Purchased by Owen Van Natta, the onetime Facebook COO and former executive at MySpace, Zynga and Amazon, for $9.0 million in June of 2011, the gated Palo Alto neo-Tudor which sits on over an acre of land at 369 Churchill Avenue has since been completed renovated and expanded to measure nearly 11,000 square feet with all-new interiors designed by Ken Fulk.

Positioned as a “perfect melding of old-world flair and modern technology,” the gated home is now outfitted with five bedrooms, six full bathrooms and three halfs, with “dramatic gathering spaces,” a “showcase kitchen” (with an obligatory La Cornue) and “luxuriously outfitted” bedroom suites.

The grounds have been completely renovated as well, with a drive-through three-car garage which leads to a new pool house, a wind-protected tennis court, a new 55-foot pool, a dedicated grass badminton court and a central courtyard with a fire pit, grilling station and outdoor dining room.

And 369 Churchill Avenue has just returned to the market with a $39,988,000 price tag, a sale at which would make it the most expensive home sale on record in Palo Alto, displacing 1107 Cowper Street which sold for $30 million, or $3,974 per square foot, in May of 2017.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Interesting

    Well, I am out of step with design that people will live in … if i could afford i would pass on it.

  2. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    11.000sf *$1,750psf = $19.25mm
    (headline here in 14 months will read: “PALO ALTO MANSION SELLS FOR 50% OFF!?!?!?!”)

    Grounds and space are nice, but the aesthetic is not something for which new money driving Palo Alto valuations will want to pay. Too nice to scrape and start over, but not what millenials want, now that one has hit the lottery. Maybe a 50-60 year old couple from one of the older/slower tech companies who wants to hunker down and imagine a family legacy for the grandkids etc.

    It looks like it was staged with Grandma’s furniture that no one can bear to throw away.

    • Posted by Michael

      You’re out of touch with the PA market and pool of buyers. $40M is a stretch but $3K a foot isn’t, especially with that lot/grounds/design.

    • Posted by Footie

      The interiors were featured in Architectural Digest. Obviously something you don’t read.

      • Posted by Miz Bettye

        LMAO. AD aka Fancy Real Estate listings posing as a magazine.

    • Posted by S

      Maybe if the whole house was painted black, gray, or white with black trim some millennials will be interested…

      • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

        To be fair, that’s what they tried to do with the exterior – monchrome white over the Tudor lines, with black/dark bronze windows. A good portion of the new construction in this and nearby towns seems to hew to the ‘modern farmhouse’ aesthetic, which in practice means painted white board-and-batten wood, with dark windows. Like this.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Certainly preferable to the McMansion Hell abominations preferred by our betters in other, superior states!

    • Posted by Spencer

      95% of valley people who can afford this are not millenials.

  3. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    Could be!

    Hadn’t realized that what the market wanted was a Darien, CT tennis-club-style tudor that can’t decide whether to go classic or modern. Like if someone built an nice old house but finished it sort-of-remodeled, from day one. Is this Ken Fulk or one of his acolytes?

    Just my .02 – you probably do know more than I do. I am infrequently accused of knowing how the ultra-rich live. Best of luck to the sellers!

  4. Posted by don

    This kind of makes me glad I’m not a billionaire. My own aesthetic choices are affordable enough to discard when it becomes obvious they’re blandly incoherent failures.

  5. Posted by Amewsed

    No thanks. I briefly considered installing modern patterned floor tiles for my kitchen and/or bath as an upscale homage to the Singaporean shop houses.

    Now seeing the kitchen floors of this house gave me headaches. There isn’t a continuous design element throughout the house.

    What is the land only price assuming a tear down?

    • Posted by socketome

      Public Facts for 369 Churchill Avenue

      Built: 2015

      Taxable Value for 2017
      Land: $9,927,431
      Additions: $4,307,760
      Total: $14,235,191

      • Posted by SocketSite

        Those facts are a bit misleading. The home was actually built in 1917. The aforementioned expansion and renovation commenced in 2015. And the assigned “values” are for tax purposes, although the lot value is at least in the right ballpark for unimproved Old Palo Alto land.

        • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

          The before pictures look like Tiger Inn.

          • Posted by haighter

            wow you’re right! but then again most any oversize tudor does…

        • Posted by socketome

          1917 – that makes more sense. The listing site doesn’t even mention it.

          Interesting site on Palo Alto’s historic structures. The house looked better before – especially without that new awkward roof element over the front entry. The techbro remodeling trend is very short sighted.

    • Posted by SFMichael

      Amewsed, there is one common element. Every room has it’s own complicated chandler.

  6. Posted by earlgreyhot

    I saw the house being renovated as I visit the public gardens across the street regularly. The exteriors are really beautiful in person; the photos don’t really do it justice. Considering the space and all the amenities, $40 million actually seems kind of low for Palo Alto. Perhaps because it’s right off of Embarcadero which is a very busy traffic thoroughfare.

    • Posted by Kim

      I agree that it’s very nice in person and is a good complement to Gamble. The size and price are eye popping but that’s an extremely high end neighborhood.

  7. Posted by donjulio116

    Bay area builders/architects have a special talent for building ugly things. When I go to almost any other city… London, New York, Chicago…even cities like Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle there’s a STARK difference in the quality of architecture and design people put into buildings there.

    • Posted by Brian M

      I would agree w/r/t Chicago at the modest end of the market. The classic Chicago neighborhood streetscape utterly transcends the Bay Area in most respects. Part of it is brick and stone as a dominant surface material.

      At the upper end…not sure that is really true. Plenty of hideous McMansions, and the North Shore suburbs don’t look all that different than Piedmont or Saint Francis Wood. Still nice, but…

  8. Posted by steve

    it lacks all of the charm and style of this other (2015) $30 million, $6354/sq ft, $33m/acre most expensive palo alto sale

  9. Posted by Soil Guy

    Pretty sure Mr Van Natta is gonna be just fine regardless of all your negativity.

  10. Posted by voltairesmistress

    I am repeatedly surprised how much money extremely wealthy people will spend on themselves, rather than donating to the public good here or abroad.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Well….we do not really know what this gentleman’s charitable contributions look like. The real problem is most of the profits from the supposed productivity gains of the past two decades have been hoovered into very few hands. To this guy, this amount of money here may be no more significant than the money spent by a junior engineer in Fremont buying an $850,000 tract home with help from his family on the down payment.

  11. Posted by MarinaBoy

    I like it and if I had the money and wanted to live in Palo Alto it would be perfect for a family and a couple of dogs.

  12. Posted by Ken Dahl

    Who in their right mind would sign up for $500,000/year in property taxes? That’s like $1,400/day. FOR WHAT, on top of paying state income taxes? And not deductible on federal taxes. Did someone not get the memo?

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Did you get the memo about how much money some people have? Owen Van Natta is worth in the range of $400M. Why would he be bothered about paying $500,000 in taxes?

      • Posted by Brian M

        $500,000 would be 10% of the income stream off his pelf stash if he put it all in a passbook savings account. 🙂

  13. Posted by Alessandro L.

    Tear it down!

  14. Posted by PhatAl

    Too funny to see this. I worked for the original landscape arch. firm who did the original DD set, after Ken Fulk got involved the architects and landscape architects were canned and they went w/ a new design team. It looks pretty damn near the set we completed just some different finishes. I just don’t get Ken Fulk, I think he is overrated, to his credit at least I don’t see any taxidermy squirrel sconces

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