East Bay home that cost $135M to build lists for fraction of that price
PeopleSoft founder’s dream house features rope bridge, car barn, dog spa and aviary
An Alamo estate built by a tech billionaire at a cost of more than $135 million is on the market for a fraction of that amount, though if it comes anywhere close to its $35 million asking price it will rank as the most expensive sale ever in Contra Costa County.
PeopleSoft founder David Duffield bought the 21-acre property in 2005 and worked until 2010 to permit, design and build his family estate — dubbed Fieldhaven. It has a main French Country-style home with 10 bedrooms, 13 full bathrooms and nine half-baths in more than 20,000 square feet.
There’s also a two-bedroom guest home, a custom-designed treehouse entered via a 75-foot-long rope bridge, a 20-slot car barn with guest suite above, an aviary created by a curator at the San Francisco Zoo and a dog spa, according to a press release on the listing. The construction alone took more than three years and involved builders, designers and craftspeople from around the world.
The tech billionaire sold the estate in August 2020 for $19 million to J. Taylor Crandall, a former senior advisor at Crosspoint Capital, a private equity fund focused on cybersecurity. The Duffields donated the proceeds to their family foundation, Maddie’s Fund, named in memory of a family dog, which provides grants to animal causes.
The sale set the record for Contra Costa County, which includes Lamorinda, Walnut Creek, Danville and Brentwood, and no other home has been able to top it since, according to Redfin data. The closest is 10 Serenity Lane, which is next door to Fieldhaven, and sold for $16.7 million in June 2021.
Marilee Headen of Compass and Taso Tsakos of Engel & Volkers are co-listing the property on behalf of the Crandalls. Headen said the agents looked at comps from across the Bay Area, not just the East Bay, to determine the price for the property, which she said would cost $250 million to build today.
That includes about $6 million of improvements the Crandalls put in. Upgrades include a solar field that creates enough energy to power the estate.
Crandall will miss the “incredible amenities of the Alamo property, especially his car barn,” according to Headen. She represented the Crandalls when they bought the home in 2020 and Tsakos represented the Duffields.
“We worked well together in that transaction and bring different skill sets to the table,” Headen said of why they were chosen to list the property as a team.
The Crandalls are moving to a home they own nearby to be closer to their children’s schools, Headen said. Crosspoint Capital is based in Menlo Park but Crandall moved his family from Atherton to Alamo to begin with because of the schools, according to the press release.
In the search for buyers, the agents will target “wealthy individuals from all the main hubs” locally and nationally, Tzakos said, including Silicon Valley, San Francisco, L.A., New York and Florida. They will also be doing a heavy international marketing push.
“You never know where the buyer will come [from],” he said.