By Juliet Chung
Russian investor Yuri Milner has bought a French chateau-style mansion in Silicon Valley for $100 million, according to a person familiar with the deal. The deal is among the most expensive to have occurred for a U.S. single-family home.
The Los Altos Hills mansion runs more than 30,000 square feet and was completed around 2008, according to an architect who helped design the home. Mr. Milner, who heads Digital Sky Technologies, whose investments include Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc., bought the mansion through a limited-liability company. The home was not on the market, according to people familiar with the deal. Mr. Milner has no immediate plans to move into the home, a spokesman said. The sale was previously reported by the website TechCrunch; it and other outlets had reported the sale at $70 or $75 million.
The symmetrical limestone mansion with San Francisco Bay views was inspired by 18th-century French chateaux; the design process began around 2001, according to architect William Hablinski, who designed the home with his then-partner Richard Manion. “There wasn’t a real budget,” Mr. Hablinski said of the home, which has a ballroom, home theater, wine cellar and indoor pool. Public records put the house at about 25,500 square feet with a 2009 completion date.
The sellers are Fred Chan and his wife, Annie, who owned via a limited partnership. According to published reports, Mr. Chan founded Fremont-based ESS Technology, which designs and markets audio and video products for consumer markets, according to the company website. They have been involved with condominium developments in Hawaii and have an educational foundation, according to published reports. The Chans accepted a $50 million note on the house, according to Loren Goldman of First American Title, who reviewed documents related to the deal for the Journal.
The south wing of the house has family rooms and bedroom suites, according to the architects’ websites. There’s also a tennis court and outdoor pool, and photos show a loggia and details like chandeliers and a frieze around a skylight in the entryway. The clients planned to use the estate as their primary home and traveled to Asia and Europe to acquire specific items for the house, Mr. Hablinski said, adding that he never knew what the final cost of the home was.
Catherine Marcus of Sotheby’s International Realty and Ken Deleon of Keller Williams Realty were involved in the deal.
Few deals are known to rival that struck by the Chans and Mr. Milner, domestically at least. In 2007, investor Ron Baron paid $103 million in East Hampton, N.Y.—for 40 acres of vacant land. In 2008, an investment company linked to Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev paid $95 million for an estate owned by Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Fla.; Mr. Trump had been asking $125 million. Former Global Crossing chairman Gary Winnick in about 2000 acquired a Los Angeles estate in the Bel-Air neighborhood in a complex deal involving money and property for more than $90 million.
In Hawaii, the Chans own a 5.4-acre oceanfront estate on Oahu for which they were recently asking $80 million; the property, first developed by industrialist Henry Kaiser, is not currently listed. The Chans declined to comment through a representative.