The latest trend: $35,000/month for a downtown Palo Alto townhouse

The kitchen in the $35,000-a-month penthouse at 430 Forest Ave. in Palo Alto. The Marc apartment building, where penthouses go for $9,000 to $16,000 a month, can be seen from the window.
The kitchen in the $35,000-a-month penthouse at 430 Forest Ave. in Palo Alto. The Marc apartment building, where penthouses go for $9,000 to $16,000 a month, can be seen from the window.

Daily Post Staff Writer

For Palo Altans with money to burn, three downtown penthouses are being rented at the jaw-dropping rate of $35,000 a month.

Councilwoman Karen Holman mentioned the rentals at a Monday night City Council meeting in a successful bid to halve the city’s office development cap. Holman argued the ever-increasing number of high-paying jobs in Palo Alto have led to sky-high rents.

“What kind of policies allow that sort of thing in this community? Until we get our house in order, why in the world would we consider allowing more office?” she asked.

Councilman Greg Scharff disputed the connection between office development and housing prices, arguing that “nothing will change” in the housing market as a result of reducing the city’s office cap from 1.7 million square feet through 2030 to 850,000 square feet.

When asked about her comments yesterday, Holman sent the Post a list of the three pricey penthouses downtown.

One, a 5,000-square-foot home with a 4,000-square-foot patio at 611 Cowper St., was put on the market in 2016 between Forest and Hamilton avenues. A listing on advertises the penthouse at $35,000 a month and says it was taken off the market in September 2016.

The apartment features three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms and encompasses the fourth floor of a mixed-use building.

Storage for 1,200 wine bottles

A listing on the website of Alain Pinel relators Carol Carnevale and Nicole Aron cites the penthouse’s private elevator, floor-to-ceiling windows, gas fire pit, stainless steel hot tub and bar area with a wine refrigerator that fits 1,200 bottles of wine.

A penthouse at 550 High St., Chop Keenan’s building between Hamilton and University avenues, is going for $34,000 per month, according to Carnevale and Aron. It includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms and two half-bathrooms in a total living space of 5,165 square feet.

Large windows

The penthouse features a central terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows and a library with a fireplace.

In June, a 3,696-square-foot penthouse was built on top of a 13-unit housing development at 430 Forest Ave., the former site of an AAA insurance office between Waverley Street and Downing Lane.
That unit is already occupied by a tenant paying $35,000 a month, according to Linda Nguyen, the senior community director at FPI Management. It includes four bedrooms, a media room, a service kitchen, a 1,719-square-foot deck and a Samsung SmartThings controller hooked up to lights, speakers and window blinds.

All rented by tech execs

Nguyen noted that not all penthouses in Palo Alto go for such high rates. She also manages the Marc, an older building at 501 Forest Ave., where four newly renovated penthouses equipped with Smart-Things technology are rented for between $9,000 and $16,000 a month.

Nguyen said all the penthouse tenants at the Marc and 430 Forest Ave. are executives at technology companies.


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