors of SFMOMA, also used the grounds of their Atherton getaway to display some of their art collection. Priceless, museum-quality sculpture can be found over landscaped walkways. Alas, the alfresco artwork leaves with the sellers.
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While the next owners will have to bring along their own art, the listing suggests other possibilities for the massive amounts of land: garages for car collectors, an indoor pool, and other sports training facilities.
Whatever happens with the next owners, the property may stand out as a serious land grab in the small town.
“This listing is the largest real estate offering since 2011, when a 12-acre property on Atherton Avenue sold,” says the listing agent, Mary Gullixson with Compass. She and Brent Gullixson represent the listing.
“Properties like these are generational opportunities to own in the most desirable location of the Bay Area,” she says. “The Atherton estate was created over decades by the owner. There is more new construction happening in Atherton than ever before—likely lessening the opportunity where an affluent individual can purchase two, three, or four contiguous lots to a property they currently own.”
The population of the posh Bay Area suburb is just over 7,000 residents. Right now, it has only 38 listings on the market, with a mind-boggling median list price of $10,597,500.
For that price of entry, you could become neighbors of such famous residents as Google’s Eric Schmidt, the NBA superstar Steph Curry, and the finance executive Charles Schwab. Atherton is quite often described as the priciest town in the United States. The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, who died in 2018, owned an estate in Atherton that recently sold for $35.25 million.