Even social-media billionaire Mark Zuckerberg draws a line at oversharing.

The founder and chief executive of Menlo Park, Calif.–based Facebook FB, +1.49%  disclosed that four homes he’s bought up in the past few years near his own house in Palo Alto, Calif., will be razed and replaced by smaller ones that eliminate the properties’ views of the 32-year-old’s bedroom.

‘He’s replacing the homes, not demolishing them.’

Miles Radcliffe-Trenner, Sard Verbinnen & Co.

According to an application filed with the city’s planning department, the homes that Zuckerberg bought in 2012 and 2013 for more than $43 million along Hamilton Avenue and Edgewood Drive in Palo Alto’s tony Crescent Park neighborhood would be demolished. They’ll be replaced with smaller houses on the same lots whose inhabitants won’t be able to see into the billionaire’s backyard.

Facebook did not return e-mailed requests for comment. Miles Radcliffe-Trenner, a spokesman for Sard Verbinnen & Co., in San Francisco, speaking on behalf of the project, said Zuckerberg hasn’t decided what to do with the homes once they are rebuilt. “He’s replacing the homes, not demolishing them,” Radcliffe-Trenner said, adding that the owners of the homes purchased by Zuckerberg have been out for more than a year. “There’s nobody being kicked out of their homes, and they’re not being rezoned for commercial use.”


A photo of Zuckerberg’s house in Palo Alto from 2012.

Radcliffe-Trenner said that, like other residential projects undertaken by city residents, Zuckerberg’s plans must be approved by the city’s planning commission and that there is no timeline yet for the razings and reconstructions of the homes. “There’s no reason to think this will be particularly controversial; however, [Zuckerberg’s] goal is to do the work all at once so as to minimize the impact on his neighbors,” Radcliffe-Trenner said.

Zuckerberg has been steadily buying his neighbors out after he learned of a developer’s plan to build a house next to his that would have been tall enough to include views into his yard — as well as to market it as neighboring the Facebook founder’s residence.

Entities controlled by the Internet entrepreneur paid $10.5 million in September 2013 for the 3,600-square-foot four-bedroom, four-bathroom home at 1462 Edgewood Dr., which was built in 1949. The similarly sized property at 1459 Hamilton Ave., which was built in 1929, was bought in October 2013 for $14 million. (The 3,800-square-foot home had previously been sold in May 1995 for $1.2 million)

The four-bedroom, three-bathroom 2,600-square-foot property at 1451 Hamilton Ave., built in 1948, was bought for $14.5 million in October 2013, according to Zillow.com. The three-bedroom, three-bath 3,200-square-foot home at 1457 Hamilton, which was built in 1953, was purchased by Zuckerberg in December 2012 for $4.8 million.

Zuckerberg, who launched Facebook from his Harvard dormitory in 2004 and now is worth an estimated $52 billion, bought his current home, a 1903 five-bedroom, five-bathroom residence at 1456 Edgewood Dr., in March 2011 for $7 million. He lives there with his wife, 31-year-old pediatrician Priscilla Chan and infant daughter Maxima.


A photo of Zuckerberg’s house in Palo Alto from 2012.

Zuckerberg also owns a house on Fair Oaks Street on Liberty Hill in San Francisco’s Mission District, near Dolores Park, that’s been valued at $10 million.

The median estimate for homes in the Crescent Park neighborhood of Palo Alto is $4.1 million, up 13% in the past year, and is expected to rise another 3.2% in the next year, according to Zillow.com.

Overall, homes in the city of Palo Alto, at the heart of Silicon Valley and home to Stanford University, have a median home value of $2.5 million. Last November, one Realtor listed a garage in the Barron Park neighborhood of Palo Alto for nearly $2 million.

The two multistory homes and two single-level homes near Zuckerberg’s would be demolished and replaced with three single-story homes and one two-story property, according the filing submitted to the city’s Planning and Community Environment Department. “The plans will reduce overall square footage relative to the existing homes and aim to ensure the new structures and surrounding gardens blend seamlessly with the neighborhood,” according to a May 16 letter from the property-management company representing Zuckerberg’s interests to Crescent Park neighbors.

Earlier this month, Zuckerberg and Facebook found themselves under fire after a May 9 story from Gizmodo.com accused the social-media site of suppressing news from conservative sources in its “trending topics” stream. Zuckerberg, who lives in a ZIP Code (94301) that donates two to one in favor of Democrats, said in a May 12 posting on Facebook that the site does not engage in “suppression of political perspectives.”