February 7, 2023

Silicon Valley billionaire Mark Andreessen is known for his winning venture capital bets on tech companies like Facebook, Skype, Lyft, Pinterest, Airbnb and Slack. However, one of his recent positions is generating more controversy.

In June, co-founder Andreessen Horowitz and his wife, philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, wrote to local officials in the Tony San Francisco suburb, America’s most expensive ZIP code, to oppose a zoning change that would allow multi-family properties in some locations and build about 130 housing units by year 2031.

The couple wrote, according to a public comment revealed by Atlantic Ocean. “Please immediately remove all multi-family zoning projects from the housing component that will be submitted to the state in July. They will drastically reduce our home values, the quality of life for ourselves and our neighbors, and significantly increase noise and traffic pollution.”

The housing proposal was eventually rejected.

NIMBY’s clear position contradicts Mr Andreessen’s public comments. He called for more housing construction in the Gulf region in the influential 2020 article Entitled “Time to Build”.

In this article, he coined the “insanely high housing prices in places like San Francisco, which make it nearly impossible for ordinary people to transition into jobs of the future.”

He argued that “regulatory takeover,” that is, opposition to new construction through official channels, was preventing San Francisco and other local areas from building the “American city of the future.”

“We should have gleaming skyscrapers and amazing living environments in our best cities at levels far beyond what we have now; where are they?” He completed.

Last April, he compared rising rents in New York to racially discriminatory restrictive covenants, an issue he found most vivid in a city derided as “ground zero for alleged concern about inequality and privilege.”

Critics were quick to enjoy the irony, calling the venture capitalist completely unattainable.

He is said to have owned a $16.6 million “Tuscan-style mansion” in the city, according to The Hollywood Reporterplus two separate large mansion in Malibu, valued at more than $200 million.

“I’m not sure there’s anything more pathetic than Mark Andreessen, the actual billionaire, who is complaining that building some multi-family homes in his town will dramatically reduce the value of his home,” writer Matt O’Brien said in a tweet Friday.

Others used the news to mock Mr. Andreessen’s 2020 article.

“Mark Andreessen: It’s time to build only if it’s not in my back railing,” writer and podcaster Paris Marks joked.

Some critics have noted that the irony was equally rich from Ms. Arilaja Andreessen, the daughter of a billionaire land developer in Silicon Valley.

“Mark Andreessen, who married into the family of one of the most important real estate developers in the Bay Area, decided it was not time to build when he was near his home,” Twitter user Andrew Granato said.

independent Contact Mr. Andreessen and Ms. Arrillaga-Andreessen for comment.

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