Iconic Property Repurposed - Page 2

Cliff May, Thomas Church design of former Sunset mag offices carries on unharmed
Fridays on the Homefront
A look down the office hallways in recent years. Photo: Dave Weinstein
Fridays on the Homefront
Sunset magazine in its 1950s heyday.

"We no longer own the property, but we still manage it," said leasing coordinator Gia Evans, adding that the company sold 80 Willow last year and 85 Willow in 2019.

"They're owned by different owners," said Shanna Murtagh, the agent handling the two, Shanna Murtagh, the agent handling the two sites, adding that the two owners declined to give "their blessing" to release more information.

Real estate website PropertyShark.com reports that a limited liability corporation called Willow Menlo Owner purchased 80 Willow and its 6.6 acres in May 2018 for a cool $72 million. Curbed identifies the incoming tenant for the former as Robinhood Markets Inc., a financial management startup.

The property's sparkling assets are familiar to longtime readers, featured periodically in the monthly magazine—as were a few Eichlers here and there in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

The reported hefty purchase price may be partly attributable to the unique genius of its design, which was May's first commercial building. It included his ranch-style modernism and a series of separate gardens landscaped to represent assorted western climates and vegetation.

Oh, sorry, make that 'Western' capitalized, as Sunset always did—as opposed to 'eastern,' which was okay to be lowercase.

"The Western idea is to be yourself," Sunset explained in April 1952, as the Eichler Network's Dave Weinstein reported in his 2015 feature on the publishing institution, 'Bible of the West.' The magazine added sagely, "Your own interests are more important than any 'Style.'"