Friday, April 1, 2011

Russian billionaire buys $100M Silicon Valley home

A Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner paid $100 million -- apparently the highest price ever for a home in the U.S. -- for a Los Altos Hills mansion, according to records released this week by the Santa Clara County Assessor's Office. 

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, whose DST Global has invested in Facebook, daily deal website Groupon and "Farmville" game maker Zynga, bought the lavish, 25,500-square-foot mansion in Los Altos Hills, Calif. The sale is believed to be one of the largest in U.S. history for a single-family home.
Donald Trump sold his Palm Beach mansion for $100 million in 2008 to Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Trump told The Associated Press at the time that it was the largest estate sale ever in the U.S.
Milner, the 49-year-old founder of Internet investment firm Digital Sky Technologies and chairman of Group, has no immediate plans to move into the mansion, spokesman Leonid Solovyev told The AP. Solovyev and another spokesman for the billionaire declined any further comment.
The mansion is a French-style chateau in the Loire style set on 18 acres in hills overlooking San Francisco Bay, the architect, William Hablinski, told The AP. Hablinski said the cost of the project, which took about six years to complete, was not a big concern during the building process. He would not comment on how much the seller, Fred Chan and his wife Annie, paid to build it.
"It did have a budget, it just went far beyond," he said.
The estate has a ballroom, screening room, wine cellar, gym, spa and pools inside and out.
"It has a beautiful rotunda in the entryway, flanked by stairs up both sides," Hablinski said. "And a motor court that ensures security and privacy."
The $100 million price is based on the documented transfer tax of $110,000, which was provided to the AP by the Santa Clara County Assessor's Office.
The Wall Street Journal reported the sale price Thursday. That followed a report on the deal last week in technology blog TechCrunch.
The mansion's price tag dwarfs the $50 million paid for the three-story, 48,000-square-foot Le Belvedere mansion in Bel Air last year, said Betty Graham, president of Coldwell Banker Previews International, which listed that property. Graham said the number of homes that sold for more than $20 million last year in the Los Angeles area tripled from 2009, a sign that the luxury market has been strengthening.

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