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Carlsbad’s Grand Blanc: a modern masterpiece with giant paintings of Slash, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis

The walls are painted in what the listing calls “Rolex green.”

Never mind the art gallery, how about the six bars and eight fireplaces?
Never mind the art gallery, how about the six bars and eight fireplaces?

Anyone who’s been paying attention will be quick to tell you that times are getting tough in the real estate market. Interest rates have more than doubled since the beginning of the year, putting a squeeze on buyers who are increasingly hesitant to pay sellers’ sky-high listing prices. And down on the “normal human” end of the scale, growing families are finding themselves trapped by their old sub-3% rates and so unable to move up to bigger houses with dramatically higher mortgage payments. That leaves would-be first time buyers stuck in a rental market that is itself spiraling out of control.

For Unreal-caliber houses and the type of people who own them, the solution appears to be simply standing pat and waiting for the market to improve. A scant 14 houses in San Diego County hit the market over the last month that featured an asking price of $8 million or more, and close to half of those are re-listings of old inventory that we’ve already visited at some point. But if you’re a house flipper who happened to take on an incredibly ambitious project that happened to wrap up right as the market began to turn, what choice do you have but to sell? That brings us to “Grand Blanc, a modern Art Deco masterpiece,” as the Zillow listing remarks by way of introducing us to the 11,300-square-foot mansion at 2034 Arenal Road in Carlsbad. The home, which features six bedrooms and a whopping 12 baths, “has every amenity of modern living imaginable including an art gallery, home gym, wellness room, elevator, guard house, full smart home capabilities, game room, home theater, multiple kitchens [and] laundry rooms.”

Our tour begins at the semicircular stone-paved (or is that just stamped-and-dyed concrete?) driveway with a port cochere at the main entrance. There, “the black glass pivot entry door leads you into a grand foyer and gallery reminiscent of a boutique hotel.” Inside, we’ve got a pleasant circular chandelier that does pretty well at pulling off a candlelit aesthetic, but I’m not sure I like all the fake plants stuffed into the ceiling above it.

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Sponsored

The living area off the foyer has 18’ exposed wood ceilings, and the walls are painted in what the listing calls “Rolex green,” which is a much bolder choice than “Gentrification gray.” I think it works well, and some orange crushed velvet chairs and throw pillows add further pop – the home is being offered furnished, so if you’re flush with cash, I hope you enjoy some of these weird choices as much as I do.

A large black-and-white room follows. Mirrors line the walls, a black fireplace (one of eight!) occupies one end, and a green-canopied bar (one of six, possibly more impressive than the eight fireplaces!) is situated at the center. A cozy-for-1100-square-feet dining area follows, with more velvet-look armchairs surrounding the table; they look comfortable, but that might not be the best choice of material for a zone dedicated to the consumption of food. The kitchen (one of the kitchens?) boasts a center island (with sink and dishwasher) that appears to be bigger than my entire kitchen as its defining feature. The requisite commercial grade appliances are all here, and the ceiling cutouts for the skylights are nicely done, but this room doesn’t stand out as much as some of the others we’ve seen.

What I assume is the main bedroom comes next. It’s plenty spacious, and has a full wall of glass that I’m sure opens onto the garden beyond. There’s another bar with what looks like a wine fridge in here, but why is the television sitting on a table in commoner fashion, instead of being affixed to the wall with some sort of fancy backlit mounting hardware?

Dig the Chanel logo chandeliers!

Another small living room follows; given the order of the photos, I’m going to assume this is a private sitting area off the main suite, because we move from there straight into a closet that looks like a mall boutique, complete glass display cabinets, fancy chandeliers, and its own stone-topped center island. The bathroom that follows is modern but basic, though I do like the glass blocks that afford both light and privacy to whomever is spending time in the soaking tub at one end. Now it’s time for a quick glance at an outdoor patio, which is filled with expensive-looking lounge furniture and flanked by a handful of mature palm trees. I see the glass blocks from the bathroom here, so maybe this is an outdoor retreat, accessible only from the main bedroom?

Back inside, we’re headed down a winding wood-and-wrought-iron staircase to what I assume is the art gallery, which “has a glass atrium ceiling that allows light to stream through the house to view a myriad of custom paintings and sculptures.” It also looks like there may be a koi pond of some sort at the bottom of the staircase. If the art is included, I hope you like giant paintings of Slash, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis, interspersed with some black and gray squiggles and splotches on canvas. Moving on, we get another sitting area outfitted with gas fireplace topped by green stone, a second kitchen, and another living area where the couches focus half on a giant TV and half on a wall of wine bottles backed by yellow marble. Then there’s the home theater, yet another living room with yet another fireplace and bar, and phew, we’re back outside on a rolling grass lawn that the listing says occupies fully one of the nearly two acres of property, which is adjacent to the Omni La Costa resort’s golf course. A covered patio out back houses outdoor lounge seating and, yes, another bar, this one looking out toward the “Roman-style lap pool” and cauldron-like black spa perched above.

“This newly remodeled and furnished trophy estate is offered for sale for the first time,” the listing concludes, which is close enough to the truth, given the home’s current appearance. Originally built in 1985 (according to public records) or 1992 (per the listing), Grand Blanc last sold in April 2021 for a reported $3.5 million, a full $500,000 more than the asking price at the time. The buyer was Method Development Holdings LLC, billed as “a full-service design, planning, and remodeling company that specializes in high-end residential projects.” Following an extensive remodel that appears to have involved the removal of copious amounts of purple and black carpet among many other things, the home was re-listed in late June with an asking price of $14,950,000. After that listing failed to attract a buyer, Grand Blanc went back up for sale in mid-September with an asking price of $11,950,000 that remains unchanged to date.

2034 Arenal Road| Carlsbad, 92009

Current owner: Method Development Holdings LLC | Listing price: $11,950,000 | Beds: 6 | baths: 12 | House size: 11,300

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Never mind the art gallery, how about the six bars and eight fireplaces?
Never mind the art gallery, how about the six bars and eight fireplaces?

Anyone who’s been paying attention will be quick to tell you that times are getting tough in the real estate market. Interest rates have more than doubled since the beginning of the year, putting a squeeze on buyers who are increasingly hesitant to pay sellers’ sky-high listing prices. And down on the “normal human” end of the scale, growing families are finding themselves trapped by their old sub-3% rates and so unable to move up to bigger houses with dramatically higher mortgage payments. That leaves would-be first time buyers stuck in a rental market that is itself spiraling out of control.

For Unreal-caliber houses and the type of people who own them, the solution appears to be simply standing pat and waiting for the market to improve. A scant 14 houses in San Diego County hit the market over the last month that featured an asking price of $8 million or more, and close to half of those are re-listings of old inventory that we’ve already visited at some point. But if you’re a house flipper who happened to take on an incredibly ambitious project that happened to wrap up right as the market began to turn, what choice do you have but to sell? That brings us to “Grand Blanc, a modern Art Deco masterpiece,” as the Zillow listing remarks by way of introducing us to the 11,300-square-foot mansion at 2034 Arenal Road in Carlsbad. The home, which features six bedrooms and a whopping 12 baths, “has every amenity of modern living imaginable including an art gallery, home gym, wellness room, elevator, guard house, full smart home capabilities, game room, home theater, multiple kitchens [and] laundry rooms.”

Our tour begins at the semicircular stone-paved (or is that just stamped-and-dyed concrete?) driveway with a port cochere at the main entrance. There, “the black glass pivot entry door leads you into a grand foyer and gallery reminiscent of a boutique hotel.” Inside, we’ve got a pleasant circular chandelier that does pretty well at pulling off a candlelit aesthetic, but I’m not sure I like all the fake plants stuffed into the ceiling above it.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The living area off the foyer has 18’ exposed wood ceilings, and the walls are painted in what the listing calls “Rolex green,” which is a much bolder choice than “Gentrification gray.” I think it works well, and some orange crushed velvet chairs and throw pillows add further pop – the home is being offered furnished, so if you’re flush with cash, I hope you enjoy some of these weird choices as much as I do.

A large black-and-white room follows. Mirrors line the walls, a black fireplace (one of eight!) occupies one end, and a green-canopied bar (one of six, possibly more impressive than the eight fireplaces!) is situated at the center. A cozy-for-1100-square-feet dining area follows, with more velvet-look armchairs surrounding the table; they look comfortable, but that might not be the best choice of material for a zone dedicated to the consumption of food. The kitchen (one of the kitchens?) boasts a center island (with sink and dishwasher) that appears to be bigger than my entire kitchen as its defining feature. The requisite commercial grade appliances are all here, and the ceiling cutouts for the skylights are nicely done, but this room doesn’t stand out as much as some of the others we’ve seen.

What I assume is the main bedroom comes next. It’s plenty spacious, and has a full wall of glass that I’m sure opens onto the garden beyond. There’s another bar with what looks like a wine fridge in here, but why is the television sitting on a table in commoner fashion, instead of being affixed to the wall with some sort of fancy backlit mounting hardware?

Dig the Chanel logo chandeliers!

Another small living room follows; given the order of the photos, I’m going to assume this is a private sitting area off the main suite, because we move from there straight into a closet that looks like a mall boutique, complete glass display cabinets, fancy chandeliers, and its own stone-topped center island. The bathroom that follows is modern but basic, though I do like the glass blocks that afford both light and privacy to whomever is spending time in the soaking tub at one end. Now it’s time for a quick glance at an outdoor patio, which is filled with expensive-looking lounge furniture and flanked by a handful of mature palm trees. I see the glass blocks from the bathroom here, so maybe this is an outdoor retreat, accessible only from the main bedroom?

Back inside, we’re headed down a winding wood-and-wrought-iron staircase to what I assume is the art gallery, which “has a glass atrium ceiling that allows light to stream through the house to view a myriad of custom paintings and sculptures.” It also looks like there may be a koi pond of some sort at the bottom of the staircase. If the art is included, I hope you like giant paintings of Slash, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis, interspersed with some black and gray squiggles and splotches on canvas. Moving on, we get another sitting area outfitted with gas fireplace topped by green stone, a second kitchen, and another living area where the couches focus half on a giant TV and half on a wall of wine bottles backed by yellow marble. Then there’s the home theater, yet another living room with yet another fireplace and bar, and phew, we’re back outside on a rolling grass lawn that the listing says occupies fully one of the nearly two acres of property, which is adjacent to the Omni La Costa resort’s golf course. A covered patio out back houses outdoor lounge seating and, yes, another bar, this one looking out toward the “Roman-style lap pool” and cauldron-like black spa perched above.

“This newly remodeled and furnished trophy estate is offered for sale for the first time,” the listing concludes, which is close enough to the truth, given the home’s current appearance. Originally built in 1985 (according to public records) or 1992 (per the listing), Grand Blanc last sold in April 2021 for a reported $3.5 million, a full $500,000 more than the asking price at the time. The buyer was Method Development Holdings LLC, billed as “a full-service design, planning, and remodeling company that specializes in high-end residential projects.” Following an extensive remodel that appears to have involved the removal of copious amounts of purple and black carpet among many other things, the home was re-listed in late June with an asking price of $14,950,000. After that listing failed to attract a buyer, Grand Blanc went back up for sale in mid-September with an asking price of $11,950,000 that remains unchanged to date.

2034 Arenal Road| Carlsbad, 92009

Current owner: Method Development Holdings LLC | Listing price: $11,950,000 | Beds: 6 | baths: 12 | House size: 11,300

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