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Zuckerberg Buys Neighboring Homes to Prevent New Development

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By Brandon Bailey

(MCT)—Living the fantasy of every homeowner who has faced the prospect of a nuisance project next door, Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has bought four homes adjacent to his own 5-bedroom crash pad in one of Palo Alto, Calif.’s toniest neighborhoods.

Zuckerberg paid top dollar — more than $30 million in total — for the four residential properties located next door and behind his own home. But he has no plans to build a Taj Mahal on the land, according to a person with knowledge of the transactions, who said Zuckerberg is leasing the existing homes back to the families that live there.

The 29-year-old multibillionaire acted after he learned of a developer’s plan to buy one of the properties next door to the Facebook co-founder, said the source. “The developer was going to build a huge house and market the property as being next door to Mark Zuckerberg.”

Zuckerberg is one of several prominent tech CEOs who own homes on Palo Alto’s tree-lined streets. Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Google’s Larry Page live there, as did the late Apple chief Steve Jobs. Page created a modest stir a few years ago when he bought four adjoining properties in a fashionable, older neighborhood where he’s building a 6,000-square-foot abode.

Zuckerberg, who lived for many years in modest rented digs, reportedly paid $7 million two years ago for the 5,000-square-foot home in Palo Alto’s Crescent Park neighborhood where he lives with his wife, physician Priscilla Chan. Zuckerberg, whose personal fortune is estimated at $19 billion, also owns a home in San Francisco.

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