If you happened to live next door to the co-founder of Nextdoor — a hyper-local, Facebook-like app for your neighborhood, where locals trade babysitter and piano teacher referrals — you’d be living beside a pristine mansion with an asking price of $25 million. That’s the lofty and publicity assuring number Nirav Tolia, currently chairman of the $2 billion-plus valued startup, has hung on his undeniably sumptuous yet relaxed home in San Francisco’s historic and historically swank Pacific Heights neighborhood.
Tolia, who purchased the house as a wedding present for his wife, Megha, decided to sell because he and his family plan to temporarily move to Florence, Italy, where they spent several months in the city before it became the epicenter of Europe’s COVID-19 pandemic. Like many urban dwellers with the means (and job flexibility) to do so, they plan to look for new digs outside of San Francisco upon their return to the United States. Of course, given the still rising coronavirus numbers in California, social isolating in the Tolia’s luxurious and expansive home doesn’t seem like such a torture either, if you can afford the sky-high price.
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The stately and somewhat austere, vaguely Beaux Arts-style home, located two blocks from Presidio Park on one of San Francisco’s famously steep streets, was originally built in 1916. After Tolia purchased it in 2011 for $7 million, the three-level spread underwent a gut renovation that transformed the faded grande dame it into a thoroughly modern mansion designed for modern-day family living with six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in an undisclosed amount of square footage. “My first memory of the house is standing outside and being transfixed by the stunning Italian coffered ceiling,” Tolia said in an email to The Wall Street Journal, who first reported the listing, “The house certainly needed work, but the bones were clearly excellent, and with a little bit of love, I knew it could be a rare and special place to raise our family.”
A few original details remain intact, including a 110-year-old coffered wood ceiling in the formal living room that benefits from a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Elsewhere, the vintage Fortuny damask that covers the dining room walls, the custom draperies and a Venetian glass chandelier are recent additions steeped in a bygone glamour. In total, the renovation took three years with a number of contemporary alterations that included opening up the sleek, gourmet kitchen to the family room and the installation of timer-controlled automatic drapes over the huge picture windows in the spacious master bedroom. While the front of the house abuts the street without much yard or landscaping besides a handful of carefully sculpted plantings, an evergreen expanse of artificial turf at the back of the house stretches out to a terraced and lushly planted hillside.
The listing agents are Malin Giddings and Neal Ward of Compass.
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