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Stories by Dave Rice

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” ...

Pacific Beach Instagram page in distress

On May 31 Matt Smith, a PB-based entrepreneur, posted a screen capture containing a string of angry texts disparaging black men. Smith said the author of the texts was Donny Hollis, at the time the ...

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
Wallace E. Cunningham’s Razor House

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 ...

August 1, 2019
CEO of Relyonus Medical Group’s French Country Castle

“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 ...

July 18, 2019
Bonsall – suburbia's edge

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

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 ...

July 4, 2019
CBS, NBC, ESPN and San Diego Padres Sportscaster Dick Enberg’s French Colonial Revival

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 ...

June 20, 2019
Scripps Ranch – starter homes

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

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,” ...

June 6, 2019
UCSD Extension starts income share agreements with web design, digital marketing

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 ...

May 29, 2019
Oldest Encinitas blufftop mansion once owned by Charlie Chaplin

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 ...

May 23, 2019
Former mayor of Del Mar Albert Corti puts modern mansion up for sale

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 ...

May 9, 2019
Recall Coronado’s historic allure owned by Bayfront Candela’s restauranteur Tomas Braniff

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” ...

April 25, 2019
Modern Muirlands masterpiece titled in investment company controlled by founders of Luna Grill

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 ...

April 11, 2019
San Diego's least affordable housing

"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 ...

April 3, 2019
Lower Hermosa La Jolla home sports Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture and ocean views of Windansea Beach

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 ...

March 21, 2019
Award winning restoration of Escondido house once subject of the PBS TV show Restore America

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 ...

March 7, 2019
Former spouse of oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens offers Ocean Front home in Del Mar

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 ...

February 21, 2019

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