Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jerry Rice Cashes In in Atherton

SELLER: Jerry and Jackie Rice
LOCATION: Atherton Avenue, Atherton, CA
PRICE: $22,000,000
SIZE: 16,180 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7 full and 3 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Very elegant California French Style on three levels with six bedroom suites, seven full and three half baths. First level library and additional upstairs office. Grand formal entry way, step down living room, family room with full bar, fabulous gourmet kitchen, first level home theatre, lower level game room with full bar, wine room, crafts room and full gym and underground, seven car garage with individual doors. The home features over 2 million dollars worth of electronics and security system with fully automated smart home features. Private and gated grounds on an approx 1.4 acres with swimming pool and spa, covered veranda with built-in heaters and speakers and stone outdoor fireplace, guest house with kitchenette and full bath surrounded by luscious lawns, fountains, pond and majestic trees for the utmost in privacy and security.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: As the children might imagine, Your Mama did not know who retired professional footballer Jerry Rice was until we did a quick search on the internets. Turns out he is a very accomplished man who won three big and gaudy Super Bowl rings (have you seen one of these monsters?) as a ball catcher with the San Francisco 49ers and in the process earned lots of awards, accolades, records and money.

Anyhoo, Mister Rice and his wifey Jackie have recently put their Atherton, CA estate on the market for a spine crunching $22,000,000. For the children who don't know Bay Area geography, let Your Mama school you a little. Atherton lies just south of San Francisco and it's known for its posh, dignified, and outrageously expensive estates. Some (although not Your Mama) might even call it the Beverly Hills of the Bay Area, and unless you're swimming in paper, don't even bother looking for a house in Atherton.

The Rice pad occupies a 1.4 acre flag lot that property records indicate they purchased in July of 1997 for $2,656,354. The sporty couple spent several years designing, planning and building the three level, 16,180 square foot house and only finished building their "California French" style dream house with 6 bedrooms suites 7 full and 3 half bathrooms five years ago.

According to listing information, there are scads of amenities that a ridiculous rich internet multi millionaire might an underground 7 car garage for the fleet of hybrids (this is the socially conscious Bay Area after all), over two million dollars in electronics and security, a first level home theatre, and a 5,000+ square foot basement level that includes a game room, full bar, wine room, a full gym and a crafts room (is this sorta like Miz Candy Spelling's gift wrapping room?).

Outside, on the private and gated property, we find a heated swimming pool and spa, a covered veranda with built in speakers and outdoor fireplace, "luscious lawns," fountains, a dog run/kennel, and a guest house with kitchenette and full bath. But no tennis court.

Personally, we don't like the faux chateau exterior of the house or the interior decor for which we're quite sure some queen charged Miz Jackie Rice an arm, a leg, and then some. Unless a house is sitting directly on the ocean where postage stamp lot sizes are standard, for $22,000,000, whether anyone uses it or not, Your Mama needs to see a tennis court and we don't see one here. Pity.

Let's do a little math here, kids. Property records show the Rice couple paid just over $2,6000,000 for the property. And for the sake of argument, let's just say they spent another ten or eleven million clams building the monster mansion, which wouldn't seem unbelievable, right? That means they could potentially haul a huge truckload of money to the bank if they sell this place anywhere near its asking price.

Not a bad way to make a few million bucks.


Anonymous said...

Atherton does have its share of internet zillionaires, but it also has its share of old SF money. It's schizophrenic that way. Atherton Ave is quite the nice address, but I am sure the neighbors (especially the old money ones) are horrified at the new, ostentatious construction. The exterior facade is hideous!

I can not imagine the Rices getting anywhere near $22 million. There is/was some equally horrific house on Selby Avenue ( for $12 million or so that is languishing on the market. $22 million???

I wish the Rices the best; Jerry Rice is a GREAT guy! On and off the field.

Anonymous said...

Idiots, the "fortress" rock star mansion on sunset plaza drive was built for 40MM by a german industrialist, and guess what, it sold for 6MM in the 90's, 8MM in 2000 and is now on the market for 13MM

Just because you put millions into a place in rebuliding, remodeling, does not mean you will get your money back, I think they are going to take a loss on it or not even sell it, they will most likely take it off of the market when they find out that they are getting offers under 8MM for the place.

Anonymous said...

Grew up on the SF Peninsula and still can't wrap my head around the transformation, particularly the prices.
Mr Rice is a VERY nice man, and no disrespect to him or his wife, but this house represents one of the transformations that is NOT so lovely - over-built monster houses that feel entirely out of place in their surroundings. Ah, well, people will forever be buying up property and building just what they want, and aesthetic sensitivity is not a prerequisite to purchasing property. Maybe if you don't really love an area, you just don't much care what the ramifications are to the neighborhood? Makes us appreciate the folks with oodles of money who actually DO build or renovate to suit the area.

Anonymous said...

Do these neighborhoods not have associations which regulate what can be built?

Anonymous said...

16,000 square feet to play with and that cramped dining room looks like it's all of 12 feet wide.

Anonymous said...

Mama, is it your fault or mine that when I click a photo to view the larger version, it now downloads the file to my computer? It wasn't like this before, and it's a horrible, horrible way for a web site to behave.

Anonymous said...

It's NOT my fault!

Anonymous said...

Aunt Mary:

Generally speaking, no. There are no neighborhood associations, just city planning commissions. The town of Atherton does have a planning commission.

Something to keep in mind is that, generally, in Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley etc., the lots are generally bigger. My guess is that allows them a little more leeway. There is a greater sensitivity to natural habitat and historical buildings, such as the Allied Arts Center and indigenous trees and stuff. My sense is that new construction isn't frowned upon as much as it would be if it removed an old oak tree.

Once you get into larger towns like Menlo Park and Palo Alto, the lots become smaller and there is actually more scrutiny.

My other guess is that the explosion of real estate values blinded the commission to the longer term ramifications of what the new construction did to the overall look of the town. Perhaps that is why Steve Jobs got into so much trouble in Woodside. He isn't being allowed to raze a historical property he bought forever ago and build out on the one building he wanted.

All hypotheses on my part. I too grew up in the Bay Area and knew a very different Peninsula than is there today.

luke220 said...

It's good to see Ed again. I thought that he may have left us, a little shell-shocked.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea who he is either. I knew who Jason Sehorn is, and a few of the other sports stars that Mama has written about, but no clue (nor do I care) who Rice is. Is he related to Condie?

Anonymous said...

Just looked at his wiki page. I guess if you are into football, he is a big deal. Oh well. The only place I might have seen him would have been on "Dancing With The Stars" but he was on before I watched it.

luke220 said...


Tell us about the Kardashian's place in Hidden Hills. They must be close to the Sehorn's.

It must be long drive home from Sunset for those drunken daughters.

Anonymous said...

Can you spell D-I-V-O-R-C-E? Well ya should cuz that's why this monstrosity is on the market. Don't know (or want to) the dirty details cuz they got three kiddos who are cute as buttons. As for the haul they'll make, I hope they get it all cuz she's got to figure out some way to finance that huge closet full of church hats that are big and gwaudy as hell!

Anonymous said...

I love the pool...this home isn't as over the top as some of you have said.

Anonymous said...

It seems a little cramped in the livingroom, but I think it's a beautiful house. Maybe it could use a few more skylights and some higher cielings.
I think I'd find it pretty pleasant to live in that house.

If you want me to house-sit, Mr. Rice, just let me know.