Tour the $16M House Disgraced Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani Once Owned
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani sold their Atherton, California, home — 227 Park Lane — for an incredible $15.8 million in April 2022. But for someone who was once "America’s youngest female billionaire," the opulence of the property is no surprise.
Holmes and Balwani sold the home after she was convicted in January 2022 of defrauding investors while running her failed blood-testing startup Theranos and before she was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.
Take a look inside this gorgeous house, its grounds and the places where Theranos business deals were made.
More Than Just a 'Dropout'
Even if you didn’t watch the Theranos scandal unfurl in real-time, you've likely heard about "The Dropout," which aired its last show on April 7, 2022. Starring Amanda Seyfried as Holmes, Hulu’s original series covers the infamous scandal from inception to arrest.
Holmes founded Theranos in 2003, but it wouldn’t reach widespread notoriety until 2015 — when the company was valued at $9 billion based on fraudulent technology. Theranos was going to be a radical new technology that would revolutionize blood testing because of the little amount of blood it required.
Because of the startup's initial success, Holmes and her business partner boyfriend, Sunny Balwani, were able to purchase 227 Park Lane in 2013 for $9 million.
A French Provincial Dream
The property is a French Provincial home situated in an uber-swanky Silicon Valley neighborhood. Its location is critically important, as it's just one block away from the Menlo Circus Club.
If you have to ask what the Menlo Circus Club is, you’ll never be rich enough to need to know.
Compositionally, the property is well-landscaped with extensive outbuildings. Behind the main building is an inlaid stone motor court, designed in the style of European mansions.
The entirety of the property is French-influenced, and the grounds are decorated with formal gardens.
Complete With Outdoor Living Space
For entertaining, the property is perfectly appointed. Multiple outdoor living spaces make it a breeze to entertain outside in the fantastic Atherton weather.
One outdoor living space opens up to a pool.
Two Floors of Luxury Living
The property itself is two floors that include five bedrooms — with a “staff quarters,” naturally — and five full bathrooms. The detached garage has space for four cars.
Other accommodations include a guest house and a second office.
Privacy on a 1-Acre Lot
The 6,866-square-foot home sits on a 1-acre lot. Originally built in 1936, it was designed not only for flash but for privacy.
The property is surrounded by large, mature trees and well-manicured hedges.
Purchased by an LLC in 2013
In 2013, Holmes and Balwani created an LLC to buy the property, splitting ownership 50/50. The LLC was named HMFR, representing "This, Too, Is My God's Glory."
They frequently hosted Theranos employees and associates within the home.
As a French-influenced home, the interior of 227 Park Lane includes artistic wall finishes, crystal chandeliers and parquet flooring. In the foyer, there are three full sets of French doors, one of which opens out to the grounds.
They all open into the living room, with a masonry fireplace of carved stone and a chimneypiece brought in special from a French chateau.
The Living Room
Exposed beams, the parquet floor, the chimney and the open view to the grounds all conspire to give the Theranos founders’ home the feel of a country chateau.
In fact, the property’s living room is surprisingly intimate.
The library features hand-finished walls, brilliant green paint and a full bar.
Notably, when listed, it did not contain any real books.
The Dining Room
White walls, furnishings, paintings and wainscotting all give the dining room a “clean” feel.
The dining room is lit by a dramatic chandelier and, like many of the other rooms in the house, opens out onto the gardens.
A swift departure from the dining room, the kitchen features antique, distressed cabinets and terra cotta tile countertops.
There are two tile islands with sinks and brunch-style seating, which lend a casual flair to an otherwise beautifully formal home.
The Wine Cellar
The wine cellar is perfect for entertaining all your billionaire friends. It even comes with a built-in tasting counter and a porthole view of the grounds.
And, of course, it's fully temperature-controlled.
The Bedroom Suite
There are five bedrooms total within 227 Park Lane, many of which are dramatically white-washed.
The upstairs, primary suite has a high ceiling, chandelier, fireplace, large windows and two walk-in closets.
The Bathroom Suite
The master bathroom is almost larger than the bedroom itself, with a jetted tub, two-person steam shower, multiple vanities and a private commode.
And, of course, just like everything else, the bathrooms overlook the gardens.
The Guest House
Close to the pool, the guest house provides some additional living space as well as a place to entertain people (and perhaps conduct deals).
Its location overlooking the pool makes it particularly charming.
As you can see, guests can go right from the guest house into the pool for a hedge-side dip.
Guest House Interior
The fully appointed guest house is again done in the classical French style, with distressed cabinets, a small kitchen and an open floor plan.
Yes, the guests would have their own kitchen.
Outdoor Sitting Area
The outdoor sitting area, with its own fireplace and bar, overlooks the pool.
Interestingly, some of the bedrooms actually do have personality.
Witness this medieval-styled bedroom that looks to have been part of a child's room.
A great deal of attention was put into the detailing of 227 Park Lane, including the flowing draperies which highlight the outdoor gardens.
True crystal chandeliers are also featured in most rooms.
And the lush gardens are decked out in sculptures and water features.
But After Holmes Had a Mansion...
That said, Holmes didn't always live in a mansion even after purchasing 227 Park Lane.
In 2017, she was rumored to be living in Lombard Place Apartments, a $5,000 San Francisco apartment complex with the tagline, "Iconic Charm. Modern Living."
Lombard Placec Apartments
As with many San Francisco properties, a beautiful exterior belies a somewhat humble interior. The unit currently goes for $5,195.
To its credit, it has immaculate hardwood floors and beautiful views.
The Entryway of Lombard Place Apartments
The entryway of the apartment building may be what drew Holmes to the place, as it's very similar to the look and feel of her mansion.
But while it's billed as a luxury apartment, the interior is lackluster.
The Living Room
In total, the $5,000 property is a mere two bedrooms and two baths.
And imagine cooking a meal in that tiny kitchen.
It's a far cry from the well-appointed kitchen of 227 Park Lane.
Holmes was said to be living in this modest apartment in 2017 when she met her now-husband Billy Evans.
The Laundry Room
One can imagine that doing laundry in a cramped San Francisco apartment could eventually lead to someone committing fraud.
But while Holmes lived in this apartment in 2017, she was rumored to be back in a mansion during the bulk of her trial.
Green Gables ... Is the Place to Be
According to reports, Holmes and her husband were staying at Green Gables, a $135 million Woodside estate, during the trial.
A 74-Acre Estate
Green Gables is a 74-acre property. Built in 1911, it includes multiple houses. The main house is a 10,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom mansion. There are an additional six homes within the property, in which Holmes is said to be staying.
And note that this property is for sale, that is if you have a spare $135 million lying around.
One of the Green Gables Houses
Each house is unique.
This house is a 1930s design by architect William Wurster, which expertly and naturally blends into the grounds.
Holmes' Washington, D.C., Area Digs
If you've watched "The Dropout," you know that Holmes' family was forced to move back to Washington, D.C., area after her father lost her job at Enron.
But in the show, family-friend Richard Fuisz (and the house) are depicted a little differently. On Twitter, he claims that he provided the family with a property entirely rent-free, with no time limit.
A Childhood of Wealth
While the Holmes family didn't move into the Washington, D.C., home at 1287 Ballantrae Farm until her' senior year, the truth is that she lived a life of luxury from the start.
Her father's job at Enron paid well, and after Enron, they were reportedly given substantial help.
A $2.75 Million Property
This house the Holmes family stayed at sold in 2021 for $2.75 million, and (as of 2022) Redfin estimates it as over $3.5 million.
A Far Cry from a Modest Estate
It's hard to argue "poor" when you're staying for free in a house with a hunting lodge.
And There's Always French Doors
The Ballantrae property features a total of seven bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms spread out across 8,952 square feet.
Like Holmes' eventual mansion, it was filled with French doors leading to the exterior.
Sentencing for Theranos Founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes
The sentencing of Elizabeth Holmes happened at the end of 2022. On Nov. 18, the founder and CEO of Theranos was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors of her failed Silicon Valley health technology company, which claimed it developed a medical device that could detect diseases and other health conditions from a few drops of blood.
Those claims, it turned out, were all lies. Now, Holmes, pregnant with her second child, must report to prison on April 27, 2023, for duping investors and endangering patients while peddling the bogus blood-testing technology. She gave birth to a son in 2021 before her trial started.
Her days of living in the lap of luxury are over.