Silicon Valley billionaire Marc Andreessen is known for his winning venture capital bets on tech companies such as Facebook, Skype, Lyft, Pinterest, Airbnb and Slack. However, one of its latest features is causing considerably more controversy.
In June, Andreessen co-founder Horowitz and his wife, philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, wrote to local officials in the San Francisco suburb, America’s most expensive zip code, to oppose a zoning change that would allow multi-family housing in some areas. locations and build approximately 130 housing units by 2031.
“I am writing this letter to communicate our IMMENSE objection to the creation of multi-family overlay zones in Atherton,” the couple wrote, according to a public comment discovered by The Atlantic Ocean. “IMMEDIATELY remove all multi-family overlay zoning projects from the housing element that will be submitted to the state in July. They will HUGE lower our home values, our own and our neighbors’ quality of life, and IMMEDIATELY increase noise and traffic.”
The housing proposal was ultimately rejected.
The apparent NIMBY stance is at odds with Mr Andreessen’s public comments. He called for more housing in the Bay Area in an influential 2020 essay called “It’s Time to Build.”
In the piece, he hammered at “insanely skyrocketing house prices in places like San Francisco, making it nearly impossible for ordinary people to move in and take the jobs of the future.”
He argued that “regulatory capture,” that is, opposition to new construction through official channels, prevented San Francisco and other locations from building “the American city of the future.”
“We should have gleaming skyscrapers and spectacular residential environments in all our best cities at levels far beyond what we have now; where are they?” he continued.
In April, he compared New York’s high rents to racially discriminatory restrictive agreements, an issue he found all the more striking in a city she derided as “ground zero of perceived concerns about inequality and privilege.”
Critics were quick to feast on the irony, calling the venture capitalist hopelessly unattainable.
He reportedly owns a $16.6 million Tuscan-style mansion in the city, according to the Hollywood reporteras well as two separate mega mansions in Malibu, together worth more than $200 million.
“I’m not sure there’s anything more pathetic than Marc Andreessen, a real-life billionaire, who whines that building some multi-family homes in his city would ‘MASSIVEly’ decrease the value of his own home,” argued writer Matt O’Brien in a tweet on Friday.
Others used the news to mock Andreessen’s 2020 essay.
“Marc Andreessen: It’s not TIME TO BUILD until it’s NOT IN MY BACKYARD,” wrote writer and podcast Paris Marx joked.
Some critics noted that the irony was just as rich, coming from Ms. Arrillaga-Andreessen, the daughter of a billionaire land developer in Silicon Valley.
“Marc Andreessen, who is married into the family of one of the Bay Area’s leading real estate developers, has decided it’s not time to build when it’s near his own home,” said Twitter user Andrew Granato.
TSWT has contacted Mr. Andreessen and Ms. Arrillaga-Andreessen for comment.