BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Editor
One of Silicon Valley’s kingmakers wants to see homes built for “ordinary people” – but not in his hometown of Atherton.
Marc Andreessen, who helped fund Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and helped create Netscape, wrote an essay in 2020 on his blog titled “Time to Build” where he calls for skyscrapers and more housing in the American city. But as The Atlantic pointed out, Andreessen and his wife, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, daughter of late billionaire developer John Arrillaga, wrote an email to Atherton City Council opposing plans to license nine properties around of the city to build a combined total of 137 townhouses.
The last sentence of the letter says, “They (the townhouses) will MASSIVELY decrease our home values, the quality of life for ourselves and our neighbors and will IMMENSELY increase noise pollution and traffic.”
The couple live at 164 Elena Avenue, which they bought in January 2007 for $16.6 million. The RedFin website estimates the five-bedroom home is now worth more than $38 million.
Arrillaga-Andreessen also says the couple own four properties on Tuscaloosa Avenue.
Atherton, like every other city in the state, is about to increase its housing stock and is in the process of planning how these new homes will be built. The state wants some of these new homes to be offered at below-market rent. the city recently submitted to the state. Instead, Atherton relies almost entirely on accessory dwelling units, known as ADUs or granny units, and city school-built housing to meet its 348 housing needs. If the state rejects the plan, the city will have to find other ways to add housing.
Andreessen’s 2020 housing blog post seems to favor building housing in cities, but doesn’t mention anything about building in tony towns like Atherton.
“We can’t build enough housing in our cities with booming economic potential, leading to skyrocketing housing prices in places like San Francisco, making it almost impossible for ordinary people to move in and live. occupy the jobs of the future. Nor can we build the cities themselves. When the producers of HBO’s “Westworld” wanted to portray the American city of the future, they didn’t shoot in Seattle, Los Angeles or Austin, they went to Singapore. We should have sparkling skyscrapers and spectacular living environments in all our best cities at levels far beyond what we have now; Where are they?”
Andreessen did not post on Twitter about the article. He did not return a Post request for comment.