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Mitt Takes The Bit

Mitt Romney has sold his oceanfront La Jolla home for $23.5 million.  The Utah senator, and former Republican presidential candidate, completed the sale June 30, according to the San Diego County Recorder’s Office.

A small part of American history, the home became an example of what opponents in the 2012 presidential election said was an example of Romney being out of touch as he attempted to build an elevator on the property for his cars.  The “car elevator” house was often tied to Romney’s opposition to the bailout of the auto industry during the Great Recession. “The cars get the elevator, the workers get the shaft,” said former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm in one of the most often-quoted speeches from that time.

The sale price makes it the fifth-most expensive home sale in San Diego County history, and the third-most expensive for La Jolla. The biggest purchase in San Diego County history remains the 2007 sale of an oceanfront home in Del Mar for $48.2 million. The same house was later sold to Bill and Melinda Gates for $43 million in April 2020.

The grant deed said the Romney home was sold to William Rastetter, and his wife, Marisa. Rastetter has been a force in San Diego’s biotechnology and venture capital scene for more than three decades. He’s perhaps best known for his 20 years at IDEC Pharmaceuticals, where he served in leadership roles including chief executive, president and director. While there, he was the co-inventor of Rituxan, the first monoclonal antibody cancer treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. IDEC merged with life sciences giant Biogen in 2003 for $6.8 billion.

Rastetter also served as board chairman of gene sequencing giant Illumina for 11 years, and has been a director at myriad other local life sciences firms. They include Neurocrine Biosciences, Regulus Therapeutics, Fate Therapeutics and Receptos, which was acquired by Celgene Corp. in 2015 for $7.2 billion.

Romney and his wife, Ann, purchased the property at 311 Dunemere Drive in 2008 for $12 million. The existing 3,009-square-foot home was torn down to build an 8,153-square-foot mansion with five bedrooms, six bathrooms and 65 feet of ocean frontage. It is one of roughly 30 beachfront homes in La Jolla.

The home was sold off-market, making a photo of the notorious “car elevator” hard to find. A 2020 assessment of the property, valued at $15.3 million, said the four-car garage was completed.

Room for parking in San Diego beach communities is rare. The most expensive La Jolla home sale, $24.7 million at 8466 El Paseo Grande in January, has a two-car garage. Romney’s campaign in 2012 said the lift was necessary to create a four-car garage because he has many children and grandchildren.

Romney revealed he had sold the home in late June in a virtual discussion about infrastructure sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber, and was first revealed by The Salt Lake Tribune . At the time, his staff declined to discuss the details, including the price.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in 2015 that Romney had been considering selling the home near the end of its rebuild. The project was opposed by several neighbors and conservationists for what they said was an out-of-place design in La Jolla.

Romney was not the only well-known person to live at the property. The original home was owned by former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor and her late husband, Bob Peterson, founder of Jack in the Box restaurants.

Link to UT Article

From 2008:

Mitt Romney recently paid $12 million to buy a home on the ocean in La Jolla, Calif., near San Diego. His son Matt lives in the same area.  The former Massachusetts governor, whose main residence is in Belmont, Mass., says he has no plans to become a California resident, and the purchase has nothing to do with a possible future presidential run.

“I’ve always wanted to have a place on the beach where you could hear the crashing waves,” Romney says. “And you know, I’m 61; I’m not going to live forever. I said, ‘Ann, I want to get a place on the beach. I don’t care what size it is, but I want a place on the beach.’ And this spot, it’s not a huge home, it’s 3,000 square feet, but it is right on the beach, and you open the windows and hear the waves crash. It’s heavenly.”

From 2012:

Partial Ownership

Here’s a local sample of the new whiz-bang partial ownership craze.

The spec builder tried to sell this for three years before taking this $8.25M cash deal.  The same seller/Compass agent has the listing now, on behalf of the new owners:

ABOUT THIS HOME

This is multi-tasking, La Jolla style: Catch the perfect sunset as you splash in the ocean waves or sip a cool drink in the rooftop saltwater pool. The surf breaks just steps from this 3-bedroom, 4½ bath custom home.

Everything is designed to make the most of the Pacific views. Vanishing window walls transform indoor spaces into open-air living at its finest. The open plan living space has a gas fireplace and a sleek kitchen with a curved island and a space for formal dining.

Exotic materials and touchable textures are used throughout the home, including a back-lit Brazilian granite steam room.

The master suite has a luxurious ensuite with double sinks, soaking tub and walk-in shower. A vanishing window wall opens to a private balcony and stunning ocean views.

Enjoy the rooftop infinity pool area with its 8-person spa and adjoining lounge area with wet bar. Restock the bar from the home’s wine room. And when you’re ready to leave this Pacific paradise, there’s a hydraulic driveway and a turntable garage floor that ensures you always leave facing the ocean.

The home comes turnkey, fully furnished and professionally decorated.

https://www.pacaso.com/listings/6653-neptune-pl-la-jolla-ca

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Culver House

This historic home built on 1.27 acres in 1887 will be on the market for $2,995,000. From the U-T:

The owners of a Queen Anne architectural gem in Carlsbad have appealed to the city in hopes of saving the historic house from the wrecking ball.

“The home was built by Alonzo Jackson Culver, who also built the Twin Inns,” states a letter from Rebecca Holbert and Paul Abodeely, two of the eight family members who inherited the property.

The Twin Inns were mirror-image Queen Anne-style mansions built in the 1880s on what is today Carlsbad Boulevard. In the early 1900s, they were restaurants famous for their chicken dinners among coastal travelers.

One of the twins, known as the Wadsworth mansion, was torn down in 1950. The other most recently was occupied by the Land & Water Co. restaurant, which closed in October 2019, but the building remains part of Village Faire shopping center at the corner of Carlsbad Boulevard and Carlsbad Village Drive.

“Leftover lumber from the Twin Inns was used to build this sister home,” said Hollbert and Abodeely, whose great uncle Gerald Capp purchased the Culver House on one acre at the corner of Highland Drive and Oak Avenue in 1969.

Originally, the house was on 30 acres and had numerous outbuildings, including a blacksmith shop and a well house. It was built entirely with manual labor using pine from Julian, wooden nails, limestone, rock and sand, according to old news stories.

Capp lived in the Culver House until his recent death. He installed an electrical system, repaired the stained glass windows, plumbed the house for an indoor bathroom to replace the outhouse, and planted many of the Torrey pines, fruit trees and cacti that still grow on the property.

Also known as the Culver-Myers-Capp House, it is one of 19 properties that the City Council designated as local sites of historic interest in 1986. The artist Gertrude Myers, considered the “Grandma Moses” of Carlsbad, lived there from 1936 until her death in 1965.

In recent years without an occupant the two-story building has fallen into disrepair, which the family hopes could be resolved by new owners.

“The reality is that the house will likely need to be sold and the proceeds divided,” the letter states. “We do not want this house to be torn down and the land divided. We are writing in the hopes that the city … might be able to purchase the house and land in order to preserve it as a historic landmark and park for the enjoyment of the people of Carlsbad.”

The Carlsbad Historic Preservation Commission reviewed the family’s request at its March 8 meeting and agreed to ask the City Council to consider ways the property might be preserved.

“I’m not saying the city should buy it, necessarily,” said Commissioner Lauri Boone. “But there has to be some way to preserve this unique property and its history. There is an estate house, a carriage house and a second lot with old cars on it. There are so many creative ways this can be worked out.”

The Mills Act Program is one tool available, said Carlsbad Planning Commissioner Alicia Lafferty, an alternate member of the Historic Preservation Commission.

The program is an economic incentive provided by the state with oversight by the city for the restoration of qualified historic buildings by private property owners.

“This is a local historic resource … a really important piece of architecture … fast being lost,” Lafferty said.

Link to U-T Article

 

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