10 Real Estate Stories That Wowed

10 Real Estate Stories That Wowed

Already feeling nostalgic for 2016? It was a big year for residential real estate news, with San Francisco’s housing frenzy pushing more buyers to the East Bay. There were elite sales of mansions, fierce competition for starter homes, revitalized neighborhoods getting on the map, and a crisis for artists who were priced out of SF and trying to make it in Oakland. Here are the other stories that stuck with us from 2016:

1. Started With a Bang

Felton Estate     Photo: Pacific Union International


The year opened with the record-breaking $20.5 million sale of the lavish Felton Estate in the Oakland Hills -- the most expensive home ever sold in Alameda County. The 14,000-square-foot mansion at 6889 Devon Way was architecturally inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and sits on 20 acres with breathtaking panoramic views stretching from wine country to Silicon Valley. What do you get for that kind of money? A 2,000-square-foot living room, art gallery, 2,500-bottle wine cellar and tasting room carved into the hillside, 16-car garage, seven fireplaces, five bathrooms, four bedrooms, gym, pool and spa and a vineyard of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Jaw-dropping artistic details are on display with the infinity lap pool, copper topped domes, hand-picked stone, spiral staircase and more.

2. Could Have Been a Contender

10 Winding Lane, Orinda


In competition for the “most expensive home sold in Alameda County” title, a gigantic Orinda estate went on the market in May for $22 million. But after getting no bites, it headed to auction in October, only to be withdrawn by the seller and put back on the market. The compound at 10 Winding Lane is being sold by John Hammergren of McKesson Corp., a giant medical supply company. Hammergren, once one of America's highest paid CEOs, initially snagged the property for a cool $3 million in 1996. It’s a 23,400-square-foot mansion with six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, five-car garage with wash station, pizza room, billiard room and a state-of-the-art sports complex with tennis, bocce, racquetball and squash courts, gym, rock climbing wall, steam room, sauna, yoga center and spa. SFist SFistdubbed it a “shrine to the ‘90s.” Welcome home Ross and Rachel.

3. Steph Curry’s Real Estate Swish

Photo: Nate Denny/Open Homes Photography

Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry put this Mediterranean-style home in Walnut Creek on the market for $3.7 million last fall, spurring panic that our MVP was leaving us. But Curry proved his commitment to the East Bay by purchasing a posh 10,000-square-foot property behind gates in Alamo for $5.77 million. There’s a main house, guesthouse, six-car garage, formal garden and infinity pool. We suspect there’s a basketball hoop somewhere, too.

Photo: Getty Images


4. Kudos and Doggy Kisses go to David Duffield, the co-founder and chairman of Workday and founder of PeopleSoft, for gifting his extraordinary $39 million compound at 7 Country Oak Lane in Alamo to Maddie’s Fund, the nonprofit pet shelter he created in the ‘90s. Maddie’s Fund put the estate on the market in June. The storybook property, named Fieldhaven, is located at the base of Mount Diablo and is still awaiting that special buyer if you need a 10 bed, 22 bath, 21,582-square-foot property complete with a soundproof aviary with its own prep kitchen, dog park, paw-washing stations, European stone-lined wine cellar, 14-seat cinema, pool, suspension bridge leading up to a whimsical tree house and much more. Check out the home theater, pictured below.

 Photos: Pac Union/Thomas Grubba

5. Steep Discount for Historic Treasure

2840 Claremont Blvd., Berkeley

A Berkeley mansion built for a California oil baron and banker sold in December for way under asking price -- $3.6 million compared to the asking price of $5.45 million. The 2840 Claremont Blvd. property (8,639-square-foot, eight-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath with grand formal rooms) was built in the early 1900s for Paul O. Tietzen, president of the Bank of Santa Maria, and was one of the first structures built in the neighborhood. According to the local Berkeleyside, very few houses in Berkeley have been listed for more than $5 million.

6. Mid-Century Fascination

We had the exceptional pleasure of selling the unique home at 10 Atlas Place in the Berkeley Hills. It was remodeled by famed architect John Hans Ostwald, and featured his hallmark mix of woodsy and modern design, with cathedral ceilings, decks, redwood atrium, koi pond, wet bars and a spiral staircase. We were won over by its spectacular bay, city and bridge views, the Tilden Park trails literally out the front door and the sweet neighbors (and their pooches) who we met there.

10 Atlas Place     Photo: Abio


7. Have A Little Bit of Faith

Once an eyesore, now a blessed beauty.

An abandoned and derelict Oakland church received a radical transformation into a striking home with soaring 22-foot-high ceilings, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, transparent cat walk between upper and lower levels, artisan wallpaper, herringbone masonry, free-standing soaking tub and electric car–charging. Curbed San Francisco called it “bohemian-industrial.” The blight-turned-beauty at 751 47th Street in the Temescal neighborhood was listed for $899,000 in October and sold in November for $1.55 million. It was bought from a bank, renovated and sold by talented husband and wife team Jen Montague Clark and Steve Clark. See their photos of the transformation in this Home Co blog.

No more pulpit, just plenty of chef's space.    Photo: The Home Co.


8. Attention for Temescal

Photo: Berkeleyside

This vibrant multicultural neighborhood in North Oakland, one of our favorites, got a close-up from the New York Times this winter with a feature on the changing neighborhood. Indeed, zip code 94609 was the most popular Trulia.com search in Alameda County between September and December! A shout out to Aunt Mary’s Cafe, Bakesale Betty, Temescal Alleys and Temescal Brewing!

9. Full House Full Circle

Look familiar?

We couldn’t resist including just one San Francisco story – our fav from across the Bay. The “Full House,” that iconic Victorian occupied by the beloved sitcom Tanner family at 1709 Broderick Street, went on the market in May for $4.15 million. It was purchased for about $4 million by show Creator Jeff Franklin, who reportedly plans to redo the interior to look like the Tanners really live there. As Uncle Jesse would say, “Have mercy!”

Photo: ABC


10. And, Oh Yeah … We Launched Abio Properties!

Off to a great start!

We opened our boutique brokerage on Grand Avenue in vibrant Oakland in 2016. It’s been a dream of industry veterans Linnette Edwards and Cameron Platt to create a brokerage on the principles of transparency, collaboration, positivity and personalization. They’d had enough of the “every man for himself” approach pervading big brokerages. We named ourselves Abio (derived from the Spanish word for “open”), and with our team of 12, we’ve enjoyed the unique pleasure of showing homes like 10 Atlas, that exceptional mid-century Berkeley Hills home with a three-bridge view; 143 Calvert Court in Piedmont, another mid-century modern masterpiece designed by famed Case Study Houses architect Edward Killingsworth; and 224 Claudia Court in Moraga, a bright hilltop home with unrivaled views of golden rolling hills, oaks and meadows. We’ve had fun at every turn in 2016, especially making all those sleek (and sometimes quirky) mini-movies for our featured properties. Did you catch the surprise ending in the video for 498 Prince Street in Oakland? See it again here. We are looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings!

Want to know what’s in store for East Bay real estate in 2017? Abio Properties would love to chat with you. Call us at 888-400-ABIO (2246) or email us at hello@abioproperties.com.