VC George Sarlo’s $26M Sea Cliff listing goes into contract

Proceeds from one of SF’s highest-priced homes will go to family foundation

One of SF’s highest-priced resi listings goes into contract
George Sarlo of Walden Capital Management and 290 Sea Cliff (Todd Goodman for Sotheby’s International Realty, Walden Capital Management)

After a slow start for the summer luxury home market, one of San Francisco’s highest-priced listings has gone into contract. 

Located in the city’s ultra-luxury Sea Cliff enclave, 290 Sea Cliff Avenue had a $26 million list price when it came to market at the end of May. Less than one month later it went into contract, and owner and early tech VC George Sarlo has said the proceeds will go to his family foundation. 

Listing agents Tania Toubba and Debi DiCello of Sotheby’s International Realty declined to comment as the sale has not yet closed, but news reports when the home listed said the proceeds for the nearly 8,000-square foot home will go to the grant-making Sarlo Family Foundation.

The foundation supports mostly Bay Area nonprofits that concentrate on youth mental health, youth political organizing and breaking the cycle of trauma, according to its website. The four-bedroom home with four full and two half baths was transferred into the foundation’s name just before it came to market, according to public records.

“My involvement with the foundation has provided meaning and comfort in my life, an opportunity to see my values in action and a chance to blend my life experiences and aspirations to benefit others,” Sarlo said in a statement to Mansion Global when the home listed.

One of SF’s highest-priced resi listings goes into contract
290 Sea Cliff (Todd Goodman for Sotheby’s International Realty)

Sarlo bought the oceanfront home, with views from Lands End to the Marin Headlands, in 1993 for $2.2 million, according to property records. By that point, Sarlo had already been a partner at Walden Venture Capital for over a decade, according to the company’s website. The firm has invested in media companies like Pandora and SoundHound as well as semiconductor company Elantic, which was sold for $1.4 billion in 2002. The Hungarian immigrant came to the U.S. as a refugee, according to Walden’s bio of him, and was also the founder of a separate investment management company that was sold in 2007. 

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One of SF’s highest-priced resi listings goes into contract
290 Sea Cliff (Todd Goodman for Sotheby’s International Realty)

The sale of 290 Sea Cliff could rank as the biggest of the year thus far in the city, which experienced a bit of a comeback in the ultra-luxury market this spring but seen few sales since summer arrived. So far the biggest San Francisco residential sale was the $24 million trade of Hotwire co-founder Karl Peterson’s Presidio Heights home in May, which barely surpassed an off-market trade in Pacific Heights for $23.8 million one month earlier. 

The biggest Sea Cliff sale of the year thus far came in mid-January, when Examiner owner Clint Reilly sold one of his side-by-side oceanfront properties for $14.5 million. Nothing has surpassed that sale since in the neighborhood, though the former home of Robin Williams has been listed for $25 million since last fall. 

There had been no trades over $8 million in San Francisco since the end of May, but 290 Sea Cliff went into contract June 28 and a Presidio Heights home at 3498 Jackson Street sold for $12.9 million—nearly $1 million over the asking—on July 2. It was on the market for just one week in May before going into contract.

Summer is usually slow for ultra luxury sales, but when the right house comes along, buyers move quickly, agents say. 

“A motivated buyer will buy on the Fourth of July if it’s time to buy,” Compass agent Max Armour told TRD last month.

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