Gap co-founder Doris Fisher sells Atherton estate for almost $48M 

Land and main house were part of 8-acre estate that once listed for $100M

Don and Doris Fisher with 170 & 154 Atherton Avenue (Gap, Google Maps, Getty)
Don and Doris Fisher with 170 & 154 Atherton Avenue (Gap, Google Maps, Getty)

Gap co-founder Doris Fisher has sold off the bulk of her long-held family estate in Atherton for almost $48 million, according to public records. The sale appears to be the biggest trade in Atherton in at least the last five years. 

Fisher started the clothing store chain with her husband Don in San Francisco in 1969. He passed away in 2009. Forbes lists Doris Fisher’s net worth at $1.6 billion.

While other homes in the $40-million-plus range in Atherton have lately consisted of 10,000-plus-square-foot newer homes on an acre or two of land, this deal features a much smaller and older home on 6 acres of what had once been marketed as an 8-acre property, which had an asking price of $100 million when it listed in 2021. 

In February, the other 2-acre portion of the estate and its 1939-era home at 178 Atherton Avenue sold for $15.5 million. The buyer in the earlier deal was high-end home developer Pacific Peninsula Development. The company has pulled demolition permits for the existing home on the 2-acre lot, as well as subdivision approvals, according to Atherton records. 

The developer had shown interest in building on the larger parcel as well as far back as 2022, according to Peninsula community newspaper The Almanac, which reported at the time that a total of 16 new housing units could be developed on a 4-acre portion of the site using both conventional subdivisions as well as upzoning from state law SB 9

But the buyer of the larger $40 million property does not appear to be a developer, but rather an ultra-high-net worth individual. 

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The two parcels — one with 4 acres, a 4,200-square-foot main home and a pool home at 170 Atherton Avenue that sold for $32 million and the other with 2 acres that held the Fishers’ sculpture garden at 154 Atherton Avenue that went for $16 million — were bought under two legal entities called Magnificent Trees LLC and Majestic Trees LLC, according to public records. They are both managed by Deanna Surbaugh, a tax partner at Frank Rimerman + Co. in Palo Alto who “works with highly reputable venture capitalists, investment bankers and chief executive officers in the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area,” according to her LinkedIn profile.

The LLCs were incorporated in early February and the deals closed in late April but have not been reported until now. 

The buyer’s agent has not been made public, Compass agents Mary and Brent Gullixson, who held the listing, declined to comment on the sale of the property they have been marketing since 2021. 

Art isn’t included in the sale and the proceeds from the estate will go to the charter school-focused Doris & Donald Fisher Foundation, a family representative told the Wall Street Journal when the property first came to market.

At that time, the listing included all 8 acres the Fishers had amassed since buying their first parcel as a summer home in 1975, spending about $17.5 million in total. The Gullixsons told Forbes in 2021 that it was a once-in-a-generation offering as well as the largest listing in nation’s most expensive zip code since 2011, when a 12-acre property sold for $53 million. 

“What the Fisher family has created in this property would be impossible to replicate today without decades of thoughtful patience,” Brent Gullixson told Forbes at the time. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the 10 largest properties in Atherton.”

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