WSJ: Mark Zuckerberg’s "secret deal" for $59 million Lake Tahoe compound

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg secretly purchased two neighboring estates to assemble a compound on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe in Northern California for a combined $59 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. Both properties come with private docks.

Ironically, two days before the Journal broke the story, Zuckerberg spoke at a Facebook conference while standing in front of a giant screen emblazoned: “The future is private.” He spent most of his speech talking about Facebook’s commitment to privacy following a series of data breaches and revelations that the company sold the private information of millions of users.

“While Mark Zuckerberg deals with accusations that the company he leads is too cavalier in the way it handles users’ personal information, he is circumspect in his handling of one person’s privacy: his own,” the story noted.

Zuckerberg kept the deals secret by requiring real estate agents to sign non-disclosure agreements and using limited liability corporations to close the transactions, the story said. He bought two private estates over the last few months that give him a combined 600 feet of private waterfront near the Timberland area south of Tahoe City.

Homes in the area tend to be passed down through the same families and are rarely sold, the story said. Zuckerberg’s new neighbors include the family of late Hewlett-Packard founder Bill Hewlett and the family of the late publishing titan Charles McClatchy.

Zuckerberg bought the first property, a seven-bedroom home on more than three acres of land, for $22 million in December, the story said. Dating back to around 1930, the estate was formerly owned by the family of the late investment banker Robert Quist. It had been on the market for as much as $32 million in 2017, the story said, citing Zillow.

Zuckerberg bought the second property, known as the Brushwood Estate, for $37 million in January, the story said. It had been owned by San Francisco philanthropist Tamara Fritz since 1996 and had been on the market for $45 million. The home was built in the 1920s and has six bedrooms. There’s also a separate guesthouse on the 6-acres estate.

The 34-year-old billionaire is looking to buy more homes in the neighborhood, the story said, citing people familiar with the transactions.

“Mr. Zuckerberg has made overtures about buying a third property across the street, but hasn’t yet closed on a deal,” the Journal’s story said.

Now that Zuckerberg’s interest has been revealed, sellers may decide to hike their prices. He is, after all, the seventh-richest person in the world, with a net worth of about $63 billion, Forbes reported last month.

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