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Inside an Ultra-Modern $30 Million Mansion That Overlooks the San Francisco Bay

With spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco in an exclusive community, this $29.5 million waterfront compound could be a solid investment.

To call them “million dollar” views may be a significant case of under-valuation. From the home’s multitude of decks, you can gaze out across to San Francisco, to Sausalito, towering Mount Tamalpais and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. The sunsets are beyond epic.

Belvedere Showcase home
Photo: Matt McCourtney

Venture capitalist Todd Chaffee snapped up the seaside lot on Belvedere Island, on the north side of San Francisco Bay in 2000. And he proceeded to spend five years and a reported $25 million, building his 7,000-square-foot dream home. Chaffee, 60, who’s advisory partner at investment powerhouse Institutional Venture Partners, is known for his savvy investments in tech sweethearts like Netflix, Kayak and Pandora. His $44 million early bet on Twitter ultimately turned into a return of close to $5 billion for his company, according to Forbes.

Less than one square mile around, Belvedere Island was first developed in the 1890s as a summer getaway for well-to-do San Franciscans, and today it’s one of the wealthiest enclaves in the U.S., with just over 2,000 residents. Architectural styles range from Queen Anne and mission revival to Mediterranean and mid-century modern and beyond, and several properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The area’s tranquil character is preserved by strict construction codes that prevent major alterations to the landscape. There are no stores or restaurants, either—residents hop over to nearby Tiburon for shopping and dining, or to catch the ferry to San Francisco. “The magic of Belvedere Island is that it’s an unbelievable place and a world-class location,” Chaffee told Bloomberg. “The luxury of it is I can pop to the city for meetings, pop up to wine country, or I’m two minutes away from going sailing.”

Belvedere Showcase home
The open dining room.
Photo: Matt McCourtney

Clinging to a cliff face on the west side of Belvedere, the sleek, ultra-modern, indoor-outdoor home was designed by awarding-winning San Francisco architects Aidlin Darling Design to make the most of the views. Open the front door from the home’s expansive motorcourt, and all you see is an expanse of water through the floor-to-ceiling glass. Steps lead down to the main level with its formal dining area and living spaces, along with three bedrooms, a gym and sundeck. Huge pocket doors slide into the wall to the open the dining room and kitchen to a vast water-front deck. On this level, there’s also a media room and art studio, plus a cozy interior courtyard with covered dining table and firepit seating.

Upstairs on the entry level is a master suite the listing describes as one “worthy of a five-star resort.” Floor to ceiling glass windows lead on to a huge terrace with uninterrupted views across to Sausalito. If there’s a need to do a quick check of your stock portfolio, on this level there’s a spacious custom office, with a second one close by. One has been used as Chaffee’s retreat, the second by his wife, Kat. To accommodate visitors, the property includes a stand-alone, 800-square-foot, one-bedroom guest house. Why sell? It seems Chaffee’s planning to build a new home—again from the ground up—in Lake Tahoe. The Belvedere home, with its $29.5 million asking price, is listed with agents Lydia Sarkissian and William Bullock of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.