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Stories by Dave Rice

Artisan inspired finishes on Encinitas’ Crest Drive

Hand-painted tiles and mural work “bring the walls to life.”

The luxury estate at 1864 Crest Drive in the hills of Encinitas, just east of Cardiff, promises “California coastal living at its finest” surrounded by “stunning whitewater ocean views.” The main home includes five en-suite ...

Rancho Peñasquitos, barely suburban

Anti-migrant white boys, Adam Lambert returns, riparian zone, pedestrian crossing signs, Evergreen Nursery, Lennar Homes

Beaner bashers They identify themselves as the border patrol. They demand money. The Mexican stranger drops the grocery bag and sprints into the valley. The teen-age boys shout taunts as the shadow disappears around a ...

Pacific Gate’s largest available floor plan

Smart home features include automation for lighting, climate control, and touchless operation of the window coverings

Following nearly a decade of dormancy resulting from the housing crash of the late 2000s, the Downtown San Diego luxury condo market is booming once again. Pacific Gate, a 40-story tower at 888 West E ...

San Diego's weird backcountry real estate

No traffic, but you need septic tank, well, propane

Bad foundations. Leaky pipes. Illegal garage conversions. Death (owner or otherwise) on a property. These are all things that have at least once derailed the sale of a piece of real estate during my 20 ...

Spanish Colonial Revival architecture courtesy Richard Requa

The primary architect overseeing construction in Balboa Park for the California Pacific International Exposition

The historic Bowman-Cotton House, billed as “one of Point Loma’s most iconic waterfront homes,” was constructed in 1929 under the supervision of master architect Richard Requa. Requa, who studied under one of Southern California’s most ...

Wallace E. Cunningham’s Razor House

The home was one of several projects explored by author Joseph Giovannini in “Materializing the Immaterial,” a book about Cunningham’s career.

The “Razor House” at 9826 La Jolla Farms Road is so named for its location on a three-quarter-acre lot near Razor Point. The house is perched along the cliffs just south of Black’s Beach; in ...

CEO of Relyonus Medical Group’s French Country Castle

The residence boasts five kitchens and 11 baths

“Rancho Santa Fe meets French Country Castle” is how listing materials describe Chateau Enchante, the mega-mansion located at 16902 Via Cuesta Verde in Fairbanks Ranch, a neighborhood composed entirely of two private gated communities just ...

Bonsall – suburbia's edge

San Luis Rey Downs track and golf course, fossilized bison, Highway 76 widened, Vessels Ranch, the Hank Show

Lilac fire survivor comes to the races On December 7, 2017, horse trainer Joe Herrick said, “Hell came to town.” Herrick was was involved in trying to rescue 450 thoroughbred horses caught in the raging ...

Building on the bluffs of Black's Beach

Several firepit-equipped outdoor entertaining pavilions on both the ground and upstairs level

Just west of the UC San Diego campus, perched on the bluffs above Black’s Beach lies a newly-constructed 7777-square-foot estate occupying more than three quarters of an acre at 9811 Blackgold Road. Featuring “vast scale ...

CBS, NBC, ESPN and San Diego Padres Sportscaster Dick Enberg’s French Colonial Revival

Be prepared to spend at least an hour touring the property to appreciate the attention to detail

Built in 2004, the 8576-square-foot estate home at 1275 Virginia Way in La Jolla is described as “an authentic example of French Colonial Revival” architecture. Though recently constructed, the home features “countless architectural elements and ...

Scripps Ranch – starter homes

Scripps Trail, bus service, nay-sayers, fight against WalMart, secret missile testing, view from Mira Mesa, USIU, a mooning incident

Good intentions behind paving of Scripps Trail Claudia Walker's family bought a home on the 10400 block of the street, a quiet, neatly manicured tract in Scripps Ranch near where the northeastern edge of the ...

Fallbrook mansion resembles a quaint European chapel

Including “car barns” with parking for a full fleet of vehicles

The luxury estate at 5147 Morro Hills Place, spanning nearly ten acres in southern Fallbrook, might be better described as a compound than as a residence. “Welcome to your future ranch, resort, spa, or estate,” ...

UCSD Extension starts income share agreements with web design, digital marketing

A Milton Friedman idea from 1955

Aside from home mortgages, student loans are the most pervasive form of debt in the United States today, surpassing even credit card and auto loan borrowing. In 2018, roughly 44 million borrowers collectively owed more ...

Oldest Encinitas blufftop mansion once owned by Charlie Chaplin

Various tales say it was purchased either as a residence for his mother or as a place to hide his pregnant 16-year-old mistress

The “iconic waterfront masterpiece” at 1448 Neptune Avenue in Encinitas was reportedly just the second or third blufftop mansion constructed in the area, and after nearly 100 years, is the oldest one still standing. Built ...

Former mayor of Del Mar Albert Corti puts modern mansion up for sale

“A sanctuary of style offering natural light and airy views throughout.”

The newly constructed home at 2811 Heather Lane is perched on a hillside just south of San Dieguito Lagoon, the slim body of water separating a neighborhood of high-end luxury estates from the adjacent Del ...

Recall Coronado’s historic allure owned by Bayfront Candela’s restauranteur Tomas Braniff

Over 100 year-old-home was “meticulously restored” in 2017

The Spanish white stucco house at 475 A Avenue in the “Crown City” of Coronado may have originally been constructed more than 100 years ago in 1914, but marketing materials promise it was “meticulously restored” ...

Modern Muirlands masterpiece titled in investment company controlled by founders of Luna Grill

Designed by Edinger Architects of Solana Beach and Mark. V. Agee Construction of Rancho Santa Fe

Listing materials promise “the ultimate Southern California luxury lifestyle” at 715 Muirlands Vista Way in La Jolla, a newly-constructed “modern masterpiece in the Muirlands.” With six bedrooms and six baths spread across nearly 7000 square ...

San Diego's least affordable housing

Unreal estate

"Luxury living” is a term that eludes simple definition. For some, it may be a beachfront home occupying a slice of Southern California’s most coveted coastline. Others might prefer a penthouse condo equipped with the ...

Lower Hermosa La Jolla home sports Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture and ocean views of Windansea Beach

Wright student Frederick Liebhardt constructed it for his parents

Listing materials promise this week’s property “is pure California real estate gold” — “sited prominently on over one acre of oceanfront land.” On a promontory point that pushes closer to the waves below than surrounding ...

Award winning restoration of Escondido house once subject of the PBS TV show Restore America

House “boasts one of the most intricate collections of hand-printed Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper in the country.”

Escondido’s Beach House may be more than 15 miles from the coast, but it’s filled with historical charm and old-world craftsmanship you won’t find in a modern oceanfront mega-mansion. Built in 1896 for real estate ...

Former spouse of oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens offers Ocean Front home in Del Mar

Constructed in 1999 by “world renowned architect-designer” Ken Ronchetti

Listing materials for the beachside estate at 2808 Ocean Front in Del Mar describe a property that “has long been considered one of the most prominent coastal contemporary beach homes on the West Coast and ...

Three stories of seaside lounging in Oceanside

“Let’s start with the reason to own this perfect home, the beach!”

Oceanside, San Diego’s northernmost city, is often overlooked in discussions about the region’s most exclusive real estate, which tend to focus on coastal North County cities such as Carlsbad, Encinitas, or Del Mar. But while ...

Virgin villa on Rutgers Road

No one has lived in this modern Mediterranean manse

Listing materials for a recently-constructed southern La Jolla mansion pose a question they’re more than happy to answer. “What would you call a residence of high style, beauty, and sophistication, intelligent design and refined in ...

Point Loma’s largest Italian Renaissance mansion

Portion of Point Loma Nazarine once known as Lomaland on the peninsula

Rosecroft is a historically-designated estate occupying nearly two-and-a-half acres atop Point Loma. Built in 1912 by architect Emmor Brooke Weaver, who oversaw the design of dozens of local residences between 1904 and 1945, the Italian ...

The “permanent vacation” feel

This house is made to be shown off

The newly-constructed estate at 7430 Hillside Drive in La Jolla includes five separate elevator-accessed levels of living area totaling nearly 6300 square feet of living space carved out of the side of Mount Soledad. “A ...

Studs-out remodel in Coronado

With an eye toward retaining the home’s historic character

This week we visit a “forgotten historic Coronado home” that’s been “brought back to life!” The 2400-square-foot craftsman at 1302 8th Street in Coronado was originally constructed in 1901 but has undergone extensive renovation since ...

A “striking contemporary classic”

Once home to founder of online music store MP3tunes

This week we present you with an opportunity to “reside in one of the largest homes on the breathtaking Del Mar beach.” “Take pleasure in the ultimate seaside lifestyle,” invite listing materials for the residence ...

Frontal attack on gig economy

Suit against Lime to end freelance scooter work?

A Northern California man working as a "Juicer" for electric scooter-share operator Lime has filed suit against the company, claiming it improperly classifies thousands of workers as independent contractors in a system designed to skirt ...

The epitome of California canyon living

Architect also designed San Diego Zoo structures and enclosures

“Hidden behind beautiful hedges,” this 1924 Bankers Hill estate at 3372 Front Street “is truly unique in downtown San Diego and the epitome of California canyon living.” So promise the listing materials. The residence, which ...

Marine Lair

Oceanfront hideout is home to “SD’s 29-year-old wunderkind”

Occupying a prime oceanfront plot in La Jolla’s esteemed Barber Tract is a mansion the owner has dubbed “Marine Lair,” a home the listing promises is “built entirely different than any other home in San ...

San Diego's last ocean front lots

32 empty spaces left – from Oceanside to Imperial Beach

Thirty-six years ago, the Reader surveyed the San Diego County coastline in search of any remaining vacant, buildable land along the coast. In January of 1982, we found a scant 79 parcels of land remaining, ...

Dignity through showers

East and North County welcome them, but not so much central San Diego

"Choice is something a lot of service providers and volunteers trying to provide help to others don't often consider," Think Dignity director Anne Rios tells me when we sit down at her group's North Park ...

A west coast Statue of Liberty

40-foot monument to Virgin Mary in San Ysidro

A cross-denominational faith group on Friday (October 5) announced their plans to construct what they're describing as a West Coast Statue of Liberty on a San Ysidro hilltop overlooking Tijuana. Modeled after the Virgin Mary ...

Bankers Hill Mansion exemplifies both Roaring Twenties exuberance and refined European design

Explore the neo-classical symmetry and grandeur of Andrea Palladio’s 16th-century architecture

From its perch atop Bankers Hill, the mansion at 435 West Thorn Street sits as an example of both Roaring Twenties exuberance and refined European design. “This one of a kind 1926 Italian Palladian home ...

A simple fix-and-flip can go horribly wrong

Will this part of Ebers Street ever be the same?

A long-derided construction project at 2269 Ebers Street in Ocean Beach, spearheaded by Curtis Nelson of Nelco Properties, officially suffered its death blow this spring; after failing to attract a buyer at a foreclosure auction, ...

Electric shock

East County residents fuming over four-figure power bills

San Diegans have been shocked by skyrocketing electric bills over the last two months, with many customers being told by San Diego Gas & Electric they owe two or even three times as much as ...

La Jolla luxury high rise

With a view “encompassing the La Jolla hills, the village, and the famous cove”

Let’s have a peek at “the only luxury high rise in the village of La Jolla,” 939 Coast. Eponymously named for its oceanfront location along Coast Boulevard, the building is currently comprised of 153 units ...

Veterans for Peace hit roadblocks in third year

But claim some victories against Miramar Air Show

The Miramar Air Show, gearing up for its 65th year next weekend, is billed as the largest military-themed air show in the United States. For the last three years, a group of anti-war military veterans ...

She won without a camera

Instagram levitation technique shows up at MOPA contest

For thirteen years, the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park has been sponsoring a youth photography competition. The contest is open to students in kindergarten through high school in San Diego and Tijuana. Winners ...

Mission Hills' premier entertaining house during the Roaring 20s

Home received an “outstanding house front” award from the American Institute of Architects’ San Diego chapter

Mission Hills' premier entertaining house during the Roaring 20’s

PB church opens door to refugees

ICE brings them asylum seekers

A month into its launch, a network of temporary shelters for asylum seekers arriving at the world's busiest border station in San Ysidro is beginning to take shape. The Safe Harbors project, spearheaded by Dr. ...

A dusting of snow at Ahvsan Ranch

A 376-acre “private oasis nestled high atop Palomar Mountain"

Shots of a sun-drenched pool deck are essentially a requisite box to check when developing marketing materials for a San Diego-area mansion, but how many elite local homesteads can be accurately portrayed with a dusting ...

Famosa and Nimitz plans point to density

Housing commission provokes Point Loma neighbors

Since learning about the revival of a decades-long plan to develop affordable housing on a five-acre parcel at the intersection of Famosa and Nimitz Boulevards, Point Loma residents have been voicing stiff opposition to any ...

Food trucks for homeless, toilet tank monitors

San Diego student ideas earnest, but don't make final cut

‘You just drop it into the back of your toilet tank,” explains David Vesay. “From there, it’s continually monitoring your water quality and you’ll get a message on your phone if it ever detects any ...

La Jolla’s oldest structures

The neighborhood is named for Phillip Barber, a wealthy New York heir

This week we look at “a unique opportunity to own a collection of three meticulously restored, award-winning historic homes” in La Jolla’s Barber Tract, adjacent to Windansea Beach. Home to some of La Jolla’s oldest ...

You won't get rich charging Lime scooters

Stop! Please unlock me, or I'll call the police

Whether gaudy orange (Mobike), canary yellow (ofo), nearly-neon green (LimeBike), even more orange (Uber-owned Jump electric bikes), or a comparatively unimposing matte black (Bird electric scooters), dockless bikeshare has descended upon San Diego’s streets. Depending ...

KPBS shutters local paper reading

Goodbye Union-Tribune, Reader and North County Times for those who can't turn pages

Last week, San Diego State University's KPBS broadcasting operation quietly put an end to providing local content on its Radio Reading Service, a special radio subchannel featuring volunteers reading newspaper and periodical content for those ...

A home built by city-designated master builders

The Quayle brothers also built part of Balboa Park

The historic mansion at 2440 C Street in Golden Hill was not built to cater to San Diego’s latest crop of nouveau riche. Remote-controlled, gated driveways? Nope, but a custom wrought iron gate still leads ...

Shhh — San Diego is better deal

Cappuccino and fast food cheaper here than L.A.

Tourism has long played an outsized role in the local economy. According to the San Diego Tourism Authority, 35 million people visit the city each year to enjoy its sunshine, sandy beaches, and potholed streets, ...

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