In 2020, when the pandemic was going robust, billionaire Marc Andreessen turned heads by publishing an essay on his firm web site titled “It’s Time to Construct.”
“I count on this essay to be the goal of criticism,” he wrote whereas expressing a mindset that has come to be referred to as YIMBY, for “sure in my yard.”
“You see it in housing and the bodily footprint of our cities,” he wrote. “We are able to’t construct almost sufficient housing in our cities with surging financial potential — which ends up in crazily skyrocketing housing costs in locations like San Francisco, making it almost unimaginable for normal folks to maneuver in and take the roles of the longer term.” Then he expressed dissatisfaction with the state of city structure. “We should always have gleaming skyscrapers and spectacular dwelling environments in all our greatest cities at ranges method past what we’ve now; the place are they?”
Andreessen additionally lives in Atherton, California, America’s richest city, which has held the title of the most costly ZIP code within the U.S. for 5 consecutive years, based on knowledge from Property Shark. Atherton additionally topped Bloomberg’s Riches Locations annual index for 4 years, till 2020. And as a outstanding native citizen, new reporting by the Atlantic reveals that he could also be extra of a NIMBY.
Andreessen, co-founder of the enterprise capital agency Andreessen Horowitz, is understood for being an early investor in main tech firms together with Meta, GitHub, Skype, and Twitter. In June, Andreessen and his spouse Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen wrote an electronic mail expressing their opposition to a proposal that may enhance zoning capability for multi-family residence development in Atherton.
“I’m penning this letter to speak our IMMENSE objection to the creation of multifamily overlay zones in Atherton,” the 2 wrote of their electronic mail, signed by each, as reported by The Atlantic’s Jerusalem Demsas. “Please IMMEDIATELY REMOVE all multifamily overlay zoning initiatives from the Housing Factor which will likely be submitted to the state in July. They may MASSIVELY lower our residence values, the standard of lifetime of ourselves and our neighbors and IMMENSELY enhance the noise air pollution and site visitors.”
The remark, which was additionally reviewed by Fortune, was printed on July 14 by Atherton’s planning division. Andreessen didn’t reply to The Atlantic or Fortune’s request for remark.
In his unique essay, Andreessen tied the necessity to construct extra housing to the American dream. “The issues we construct in big portions, like computer systems and TVs, drop quickly in value,” he wrote. “The issues we don’t, like housing, faculties, and hospitals, skyrocket in value.” With proudly owning a home out of attain for therefore many, he mentioned, the American dream was in peril.
His essay additionally included a call-to-action, citing the necessity to “break the quickly escalating value curves for housing, training, and healthcare, to be sure that each American can understand the dream.” The one method to do this, he wrote, is to construct.
Elsewhere within the Bay Space, pro-housing metropolis council candidates are dropping out of races as a result of they will’t afford to stay there, whereas the overall lack of recent constructing initiatives has spurred others to hunt out modern options. Atherton particularly has an issue staffing its hearth and police departments as a result of civil servants can’t afford to stay there and are delay by the lengthy commute. The Bay Space public transit is relatively underbuilt, along with its housing.
Andreessen was removed from the one Atherton resident to precise robust opposition to the housing proposal. “Practically all of the feedback obtained expressed opposition to using overlay zones,” wrote the city’s planning division when publishing the slate of public feedback it had obtained on the topic.
In his 2020 essay, Andreesson pinned the explanation that there’s any housing disaster in any respect on the query of need. “The issue is want,” he wrote, referring to the will to spend money on main constructing initiatives. “We have to *need* this stuff.”
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