San Francisco’s hustle and Silicon Valley’s bustle have driven numerous Bay Area businesspeople to seek stress relief outside of work. Transcendental meditation is all the rage up there, as are sensory deprivation tanks. Some folks even indulge in goat yoga for the low price of thirty bucks per class.
But the wealthiest tech titans achieve zen not merely through meditation or by floating in saltwater. These folks can afford to buy real estate in pricey places renowned for their relaxing atmosphere. Take the picturesque town of Woodside in San Mateo County — the equestrian-oriented village is almost completely surrounded by nature preserves and filled with mature oak, redwood and pine trees. And its laidback lifestyle contrasts sharply to that of SF’s. Yet homes there are only 35 minutes (by car) to the city and 20 minutes to Palo Alto.
Numerous bigshots have called Woodside home: Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman and Charles Schwab.
Another one of those lucky peeps is tech mogul Chad Hurley, who co-founded YouTube with Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. Back in 2013, Mr. Hurley paid exactly $10 million for sprawling, multi-acre estate deep in the proverbial heart of Woodside.
Besides YouTube — which he sold to Google for $1.6 billion — Mr. Hurley is likely best-known for his katastrophic Kardashian konundrum. Back in 2013, you see, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were engaged in the middle of San Francisco’s Oracle Park. TV cameras were on hand to capture the tender scene (naturally). As was Mr. Hurley, randomly enough.
Although Mr. Hurley signed a confidentiality agreement, he secretly shot photos and video of the two lovebirds. And then he brazenly posted the images on his own site (MixBit) and even issued a boastful press release. Yes, before the special Keeping Up With The Kardashians episode even had a chance to air!
Kimye was furious at Mr. Hurley for profiting off their intimate moment (which occurred in a gigantic baseball stadium). The Wests are known for being very private people, after all. So they sued him. And they won, too, with Mr. Hurley agreeing to settle by paying them $440,000.
Not that Mr. Hurley has to worry about his check bouncing. In addition to the hundreds of millions he reaped from YouTube’s acquisition, our boy has long been married to a woman named Kathy Hurley (née Kathy Clark), the daughter of tech billionaire Jim Clark.
But we digress. Back to the real estate.
At the time of the Hurleys’ 2013 purchase, the 10.4-acre Woodside estate contained several decrepit buildings, a tennis court, a pool and numerous mature oak trees. Yolanda assumes the couple intended to raze the existing structures to make way for a lavish new compound, but that never actually happened.
Over the past six years, it appears Mr. and Mrs. Hurley have made precious few (if any) alterations to the property. Eventually they tossed the lot up for sale with a hefty $16.5 million ask. It sold in January (2019) for $14,250,000, or a $4.25 million profit before taxes, closing costs and realtor fees.
For what it’s worth, the property happens to be on the same dead-end lane as the gigantic 92-acre Flood Estate, which was quietly sold (back in late 2016) for $50 million to a buyer who remains unidentified.
So who paid the Hurleys over $14 million for their Woodside development opportunity? The big-bucks buyer, interestingly enough, happens to be the couple’s next-door neighbor. He’s a San Francisco-based gent named Matt Barger, a somewhat low-profile (but obviously very successful) financier who grew Hellman & Friedman into a multi-billion dollar private equity firm.
Mr. Barger’s current Woodside residence is a 4+ acre property with a 6,000-square-foot house. His acquisition of the Hurley property more than triples his compound’s size, though Yolanda has no idea what he plans to do with the grounds.
Anyway, records show the Hurleys also own property in New York City — they’ve got two small units in a historic West Village condo building. But their main residence appears to be a large (and in charge) French chateau-sorta thing up in the very wealthy Silicon Valley town of Atherton.
Records reveal the Hurleys paid exactly $9 million for the three-level mansion back in 2013. The 8,600-square-foot compound features all sorts of fun features — there’s a guesthouse with separate kitchen, detached art studio and lush backyard with a swimmer’s pool.