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Lower South Hillsborough

Magical Kingdom, 1-Acre Privacy


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Sometimes a lifestyle encapsulates everything so perfectly in one package…1021 Merner Road unites a touch of Hillsborough history, a Wow-Factor Jazz Age design, and a pristine nature refuge, all just minutes to South School, downtown San Mateo, and Highways 280 & 101.

The touch of history begins in the 1920s with industrialist Garfield Merner and his wife Benetta, known as Delight. The Merners were esteemed patrons of the arts, going on to found the famous Allied Arts Guild near Stanford. In 1926, they commissioned renowned architect Willis Polk & Co. to design a Spanish Colonial Estate in the knolls of South Hillsborough dubbed Villa Delizia, after Delight. The house still stands on today’s Via Delizia Road, while the lands below were subdivided in the 1930s to create the unique enclave of Merner Road we see today. The original stone gatepost that marked the entry to Villa Delizia still anchors Crystal Springs and Merner Roads. One other constant remains from those halcyon days: the peerless sense of privacy and serenity in the nature…truly its own ecosystem.

Approached on a private road, 1021 Merner rests on a 1.04 acre lot. Built in 1936, the architecture soars as a conversation piece, centered by a towering Great Room with 18 ft. beamed ceilings. You will marvel at the Art Deco and Jazz Age design influence, but it’s the ease of modern family living that will also draw you in. Amenities include 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms arranged in wings for convenience and separation.Three bedrooms (including master) are together in one wing making an ideal sequence for parents and youngsters. One of these bedrooms includes a half bathroom and is adaptable as an office or den. Opposite wings of the home contain two additional very large bedroom suites perfectly sequestered for teen, in-law, or au pair needs.Each one of these suites enjoys a separate entry, with the south suite boasting its own brand new sun deck overlooking the trees. The north suite is extra spacious complete with a luxuriously remodeled bathroom. The master retreat includes an updated bathroom with spa shower, plus newly updated walk-in closet. Don’t miss the hand-carved artisan doors and peaceful nature outlook.

The Great Room will be your heart of the home, whether entertaining or family hangout. The massive living room easily adapts casually, and adjoins an elevated dining room, gallery catwalk, and the eat-in kitchen. Note the original ironwork rails and bold picture windows that bring the nature inside. A French door transitions easily to the renovated rear courtyard. Your designer’s eye will quickly envision the existing kitchen and breakfast nook being opened into an even more spectacular future space!

Outdoor living is multi-faceted with the feeling of your own “national park!” Off of the Great Room, the garden patio and trellised lanai area are perfect for al fresco dining and barbecues. Ascending the garden terraces, you will first reach a secret hot tub setting, and then a magnificent plateau with soccer field and covered pavilion. From this top vantage point, hillside and tree views spread out for acres, all enjoyed in brilliant seclusion. Imagine festive birthday parties, play dates, picnics, morning yoga,or future pool site.

The tradition of an irresistible country setting not far from town continues on, just as it began nearly 100 years back at the Merner Family lands. Crystal Springs Road quickly connects to El Cerrito for a direct route into South Elementary. Downtown San Mateo is only 1.5 miles away, and Highways 280, 101, 92 are reached in less than 10 minutes. Since Merner is a private road, it thrives in its own close-knit micro community amongst just 6 homes…your magical kingdom of privacy and nature.


At a Glance

  • 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms (or can function as 4 bedrooms plus office/den)
  • Approx. 3,920 sq. ft. of living per Paid Vendor Floorplan Visuals
  • One Acre lot size on a private road of just six homes, Lower South Hillsborough
  • Originally built in 1936 with many custom updates in recent years
  • Magnificent focal point Great Room with 18 ft. ceilings
  • Terraced usable grounds with courtyard dining, hot tub, soccer field, and upper pavilion
  • Detached studio below courtyard is perfect for hidden office, gym, or play room
  • Ornithologist’s paradise with over 50 species of birds noted in their native habitat
  • 2-car side-by-side garage
  • Assigned to South Elementary only 1.3 miles away (about 5 min drive)
get in touch


Open Houses:
Coming Soon

Brokers Tour:
Coming Soon

Additional Showings by Appointment:
Contact Geoffrey C. Nelson
(650) 455-3735
[email protected]

Geoffrey C. Nelson

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

Luxury Home Specialist

"Luxury in the Details"

DRE# 01313666

650.455.3735 mobile


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Neighborhood Gallery

1021 Merner Road

"In Hillsborough, large estates are the rule rather than the exception. The town is one of the wealthiest in the country and placed No. 18 on Forbes' 2014 list of the wealthiest U.S. ZIP codes (94010). Town ordinances ensure its exclusivity by enforcing a minimum house size of 2,500 square feet and a minimum lot size of a half-acre. Hillsborough’s population is greater than 11,000. 
There are no apartments, condominiums, or townhouses in Hillsborough; Forbes calculates the median home price at $3,787,098. Notable residents past and present include entertainer Bing Crosby; publisher William Randolph Hearst; the king of Tonga, George Tupou V; diet guru Jenny Craig; and former Major League Baseball players J.T. Snow, Rickey Henderson, and Greg Maddux. 
There are no commercial districts in Hillsborough. As a wealthy suburb of San Francisco, 17 miles to the north, life in the town is unhurried and quiet. The relaxed atmosphere is enhanced by tree-lined streets that don’t follow a grid pattern and instead wind around the hilly landscape. There are few traffic signals. 
The town covers six square miles and is bounded by Burlingame to the north, San Mateo to the east and south, and Interstate 280 to the west."