The local housing market may be dead for mere mortals, but as far as the nation’s megamillionaires and billionaires are concerned, coastal La Jolla is in hypergrowth mode. Ex–Massachusetts governor and likely future GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann paid $1000 to La Jolla’s Island Architects, famous for designing tony houses, to lobby the City regarding approval of a coastal development permit at the exclusive oceanfront address of 311 Dunemere Drive, according to a disclosure form filed by Island’s Tony Crisafi on November 1.
Last month, the Boston Globe reported that Fred Karger, whom the paper called a “a conservative GOP operative and more recently a gay political activist in California,” alleged that Romney was fraudulently claiming a Belmont, Massachusetts, voting address while spending most of his time in La Jolla and at a mansion he owns on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. According to the Globe, Romney was registered at his son Tagg’s Belmont house from May 2009 to July 2010, after which he and his wife purchased a Belmont townhouse.
In addition to the Romney megamansion, Crisafi and two associates, Lisa Kriedeman and Greg Friesen, were paid $2000 to lobby San Diego senior planner Chris Larson for approval of a coastal development permit at 1900 and 1912 Spindrift Drive on behalf of Darwin and Katerina Deason of Dallas, Texas. A big chunk of the property was bought from hotel owner Doug Manchester for $18.15 million about a year ago.
Deason is the founder and ex-chairman of Affiliated Computer Services. He made his debut on the Forbes 400-richest-Americans list earlier this year after selling his interest in the company to Xerox in February for $800 million, mostly in stock. Before the transaction closed, the firm had to settle a lawsuit brought by the company’s public shareholders alleging that the deal, with a total value of $6 billion, had given Deason an illegal premium for Affiliated’s class B shares, of which he was the sole owner; Deason agreed to personally pay shareholders $12.8 million as part of a $69 million settlement. Forbes pegs his total net worth at $1 billion and places him at 385 on its annual list. The 70-year-old owns a 205-foot yacht named Apogee. “At 26,000 square feet, the interior of Apogee has more living space than Darwin’s Dallas penthouse,” reports the Dallas Morning News.