It’s been a good while since I’ve reported on the remarkable skill San Francisco’s tech elite has demonstrated in the fine art of irking the neighbors and generating substantial NIMBY noise through extensive home renovations, planned raze/rebuild projects and landscaping squabbles-turned-lawsuits.
Today, the San Francisco Chronicle reports on a doozy of a home renovation project in the hillside enclave of Dolores Heights involving my friend™ and yours, Mark Zuckerberg, who is turning out to be a less than ideal neighbor. And go figure, he hasn't even moved in yet.
For the past 17 months, residents living in the sleepy neighborhood south of "hipster central," aka Dolores Park, have been vexed by disruptive and relentless renovation work on a 1920s “fixer-upper” purchased last year by the 30-year-old Facebook CEO and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, for $10 million. Described as a “massive construction encampment,” the home (no doubt a lovely one pre-Zuckerberg) is being subjected to millions of dollars worth of renovation work entailing no less than 10 building permits: extensive kitchen and bathrooms remodels; an addition at the rear of the house; the conversion of a section of the roof into a deck; construction work on a media room, wet bar and wine cellar; and the building of a garage in the basement which would include a turntable pad that would enable “cars to get in and out more easily.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Chronicle sets a perfectly terrible-sounding scene:
Dozens of construction workers, using backhoes and jackhammers, are busy installing everything from a new kitchen to bathrooms and decks — and tearing up the sidewalks for new fiber-optic cables that will connect to the home.
And while Supervisor Mark Weiner has received a handful of emails from Zuckerberg’s “under siege” neighbors who are fed up with noise and lack of parking, Weiner has been “steering clear” of the issue and handing off the complaints to the Department of Public Works. The DPW has yet to take any action.
As for the neighbors themselves, they’re willing to speak about Zuckerberg’s epic renovation project, but only anonymously. As one told the Chronicle “… it’s hard to talk about it without sounding whiny or like the wealthy need to be punished just because they have money.”
And to be clear, the Dolores Heights manse will most likely not be Zuckerberg’s primary residence when reno work eventually/mercifully wraps up. Last year, the billionaire hoodie enthusiast who only eats what he kills forked over more than $30 million in the acquisition of four homes surrounding his own sprawling Palo Alto estate near Facebook HQ. Privacy settings, indeed.
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