A staircase leads from the backyard to the water, or, during low tide, a private stretch of beach.
  • A staircase leads from the backyard to the water, or, during low tide, a private stretch of beach.

Current Owner: Veronica Engel

Listing Price: $4,595,000

Beds (main house): 4

Baths (main house): 4

This vintage villa was designed and built in 1930 by renowned local architect Richard Requa. He is known for works including the original Torrey Pines Lodge and an update of Balboa Park for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, including design work on the park’s Old Globe Theatre.

The property boasts nearly 200 feet of direct frontage on the San Diego Bay in Point Loma’s La Playa neighborhood. Sited at the end of a private cul-de-sac on over a quarter-acre gated lot, the home itself has four bedrooms and four baths spread across nearly 3700 square feet of living space.

Open-air seating.

“Panoramic views are enjoyed from most living areas in an open floor plan that flows from one room to the next for easy entertaining,” boasts the property’s marketing materials, “and family and friends are encouraged to gather by the inviting gourmet’s kitchen.”

The spacious and secluded master bedroom features two private balconies, a walk-in closet, and “a spa-like bathroom featuring a large Jacuzzi tub and steam shower.”

Other amenities include a three-car detached garage, exposed-beam ceilings with custom arches leading from one portion of the living area to the next, windows that open directly onto the harbor, and an elaborately-carved wood-and-glass entry door featuring two egrets along a shoreline.

Outside, multiple patios and terraces feature tropical landscaping. One terrace features an outdoor fireplace that leads to a grassy yard next to the seawall. All outdoor spaces offer panoramic views of the bay and harbor, set against the backdrop of San Diego’s downtown skyline.

585 San Antonio, Point Loma, 92106

585 San Antonio, Point Loma, 92106

A staircase leads from the back yard down to the water or, during low tide, a private stretch of beach across from the Shelter Island harbor that provides a walking path to Kellogg’s Beach or the San Diego and Southwestern Yacht Clubs.

In November 2013, the city granted preliminary approval to plans to build a full pier and private boat dock at the end of neighboring Owen Street. An artist’s rendering of the addition is available on waterfrontvillav.com, created by the property owner to showcase the listing.

Public records show the current owner of “Villa V,” as a placard at the gated entry dubs the estate, as Veronica S. Engel. Engel’s LinkedIn profile lists her profession as “independent clothing designer professional,” and she’s also listed as a commissioner of the San Diego Police Museum.

Villa V has spent some time on the market. The estate was originally listed for sale in September 2012, carrying an asking price of $6,825,000. That listing expired, and the property went back on the market in January 2013 for $5,950,000. Again failing to attract a buyer, the home went up for sale once more last month, this time with the owner said to be entertaining offers between $3,995,000 and $4,595,000.


oskidoll May 21, 2014 @ 10:22 a.m.

It is unfortunate that some prior owners (subsequent to the 1970's) made alterations to the original Requa designs that are, in my opinion, substantial enough to affect any claim that it has any historic significance at all.

For example:

The original Moorish-type small fireplace with inviting seating ledge in the living room has been replaced with a huge and overpowering fireplace; the one-of-a-kind romantic winding staircase to the second floor has been replaced with huge and domineering switch-back stairs; the master bath is now a huge spa (note the new 'huge' modifications); the original kitchen is now a huge open-concept that does not reflect the home's provenance; the servant's quarters once on the main floor behind the kitchen have been absorbed into the new huge kitchen.

Further, the beautiful copper-clad bathroom off the first-floor library (part of an addition made in the 1950's -1960's) has been changed into another run-of-the-mill bathroom. Although not part of the original Requa structure, the library/copper bathroom maintained the look and feel of the original structure and 'melded' well. It is really impossible to tell that it was not original to the home.

The main floor, once tiled to reflect the Spanish-style architecture, is now light wood plank and seems to be all on one level. The dark wood beams and window casements have been painted white and replaced with light wood window frames, respectively. The original mail level floor had a step-up between the living room and the dining room and entrance to the winding staircase, which was the same tile as the mail level. The upstairs once had three charming bedrooms on multiple levels, and two bathrooms that were consistent with the scale and feel of the home.

The other bedroom(s) shown in the photos seem to have all the charm of a hotel room and must have been built below the main floor as the small horizontal slit-like windows show from the exterior photos...those windows were once basement windows. I wonder what happened to the basement?

It is truly sad that a once unique and truly historic property by a renowned architect has been turned into a "McMansion" with replacement features not aligned with the original historic design. I hope the property does not maintain any historic designation or tax benefits, as those qualities have been removed. Sad indeed.

These may not be the only significant alterations, only those I am able to gleam from the photos.


carlh July 6, 2014 @ 6:09 p.m.

We have purchased this property and are interested in restoring the original design. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks


oskidoll Aug. 20, 2014 @ 10:31 a.m.

Hello carlh, Congratulations on your purchase. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the interior of the house, only memories. I think you are to be commended for your intent to restore to original design. I believe the home was constructed sometime in the 1930's -- perhaps there are plans/records on file with the city? It was purchased by my aunt and her husband in the 1940's and was in their possession until about 1973. Our large extended family enjoyed many holiday and other special events there while I was growing up, including birthday parties on the beach below the sea wall. If you will send me an email address I can use I will look thru family photos to see if there are any that might give clues. Otherwise I could attempt to draw what I remember. I plan to be in the San Diego area in early November and would be willing to meet you in person to describe what I recall about the home.


oskidoll Aug. 20, 2014 @ 10:34 a.m.

There are also home movies that include several exterior shots of 545 San Antonio during the 40's - 70's that I have put onto a cd.


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