Fieldhaven Estate

According to the agent for the 22-acre “Fieldhaven” estate at 7 Country Oak Lane in Alamo, David Duffield, the co-founder of PeopleSoft and Workday, invested over $135 million in building out the property, a build-out which was completed in 2013 by a team of over 200 craftsmen over the course of three years and at the center of which is a nearly 21,000-square-foot home which was designed and crafted by Remick Associates Architects + Master Builders.

In addition to the seven-bedroom master home – which features imported European stonework, four kitchens, an old-school wine cellar, a 14-seat cinema painted Evans & Brown, a vault and two panic rooms – the estate includes a detached 1,115 square-foot guest house, a designer tree house and a 1,404 square-foot one-bedroom loft above the estate’s custom 15+ car “barn.”

Fieldhaven Estate: Car Barn

And having first hit the market in 2016 priced at $39 million, the proceeds from which were slated to be donated to Maddie’s Fund, the nonprofit pet shelter founded by Dave and his wife Cheryl, and to which they have since endowed over $300 million, the Fieldhaven estate has just returned to the market with a significantly reduced $28.5 million price tag.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    It looks like you need another car to get from the “car barn” to the house.

  2. Posted by Notcom

    “two panic rooms”
    A backup…for the TRULY nervous.

    But let’s stop snickering and get it over with:
    – Yes, if it were on the “right” side of the Bay that $39M might have ended up for ‘over asking’
    – The living room is too big for a wood floor
    – Bro had a fetish for timber (generally) and half-timber (specifically)
    – Potential buyers will be few and far between (and odds are not one of them signed your yearbook)

    • Posted by SFMichael

      The house is so big they needed two panic rooms just to make sure they were always close to one.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Good point … Panic Room Nearness Anxiety Syndrome ?? Maybe being a techie – or at least having access to them – Duffield can develop an invisibility app. Tho in this place a suit of armor might accomplish as much.

      • Posted by Rusty

        The local jobs provided a major boom to the local economy for three years. 135 millon spread out to all the hard working people plying their trades, honing their skills thanks to these people. Just donating to something doesn’t invest in the community, this is philanthropy at it’s finest. The on going maintenance alone is benefiting hundreds of people with jobs and tax dollars. This is how to spread the wealth not with a 70% tax on the rich that would go to Welfare for drug addicts, illegal aliens, any liberal program that flushes money down the toilet rather than pay hard working tax paying America citizens to work for their living and provide for their families.

  3. Posted by civ-e

    what happened here, someone invested $135 million into something that they expected to sell for $39 / 28.5 million?

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      This wasn’t an investment, it was conspicuous consumption. In case you’ve never heard of Thorstein Veblen, people that wealthy don’t really need to worry about treating their home as an investment. The sellers put $135 million into this home because they could, full stop.

      • Posted by curmudgeon

        but why sell not long after finishing? Has Duffield joined a monastic order?

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          He’s still described on the “leadership” page at Workday (the company he went to after PeopleSoft was acquired in 2005) as Co-Founder and Chairman and was co-CEO there as late as May 2014. Of course, he’s 78 years old. Wikipedia says he and his wife decided “to move back to their home in Tahoe.”

      • Posted by Brian M

        I think they did it as an employment program for local craftsmen. According to Rusty above, the best social and economic policy possible is for even MORE of the wealth to be channeled to the elite so they can hire servants and craftsman.

        I wonder if Rusty was a factotum for some Elizabethan Lord in a previous life?

    • Posted by Byron Harkey

      The winner in all this ego embellishing going on is of course the architect and builder!
      Laughing then and now ALL the way to the bank!

  4. Posted by frozentoast

    Wow. My guess is the wealth was inherited.

  5. Posted by Fishchum

    Man, there’s really something wrong with our system when one person can own this much.

    • Posted by Richard Pullman

      There is no system for something to be wrong. That’s a story we tell ourselves to try to understand the problem, but the problem with that is that we get caught up in the idea there is something wrong here.

      What is unfortunate is that someone built something which is difficult to remove or undo. That house will sit there for many, many years…demanding to be tended, upgraded, expanded, sold, etc., all the while providing shelter for only a few individuals.

      A county with more empty bedrooms that its population has something deeply wrong with it.

    • Posted by Max

      It’s like saying how come Jesus or Rama or Paigamber can get do close to God. Dude every human life has great potential some put into God, some into materialistic things. Whoever puts sincere efforts will receive thou.

      • Posted by Brian M

        Why would the all-powerful Creator of the Universe need anything “put into God”?

        Why would God need a starship?

  6. Posted by c_q

    So is this some sort of privately funded WPA project? Spending 135m to get 29m doesn’t strike me as even close to being a ‘good investment’.

    • Posted by SFMichael

      It seems likely the owner expected to live here a lot longer, but then for whatever reason changed their mind.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      I doubt that the owner expected to get a ROI for this place. It is clearly built with disposable income.

  7. Posted by MANJIT SINGH KHALSA

    If they want to donate the proceeds, why not just turn the house into a pet shelter. Why not donate to some charity that can alleviate homelessness in California. There are over 9000+ homeless in SF, 6000+ in SJ, 60,000 in LA and Oakland probably has it s high share. There is nothing wrong with working hard and becoming rich $135 million but the couple really wants to help, they could have helped thousands if not millions of families with what they spent expanding the house.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      I can assure you from firsthand knowledge that there are plenty of homeless people in Contra Costa County, there is no reason to import any from other parts of the Bay Area if this was turned into a shelter. Which it won’t, of course; I remember when this project was first submitted to planning. Duffield’s neighbors objected to his original plan which would have resulted in the main house being 72,000 ft.². He wound up reducing the size of it to what the editor described above.

      There’s no way the well-heeled residents would accept a change of use for either a pet or homeless shelter. It would reduce their property values.

    • Posted by G Tillson

      There are 28,000 homeless in the Bay Area. That includes people living in cars, motorhomes and other vehicles. Also people living in shelters and people who have no shelter whatsoever. Very sobering facts when you consider most of us are just one paycheck away from being there too.

    • Posted by Jorg

      I’m reminded of the bumper sticker I once saw: “The more I know people, the better I like my pets”.

  8. Posted by MP1

    What do you bet that huge kitchen never had anything more than a bag of Cheetos in it.

  9. Posted by hundo_p

    To be honest, and precise, the market never valued this property at $135M. Yet another SS hyperbole headline fail.

  10. Posted by Jackie

    It is pretty enough and the price seems good. Twenty two (22) acres!

  11. Posted by djt

    I stayed at a friend’s 11,000 square foot house for a week with my family and we spent most of the time sprawled on the floor between our bed and the wall in one bedroom reading and playing games with the kids. Bedroom was about 500 square feet. Kitchen table was 150 feet away from my bedside.

    • Posted by emanon

      ““Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me….”

      • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

        They let their spouses make horrible decorating decisions with vast budgets?

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