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Palo Alto is home to the largest concentration of Eichler homes in the Bay Area. With over 2,700 homes (out of approximately 11,000 built by Joseph Eichler), scattered throughout 21 Eichler tracts, Palo Alto offers a wide variety of floorplans, models and locations for Eichler lovers and buyers, albeit high end ones. The median sales price for an eichler home sold in 2016 was a whopping $2,362,500. For more stats on Silicon Valley Eichlers, download our Eichler Year In Review.

This charming town is also known as the economic and innovative hub of Silicon Valley. Filled with tech companies, venture capital, law and financial firms in sprawling office buildings, Palo Alto is not only a popular place to work, but live, due to its award winning schools.
The main Eichler tracts are located within these Palo Alto neighborhoods: Duveneck/St. Francis, Triple El, Midtown, Leland Manor, Palo Verde, Adobe Meadow/Meadow Park, Charleston Gardens, Greendell, Greenmeadow, Walnut Grove, Fairmeadow, Charleston Meadows and Barron Park. Within these neighborhoods there can be multiple Eichler tracts, for example in Midtown you'll find Los Arboles, Greer Park North and Royal Manor Eichler tracts. Here is some great example of a near original Eichler in the Palo Verde neighborhood on Kenneth Drive and another on Loma Verde. Palo Verde is an ideal location for commuters, with easy access to freeways, parks, Googleplex and Stanford Campus and of course, Philz Coffee.

Most Palo Alto Eichler homes were built between the early 1950 to 1970's, by three main firms who joined in Joseph Eichler's vision: Anshen and Allen, Jones and Emmons, and Claude Oakland and Associates. The median square footage for a Palo Alto Eichler sold in 2016 was about 1,700 square feet, with a median 7,200 square foot lot. Admittedly, the Eichlers are not known for their large footprints, but rather for their open multi-use floor plans and large panels of floor to ceiling glass and indoor-outdoor functionality.

Today, in parallel with the rising cost of housing and land in Silicon Valley, we have seen an increase in remodeling projects amongst the Eichler homes. While in our experience most Eichler homeowners are especially mindful about maintaining the original Eichler aesthetic, there are occasionally Eichler owners who want to rebuild bigger, newer two-story structures. These large remodels have sparked a strong homeowners' movement to protect the privacy and historic value of Eichler homes and consistency of the neighborhood, and Palo Alto has been in the forefront if this movement.
Many Palo Alto online articles, such as this one titled "Palo Alto residents seek to keep their Eichler neighborhoods from growing - upward", have been written highlight the growing issue. And by 2015, the city had approved homeowners' petitions to implement single-story overlays for eight neighborhoods: Walnut Grove, Adobe Meadow/Meadow Park, Greenmeadow, Garland Park/Charleston Meadows, Triple El, and small portions of Duveneck/St. Francis, Barron Park and Midtown. In addition, the National Park Service gave two Palo Alto neighborhoods -- Greenmeadow and Green Gables -- a rare honor by naming them to the National Register of Historic Places.
note: A single-story overlay is defined by the city as a zoning change which restricts all new or redeveloped structures within the affected neighborhood to one story that cannot exceed 18 feet in height.

The debate has led to so much controversy that in 2017, the City of Palo Alto decided to take steps to create architectural guidelines for homeowners, architects, and the city review boards, that would help make decisions on proposed housing projects in Eichler neighborhoods. This is similar to guidelines already created in other Eichler communities, such as Sunnyvale and Cupertino.
We've also contributed to this topic in a recent blog post about the importance of preserving the integrity of the Eichler communities, 6 reasons to support single story overlays in Eichler neighborhoods.

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