Redeveloped Atherton estate sells for $22.5M

Sale comes during slowdown, even in nation’s most expensive zip code

54 Reservoir Road and Ray Newton III (Zillow, LinkedIn, Getty)
54 Reservoir Road and Ray Newton III (Zillow, LinkedIn, Getty)

A 1-acre estate in Atherton with a new main home, guest house and detached garage has sold for $22.5 million, one of this year’s priciest single-family residential sales in the nation’s most expensive zip code.

Two trusts, one named after Ray Newton III and the other after the estate’s address, acquired the site at 54 Reservoir Road from Benchmark Builders, documents filed with the San Mateo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office on Aug. 16 show. Public records and people search engine Spokeo match Newton III with a Florida-based private investor with the same name. He didn’t respond to a phone call and LinkedIn message seeking comment.

Menlo Park-based Benchmark has spent more than two years replacing the property’s previously completed four-bed, three-bath home, detached two-car garage, and associated landscaping with a new pad. Its new main home received the first of two temporary certificates of occupancy last month, while its guest house, detached garage and 1,100-square-foot pool and spa area received final inspections last week, according to Atherton’s online permit portal.

Benchmark has also obtained building permits for a firepit, outdoor kitchen and accessory dwelling unit, which round out the pad’s living space and amenities. The single-family homebuilder didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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The deal is tied for the fifth-priciest in Atherton this year and comes at a time when residential markets across the Bay Area are slowing, according to Zillow and Compass data. Atherton, the nation’s most expensive zip code for the past five years, according to PropertyShark, hasn’t been immune to the slowdown.

Sales volume last month was less than half the $69.6 million in June volume, MLSListings data show. Average sales price and the number of new listings and homes sold also declined over that time, according to MLSListings. Still, Atherton topped all residential markets in San Mateo County in median house sales price, median price per square foot and median home size from May through July, Compass data show.

Because neither Atherton’s permit portal nor Benchmark’s website discloses the new pad’s square footage, it’s impossible to calculate where the sale ranks on a per-square-foot basis. No other homes have sold this year on Reservoir Road, which sits less than 3 miles from numerous leading venture capital firms on Sand Hill Road, according to Zillow data. The estate at 54 Reservoir Road wasn’t listed for sale online, indicating that it may have sold in an off-market deal.

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Venus Homes’ Jon Venverloh and the former house at 1290 Bay Laurel Drive (Venus Homes, LeMieux Associates, Getty)
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