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Take an inside look at the priciest home for sale in the Bay Area — a 74-acre property with a past

Just a few minutes drive off Highway 280 in one of the wealthiest enclaves of Silicon Valley, the most expensive property currently listed in the Bay Area is hiding in plain sight.

The century-old, 74-acre Green Gables estate in Woodside has come on the market for the first time ever. The property is less home and more sprawling estate, with seven houses featuring panoramic views of the Western hills and the Bay, three swimming pools, gardens, a tennis court, a football field-sized Roman pool and extensive grounds.

In the Bay Area, real estate agents define luxury homes as those valued above $3 million and ultra-luxury homes as those valued above $5 million. The Green Gables estate sits in its own stratosphere: It’s listed for $135 million.

That price point is unique even for Woodside. The largest property ever sold in the town was several years ago for $118 million.

With many companies — particularly in Silicon Valley — increasingly shifting to remote work indefinitely, the market for larger properties with land has heated up, realtors say. In the Bay Area, specifically, luxury homes have been a hotter commodity than ever during the pandemic, with sales jumping to historic highs in almost every part of the region, according to data from Compass Real Estate and the California Association of Realtors.

The trend underscores a widening equity gap in the Bay Area and beyond: The pandemic has inflicted job and wage losses on tens of millions of lower-income people, while the wealthiest Americans have experienced far less financial disruption.

“It’s almost like two parallel universes, two completely different realities depending on what class people are in,” Compass chief market analyst Patrick Carlisle told the Chronicle in December.

In Woodside, a number of high-end properties that were on the market for all of 2019 started selling shortly after the pandemic began, according to Compass realtor Brad Miller, who is co-listing the estate with his wife, Helen Miller, and Zackary Wright of Christie’s International Real Estate.

“We’re getting a lot of buyers exiting the urban settings and looking for places with space,” said Miller, who also lives in Woodside.

It takes more than two hours to walk around the estate’s large acreage, where deers and great blue herons roam around a variety of oak, maple, and elm trees. It is one of the last large parcels in Woodside, the Millers said.

The estate has been in the same family for five generations, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the early part of the 20th century, Mortimer Fleishhacker — who founded the Anglo California Bank and the Great Western Power Company — was on a mission to find a compound for his soon-to-be large family when he bought nine parcels in Woodside, which then was a rural and unincorporated area not too far south from his home in San Francisco.

The compound’s centerpiece, a nine-bedroom, 9,200-square-foot Cotswold-style main home was built in 1911 by architects Charles Sumner Green and Henry Mather Greene, brothers famous for their Arts & Crafts homes in the Bay Area. The estate was in part named after them, but also for the novel, “Anne of Green Gables,” which its verdance certainly evokes.

Check out the full article on the SF Chronicle with photos of this gorgeous estate, click here!

Joyce Rey
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