Building a new house in Palo Alto

Building a new house in Palo Alto

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Palo Alto Modern Home: 172 Park Avenue

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Good news everyone, HomeCrunch has a new baby in the works! I am officially partnering with modern home builder James Witt on a new house in Palo Alto. I'll be documenting the ins and outs of the build here, so if you're interested in email updates, sign up to "Follow by Email" on the right side of this page. We plan to sell it once it's completed-- hopefully around the middle of 2014, so if you know of anyone in the market for a new home in Palo Alto, please send them our way!

This past week the existing 720 square foot house was deconstructed by Roderick Cooper's Rebuild Green dream team. I am spending a lot of time at home with the actual baby so Roderick surprised me by setting up a live webcam. Now you and I can follow along remotely by clicking on the "parkHD" button in the photo above or going to:

Here are some of the basic facts about the build:

Bedrooms: 5
Baths: 4
House size: ~3000 sq ft (including garage)
Lot size: 7500 sq ft

Walking distance to California Ave shopping & restaurants, Caltrains, Stanford, Peers Park, Palo Alto High.

Scheduled completion date: mid-2014

The Neighborhood:
The house is being built at 172 Park Avenue in the Evergreen Park neighborhood of Palo Alto. This is one of my favorite parts of Palo Alto, having grown up on Sequoia Avenue just a stone's throw away.

Evergreen Park is a welcoming neighborhood with old-fashioned charm. Most of the homes date back to the early 1900's and have varied architectural styles with personality. Traffic-calming measures (i.e. cul-de-sacs, traffic circles, islands and one-way streets) keep the streets sleepy and safe for kids to play on and ride their bikes. It's a tight knit, family oriented community with two annual events that draw residents together -- a block party potluck and the Peers Park barbecue.

Welcome to the neighborhood! Disclaimer: Banjo-playing skeletons only come out at Halloween.
Tucked away between Stanford University and Peers Park, Evergreen Park is an ideal location for folks who want a cozy neighborhood vibe but the convenience of nearby restaurants, shopping and a Sunday farmers' market. California Avenue, aka Palo Alto's second (and calmer) downtown is within walking distance and home to some of my favorite restaurants...TerronePalo Alto SolJoanie's Cafe, yum! California Avenue also has a Caltrain station which makes San Francisco just a train ride away. Also, the house would be a real score for Cardinal football fans because you can walk to games at Stanford stadium. Tailgate at Park!

Generous neighbors with green thumbs abound in Evergreen Park. 
The Design
The house is being designed by Steve Simpson. Steve Simpson is one of the most admired architects in the Bay Area and responsible for half of the homes featured in this Wall Street Journal article about the rise of modern contemporary architecture in Silicon Valley. James Witt uses him exclusively and for this project challenged him to create a warm and peaceful modern home that is understated, yet unexpected. Steve calls this house "Hamptons Modern" and designed it to fit in with the relaxed character of the neighborhood and highlight the majestic redwood and oak trees that line the property.  I'll elaborate more on the design in a future post, for now here's a drawing of the future 172 Park Avenue:

Coming in 2014: "Hamptons Modern" at 172 Park Avenue, Palo Alto

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