18181 Via Roswitha, Rancho Santa Fe, 92067
Current Owner: Thomas Powell
List Price: $15,999,000
The 9.3-acre estate at 18181 Vis Roswitha, situated in Rancho Santa Fe, has spent years looking for its ideal buyer.
That buyer would have to demand a lot of space, with the main home, three-bedroom pool house, and two-bedroom guest house encompassing 15,487 square feet of living space under its combined roofs.
According to the latest listing, the home was “designed with supreme artistic license by the late architect Ted Grenzbach, best known for his many large scale creations for Hollywood’s elite.” According to a 1994 obituary in the Los Angeles Times, his clients over the years included Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Cher, Gene Kelly, Herb Alpert, Rock Hudson, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, and Johnny Carson.
“Thousands of square feet of imported French limestone flow seamlessly through interior and exterior spaces creating continuity,” boasts a considerably more descriptive prior listing for the home, which includes “4000 square feet of covered verandas, floor to ceiling windows and pocketing glass walls” that “capture the endless views from every room. Diverse treasures and exquisite materials combine to shape the elegant interior, highlighting the superior workmanship and artistic design.”
Communal areas in the home include a “grand formal living room, dramatic formal dining room, two family rooms, private gym, executive office, refrigerated wine cellar with a separate tasting room, a commercial sized chef’s kitchen with multiple prep areas and a large casual dining space.”
The “sumptuous master bedroom suite,” at 640 square feet, measuring larger than many moderately sized San Diego apartments, “is surrounded by a private meditation garden overlooking the beautiful sunrise views beyond.”
Outside, the estate’s “entertaining and recreation area is exquisitely designed and equally suited for intimate gatherings or large events, featuring a curvilinear cocktail bar, expansive grilling and party service area, elegant black bottom pool and spa, tennis court with viewing pavilion, and private orchard.”
Other features include “grand entry gates” opening upon a “quarter-mile driveway of Endicott brick leading to the 11 limo-sized garages and motor court with parking for 25 additional vehicles,” along with a six-stall barn and paddocks for equine enthusiasts.
Public records indicate the estate was purchased by Thomas Powell from George Fermanian in 2006. Fermanian is a developer and adjunct professor of real estate at Point Loma Nazarene University. Powell is a longtime computer scientist who’s written numerous texts on the subject and lectured at UC San Diego.
Before Powell’s purchase, the home spent 2776 days (7.6 years) actively marketed before transferring at a reported sales price of $14.5 million. Since then, the home has spent another 499 days up for sale, when 15 months of marketing activity in 2009 failed to turn up a buyer for $20 million. Another listing earlier this year didn’t attract a buyer with an asking price of $18.9 million. The estate was most recently re-listed in early June, this time soliciting offers between $14,500,000 and $15,999,999.