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Stories by Dave Rice

Boxing great Archie Moore’s Stockton sanctuary

Stockton, a Southeast San Diego neighborhood wedged in among Logan Heights, Mt. Hope, and Grant Hill, isn’t the first place one thinks of when imagining million-dollar homes. With a median home value more than $300,000 ...

February 24, 2021
Seaview’s views in Del Mar

The key thing to know about the 5900-square-foot mansion at 2008 Seaview Avenue in Del Mar is that it has views. Lots of views. Situated just south of San Dieguito Lagoon and less than a ...

February 12, 2021
Tamarack Beach’s Frank Lloyd Wright inspired townhouse in Carlsbad

The 3400-square-foot townhouse at 195 Cherry Avenue is billed as the first of three newly-constructed, “Frank Lloyd Wright inspired” condominium units erected last year, just a block inland from Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad. According to ...

January 27, 2021
Vista de la Mission: angelic outpost in Kensington

According to listing materials retrieved from Zillow, the historic Vista de la Mission residence in Kensington is “spiritually known as an outpost for angels.” “Privately nestled behind walls in the most desirable cul-de-sac location in ...

January 14, 2021
Mediterranean masterpiece in La Jolla

The 10,300-square-foot mansion at 308 Vista de la Playa in La Jolla is billed in listing remarks retrieved from Zillow as “a rare legacy property.” Built in 2000, the seven-bedroom, nine-bath residence is described as ...

January 1, 2021
Joseph Sfeir fused modern Spanish architecture

The 3900-square-foot estate at 545 Rimini Road in Del Mar exudes “timeless elegance situated on an oversized lot highlighting private grounds, stunning terraces and ocean views,” according to listing materials retrieved from realtor.com. “Rich in ...

December 17, 2020
Rancho Santa Fe Covenant’s “Solace in the Sky”

Behold the home billed as “Solace in the Sky,” a newly constructed 8969-square-foot ultramodern glass cube at 15815 Las Planideras. “No expense was spared in this six-bedroom modern construction in the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant,” ...

December 3, 2020
The history of the San Diego Union’s James MacMullen and his Coronado home

The majestic MacMullen Home at 382 Glorietta Boulevard is the first building visitors to Coronado encounter when crossing the Bay bridge from downtown San Diego. Built in 1914, the home was first occupied by James ...

November 19, 2020
Old world meets contemporary at Rancho Del Lago

“Through the 24-hour security guarded gates of Rancho Del Lago, you approach this magnificent European style estate,” begins the realtor.com listing pitch for 6590 Calle Reina, a 1995-built Rancho Santa Fe estate that spans “approximately ...

November 5, 2020
Spanish hacienda at the southern edge of La Jolla

Older oceanfront houses are a rarity in San Diego. Sand, water, and salty air conspire to degrade building materials years or decades faster than the same stuff used to build homes just a few blocks ...

October 21, 2020
America’s Cup participant William Ruh’s Cape Cod style home

This week, we visit a “stunning Cape Cod style home nestled in the trees of Olde Del Mar,” billed in listing materials retrieved from realtor.com as “a true masterpiece by John O’Brien of Flagg Coastal ...

October 8, 2020
La Jolla Tide Pools meets Craftsman-style renovation

In the early 1900s, many outlying areas of San Diego were experiencing severe contractions following a speculation-fueled housing boom in the 1880s and early 1890s. At the time, areas such as La Jolla were so ...

September 24, 2020
Half-acre estate above Terramar Beach

The oceanfront estate at 5327 Carlsbad Boulevard is “a fresh, global take on Southern California style, pairing modern amenities with elegant touches.” So say listing materials retrieved from realtor.com. Built in 2006, the home hosts ...

September 11, 2020
Christian Rice coastal contemporary design in Coronado

This week, we visit what realtor.com promotional materials describe as a “sophisticated coastal contemporary farmhouse” sitting on just over a quarter-acre of land at 900 Alameda Boulevard in Coronado. Custom-built in 2013, the home was ...

August 26, 2020
The Longview Manor estate built by Ralph Hurlburt

The nearly century-old estate at 2212 La Callecita in Mission Hills, once dubbed Longview Manor, “is truly a one of a kind treasure,” according to listing remarks published at realtor.com. “This architecturally significant home was ...

August 13, 2020
Luxury atop the Omni Hotel

As professional sports leagues attempt in fits and starts to restart their respective seasons, one thing is clear: there won’t be any fans in the stands. So if you want to see live baseball in ...

The Harrison G. Otis House: a Tudor Revival residence

The Harrison G. Otis House, a Mission Hills mansion with nearly 3900 square feet of living space, was originally built in 1910. Per listing materials retrieved from Realtor.com, “historic details abound” throughout the home. Commissioned ...

Encinitas, not a neighborhood but a kingdom

Bicyclists dominate Caltrans meeting About half of the meeting’s 40 attendees indicated they were cyclists, and will use the proposed bike lane. But even hard-core cyclists were skeptical of some sections of the proposed eight-mile ...

Modern masterpiece north of Belmont Park

For just under nine million dollars, you’ve got the chance to acquire a two-year-old, three-story beachfront mansion in the heart of Mission Beach. A few blocks north of Belmont Park sits the “beachfront modern masterpiece” ...

Why settle for the penthouse? Buy the whole building.

This week in Unreal Estate, we’re exploring a property perfect for the aspiring real estate mogul who also needs a place to stay in downtown’s trendy Little Italy neighborhood. Sure, you get the 7000-square-foot penthouse ...

Britt-Scripps House: Bankers Hill’s Queen Anne Victorian Historic Landmark

The story of the tri-level Queen Anne Victorian estate at 406 Maple Street in Bankers Hill already includes a host of interesting chapters. With its latest offering for sale, the home is poised to embark ...

May 21, 2020
Mission Valley – garden-land gave way to shopping centers

The never-ending fix to Hazard Center Drive Hazard Center Drive in Mission Valley East is probably the shortest road incurring the longest completion of any in San Diego. It is approximately three blocks long and ...

Enjoy “effortless living” with Samuel Amoia design

This week, we visit what’s billed as “the highest standard of California coastal living,” a 6532-square-foot oceanview mansion at 516 Stratford Court. According to listing remarks retrieved from Trulia, the home is “ideally situated on ...

May 7, 2020
East Village – built around a ballpark

Short-term rentals thrive in East Village Is the demand for housing suitable to fill the thousands of rental units that have sprung up in downtown's East Village since the mid-2000s, and enough to sustain even ...

Avant Garde architecture in Cardiff

As with just about every other facet of daily life, the spread of coronavirus has dramatically reshaped the real estate market in recent weeks. Appraisers are working limited schedules or avoiding property inspections entirely, thus ...

April 23, 2020
La Jolla’s Taj Mahal

“Private and secluded at the end of a cul de sac, the legendary Casa de las Joyas — also known as La Jolla’s Taj Mahal — exudes charm and character rarely experienced,” opens the Realtor.com ...

April 9, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2019

Hillcrest: gayborhood or ghetto? “I was only in West Hollywood for four years and I came from the East Coast by way of Las Vegas,” he says. “To me, Hillcrest is just normal. At least ...

April 4, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2018

Adam Parfrey goes to the San Diego Zoo It is not generally appreciated that famous publisher Adam Parfrey once lived just off Lincoln Boulevard, a dismal stretch of gasoline-alley slightly east of Venice, California, and ...

March 29, 2020
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in Mike Love’s Fairbanks Ranch mansion?

“Rarely does such a spectacular property become available in the exclusive guard gated community of Fairbanks Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe,” boast listing materials for the mansion at 17261 Circa Oriente, as retrieved from Realtor.com. ...

Sweeping ocean and treetop views on Mt. Soledad

“Timeless architecture is considered to be designed in such a way that it evokes special feelings, outlasts trends, relevant for many years and masterfully constructed of the finest materials,” begins the Realtor.com sales pitch for ...

March 12, 2020
The Mt. Helix of William Gross and Ed Fletcher

In the late nineteenth century, artists of all stripes began abandoning big cities in favor of countryside “art colonies” where they could live alongside and collaborate with their peers. While these villages tended to crop ...

February 26, 2020
Barrio Logan: if you want color

Jack's island: jewel of Barrio Logan Sometime this year, the city council is expected to decide whether to accept a low-ball $30,000 offer for the nearest thing Barrio Logan has to a flat iron building, ...

Rancho Santa Fe mansion infused with Taj Mahal marble and Wolf appliances

“Hollywood glamour finds its home in Rancho Santa Fe,” or so promises the listing description, posted on Realtor.com, of 5516 La Crescenta, a newly-constructed mansion with 8400 square feet of living space, six bedrooms, and ...

February 13, 2020
Chula Vista’s Tour D’Elegance

2920 Gate Five Place, a six-bedroom, eight-bath custom estate with nearly 9000 square feet of indoor living space sits at the end of a cul-de-sac overlooking the Upper Otay Reservoir in eastern Chula Vista. Part ...

January 30, 2020
Ken Ronchetti-designed luxury condo offers 180-degree view of downtown

If one luxury condo atop one of San Diego’s most desirable downtown towers just isn’t enough, why not go for two? Enjoy “exquisite living on the entire 38th floor of the Harbor Club,” invite materials, ...

January 16, 2020
Rancho Pacifica’s “work of art” in Rancho Santa Fe

Tucked into the private gated community of Rancho Pacifica, just south of the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club and the exclusive neighborhood of Rancho Santa Fe, sits this home at 5131 Rancho Del Mar Trail. Listing ...

January 2, 2020
Spanish Mediterranean design of Richard Requa in Mission Hills

The 4300-square-foot Spanish Mediterranean mansion at 4334 Avalon Drive, “located in the sought out neighborhood of Avalon Heights” hasn’t seen the public market in more than 25 years, according to listing information retrieved from Realtor.com. ...

December 19, 2019
Rancho Santa Fe – the most luxury homes in California

San Diego Polo Club site developed by Heaven's Gate Exclusiveness breeds itself, so it’s little wonder that when the San Diego Polo Club in Rancho Santa Fe needed a Web page designed, they turned to ...

Unwind with Carrara marble in Torrey Pines

This week, prospective buyers have an opportunity to “fall in love with timeless Spanish architecture” at 1640 Torrey Pines Road, a 3095-square-foot residence “minutes from the vibrant Village of La Jolla” and located among “luxury ...

December 5, 2019
Union-Tribune columnist Diane Bell’s La Jolla Cove seacliff estate

The Seacliff Estate — that’s what listing materials from realtor.com call the 12,000-square-foot home found at 1369 Coast Walk in La Jolla — is billed as an “iconic gated Hamptons-style estate that has been meticulously ...

November 21, 2019
Prime ocean frontage above Moonlight Beach

This 2005-built blufftop estate home at 806 4th Street in Encinitas features five bedrooms, seven baths, and 100 feet of prime ocean frontage above Moonlight Beach. According to promotional materials from Realtor.com, the 5300-square-foot home ...

November 7, 2019
Lionsgate Estate: includes equestrian and hiking trails along Sandia Creek and the Santa Margarita River

Lionsgate Estate comprises 17 acres in northeastern Fallbrook, including the 6400-square-foot main residence located at 40935 Via Ranchitos, a 4800-square foot lake house, and a third guest cottage, bringing the total living area under roof ...

October 24, 2019
Coronado’s Spreckels Mansion: a national controversy for Rebecca Zahau and Max Shacknai

By the late 1890s, John Spreckels had become well-established as one of San Diego’s most powerful men. He’d acquired control of the Coronado Beach Company, the Hotel Del Coronado, and the San Diego streetcar system, ...

October 10, 2019
Qualcomm exec’s Georgian style Coronado home back on the market

This week, we’re visiting 731 Adella Avenue, a 5100-square-foot mansion in central Coronado sited on grounds spanning nearly two-fifths of an acre. It’s said to be one of the island’s largest residential lots. “This elegant ...

September 26, 2019
Bucolic Bonita

Not so pretty: Bonita’s sign replacement cost Though Bonita's welcome mat has been pulled, the South Bay community is hardly discouraging people from coming by. The “Welcome to Bonita” sign, designed to convey a warm ...

Artisan inspired finishes on Encinitas’ Crest Drive

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 ...

September 12, 2019
Rancho Peñasquitos, barely suburban

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

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 ...

August 29, 2019
San Diego's weird backcountry real estate

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 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 ...

August 15, 2019

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