PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) — Penthouses that have just hit the market in Palo Alto are pricey, even by Silicon Valley standards. In one case, the monthly rent is more than some people pay in a year.
In the Bay Area, it’s not uncommon for an apartment to cost $3,000 to $5,000 a month. But one penthouse in Palo Alto at 430 Forest Avenue is listed at a whopping $35,000 a month.
For the price of a new car, one can live in the four bedroom, four bathroom, 3,700 square-foot penthouse with a deck that is bigger than most homes. There is not just one kitchen, but two.
This penthouse is located right in the heart of downtown Palo Alto. After all the math is done, the price to rent this penthouse comes out to $420,000 a year.
Palo Alto councilmember Karen Holman said she knows of two other high-end downtown penthouses: 550 High Street is being rented out for $34,000 a month and 611 Cowper Street had also been snapped up for $35,000 a month. Holman said she is ready to push for size limits to keep these high rent prices from becoming a trend.
“No, I wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m embarrassed. We would not want, I don’t think, a proliferation of these kind of penthouses. I think it could become an embarrassment,” said Holman.
As for letting the free market go on about its course, Holman said that as elected officials, they have a responsibility to step in.
“We’re very fortunate to have a strong market here, a strong economy here, but we cannot allow ourselves, we cannot–in Palo Alto or in the Bay Area–fall victim to market forces,” said Holman.
When the penthouse on Forest Avenue was listed for $38,500, the owners didn’t get any takers. Councilmember Holman said that it shouldn’t surprise anyone when the monthly rent prices in Palo Alto eventually begin to top $40,000 a month.
“We’re going to have trouble finding places pretty soon. Only the rich,” said Palo Alto resident John Smith.
For a little more context into the steep pricing, $35,000 can rent a two bedroom in Lodi for about three whole years.