Atherton: Luxury Icon of Silicon Valley
Atherton, CA has ranked #1 for three consecutive years on the Bloomberg Riches Places Index, and regularly peaks the charts on other ratings such as Forbes Most Expensive Zip Codes List. But it’s not such measurements of wealth that have made Atherton legendary: it is the understated privacy, the supreme luxury of the architectural estates, and those who choose to call it home. Most of the estate residences rest on parcels of 1 acre or more. And most are gated and hedged, sequestered in a world of their own. Resort-like amenities abound, including lavish pools, tennis courts, guesthouses, wine cellars, and home theaters. Atherton’s geographic location could be described as the “center of the universe” for the tech executive, company founder, or venture capitalist: the location is within minutes of Sand Hill Road, Stanford, and Silicon Valley’s technology empires. The bounty of San Francisco is still within a reasonable drive. The same can’t be said about luxury towns further south such as Los Altos Hills and Saratoga, which begin to incur longer traffic commutes into San Francisco. Of the 67 Atherton sales reported to MLS in 2018, 18 of them closed for $10,000,000 or more. The average price per sq. ft. for Atherton was $1,594 in 2018, but several of the premium sales soared far above $2,000 per sq. ft. Two primary neighborhoods include West Atherton, just west of El Camino, and Lindenwood, which is just east of Middlefield Road and re-developed from the historic “Linden Towers” Flood Estate (mansion torn down in 1936). West Atherton defines the height of desirability and prestige, regularly recording sales over $20,000,000 revolving around the polo fields of the Menlo Circus Club (pictured). Lindenwood prices are more approachable ranging from $9,000,000 to $4,550,000 in 2018 MLS reportings. Lindenwood is admired for its quiet streetscape (no through street access) that is tucked beyond the original pillars and gateway of the James C. Flood (Comstock Lode bonanza king) estate. Top public school assignments are shared with Menlo Park, and several elite private schools are also in the area.