(AP/Ben Margot)

Is Mark Zuckerberg the homeowner from hell? Massive renovations make neighbors' lives miserable

The Facebook founder's million-dollar renovations drive neighbors insane


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Sarah Gray
September 22, 2014 9:49PM (UTC)

It is an almost comical representation of how tech is changing the landscape of San Francisco -- quite literally, in this case. Mark Zuckerberg's neighbors are fed up with the noisy, cumbersome renovation being done on his "fortress" of a home, according to SFGate.com.

The site has apparently had 40 to 50 construction workers fixing the $10 million Dolores Heights home, daily, an unnamed contractor stated to SFGate.

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The complaints stem from the apparent endless noise from the construction project, which includes building a habitable fourth floor, a basement garage with a "turntable" to rotate the cars out, a wine room and wine bar and many other additions including fiber-optic going into the home.

Neighbors are also unhappy about being unable to park in front of their own homes for 17 months, due to the construction and "no parking" signs. From SFGate:

"One neighbor privately complained to us about the steady noise and hassle getting out of a driveway. Another said the problems are real, but that 'it’s hard to talk about it without sounding whiny or like the wealthy need to be punished just because they have money.'"

According to SFGate, the house is only a block from the "hipster central" Dolores Park neighborhood. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have around 10 permits for construction work, amounting to millions of dollars.

Tensions between the tech elite and protesters in San Francisco have been rising, in large part due to the tech-influenced gentrification, which along with the Ellis Act, is forcing residents out of their homes. And for buyers, forget about it, home prices continue to rise: The average price for a home in San Francisco is $1 million.

An in-depth piece from CNET, titled "Vexed in the City," reports on the impact the influx of techies with bundles of cash has had on the housing market. The piece also has details about different Zuckerberg residences:

"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who became a multi-billionaire from his Menlo Park-based company's IPO, paid $30 million last year to buy four of his neighbors' homes in Palo Alto. He had purchased a five-bedroom house in the Crescent Park neighborhood for $7 million in 2011 and reportedly wanted to have control over who moved in next door.

"Zuckerberg also owns a home near San Francisco's Mission District, a former working-class Hispanic area that has become popular with tech workers."


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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