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The La Jolla headquarters of Copley Press at 7776 Ivanhoe is listed for sale for $11.5 million on LoopNet, billed to be the largest commercial real estate listing service online. The three-story building was built in 1957. It was not sold to Platinum Equity when the buyout firm bought the Union-Tribune, paying a bit over $50 million for property worth more than $100 million. The building is still occupied by a small handful of executives. There is an answering machine on the main number, but when I called today (Oct. 9) it was not functioning well. The direct line to Hal Fuson, who had been chief operating officer (de facto chief executive officer) of Copley Press has been disconnected, and I could not reach him at home. There is still a Copley company holding only the real estate assets.

The James S. Copley Library at 1134 Kline Street is also for sale with an asking price of $5.4 million. It was advertised today in the La Jolla Light, but I could not reach the Prudential Realty salespeople listed. The ad did not mention Copley. It touted "unique village property...rare...built and used as a library -- it could be converted to a spectacular, in-town, single family residence or split into two or more condominiums. Over 15,000 sq. ft. of usable space, on a 10,500 sq. ft. lot, 6 on-site parking space." Copley veterans who worked at headquarters say that the picture accompanying the ad, showing an ivy-colored building, is indeed the James S. Copley Library. The dimensions sound right and there were six parking places at the library, they say. There is an unconfirmed rumor that there is an effort to sell the books. There are many valuable volumes on the American Revolution; Constitution; early presidents, and the West, especially Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, John C. Fremont and Kit Carson. The library was started in 1964 by the late James S. Copley. Before he died, he asked the late Helen Copley, his wife, to complete the library. She did, and it was dedicated in 1982.

The LoopNet listing indicates that the former computer building next to headquarters, address 7701 Herschel, is still for sale at $5.9 million. It was one of the buildings sold to Platinum, which put it on the market at a higher price than it paid last spring.

The commercial real estate market is dismal, in San Diego and elsewhere.

Comments
55

DB-if you have any online ads to the properties please link them, so we can take a peek.

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #1: Just google "7776 Ivanhoe" and the LoopNet ad should be the first thing to pop up. I don't have anything online for the ad for the library. It ran, along with photo, in today's La Jolla Light. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

OK-I just googled it and have found the ad;

http://www.loopnet.com/property/16117538/7776-Ivanhoe-Avenue/

The price per sq/ft, $451, is really not that bad considering it is in a AAA+++ prime location. So I think it is priced right.

I predict that they will get some good action on it and it will sell.

Oct. 9, 2009

Did David Copley ever graduate from college? What his highest education is?

Oct. 9, 2009

Sorry, I know it was an off-topic question, but I am curious and I know people who frequent this blog would probably know.

He does have a Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_C._Copley

Other than the obvious and well known facts about his being adopted and being a billionaire heir of the estate, it only mentions his multiple DUI convictions.

Oct. 9, 2009

Ponzi: Copley attended Menlo College. My guess is that, for the money it cost (it is an outrageously expensive school), he graduated, probably with a B.A.

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #4: Possibly the headquarters will sell easily, but this is a very rough commercial real estate market. The library is another matter. I've only been there a handful of times -- maybe 2 or 3 times -- but as I remember it, I don't think it would be easy to convert it to a condo, single family home, even store. Maybe there could be dentists' and doctors' offices in it. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #4: I believe he graduated from Menlo College. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #5: It could have mentioned many things, including his interest in Andy Warhol art, his gift to USC, his $33 million yacht, etc. It didn't mention that he conceded to people that if his mother hadn't married a multi-millionaire, he would have been pumping gas at a service station. (That was back when you got service at a service station.) Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #6: I read somewhere that his bachelor's was in business. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

I don't see these properties selling for anywhere near asking price. The major problem is zoning laws preventing potential purchasers from razaing existing structures and erecting high rise office buildings or condos with underground parking in their place. If a high rise office or condo structure with ocean views could be built on the land, then these properties could be worth three or four times the asking price.

Oct. 9, 2009

It could have mentioned many things, including his interest in Andy Warhol art, his gift to USC, his $33 million yacht, etc. It didn't mention that he conceded to people that if his mother hadn't married a multi-millionaire, he would have been pumping gas at a service station. (That was back when you got service at a service station.) Best, Don Bauder

DB should register with Wiki and rewrite Copley's bio.

Oct. 9, 2009

Does your comment regarding the library mean that it was open to the public in the post-1982 period? I remember nothing being reported in the Tribune about anything like that in the early 80's. And if she did complete the library, what was its purpose? A library for Copley people, or for some larger purpose?

Generally, such libraries are given to universities or cities or counties for the public benefit. If not given outright, they are bequeathed to such entities, again for the public benefit. This all suggests that the ownership of the library still rests with Copley Press or David Copley and that its collection can be sold at their whim. Rather sad if that is the case.

Oct. 9, 2009

It didn't mention that he conceded to people that if his mother hadn't married a multi-millionaire, he would have been pumping gas at a service station. (That was back when you got service at a service station.) Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder

Ouchie!....But True!

Oct. 9, 2009

DB should register with Wiki and rewrite Copley's bio.

By Burwell

You don't have to register, Wikiedia is open source-anyone can edit the pages.

I volunterer Burwell to post David's self proclaimed comment about pumping gas on Copley's Wiki page!

Oct. 9, 2009

(#15) "Wikiedia is open source-anyone can edit the pages." Which is exactly why it boggles the mind that anyone appeals to it as an authority, and yet so many do. Amazing.

Don, as for Copley's interest in Warhol, you're not thinking of Christo, are you? You may know something that I don't know -- you prove that day after day -- but David is said to own the world's largest private collection of Christo, and I believe it, judging by how much he lent to the Christo retrospective a few years back at the La Jolla Museum of Contemptible Art.

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #11: I don't know the La Jolla commercial real estate market that well. I made a couple of calls to people who do know the market well, but was not able to connect. If they ever call back, I will put your questions to them. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #12: When I was at the paper, I liked David Copley, although didn't know him well and seldom saw him. The situation is a rather pathetic one. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #13: As I recall, it was only open to the public by appointment. The materials belong to the Copley organization, and as I have heard, it is seeking to sell them, or at least some of them. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #14: At least, he knew (and knows) his limitations. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #15: You can find the quote in a two-part series that ran on David and the Copley organization in San Diego Magazine. I don't remember when it was -- maybe 2003-2005. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #16: He was a big follower of Warhol, but he is also closely tied to Christo. Christo now wants to install an industrial strength exhibit in 40 miles of Bighorn Sheep Canyon in the Upper Arkansas River in rural Colorado. Locals whose safety and livelihood will be impacted are vigorously opposing this attempt. I agree with the opposition group, called Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR). Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 9, 2009

"Wikiedia is open source-anyone can edit the pages." Which is exactly why it boggles the mind that anyone appeals to it as an authority, and yet so many do. Amazing.

By russl

russle, wiki is constanlty patrolled and reviewed-I have found it on the money most of the time.

Oct. 9, 2009

Somehow Sinbad didn't. It reported that he was dead.

Oct. 9, 2009

russl, I agree with you on lots of stuff, especially language. But I have to disagree on your characterization of wiki (the technology) and its most famous implementation, wikipedia.

You are correct that wikipedia does not have the same rate of accuracy compared to the traditional encyclopedias such as Britanica. Wikipedia is reported to be 80% accurate as opposed to 95% for the more authoritative sources.

But there is a follow up to this. Over time the wikipedia articles continue to improve. In addition, the wikipedia articles average twice as long.

Best of all, when someone knowledgeable comes along, like you russl, you can edit and improve the article.

I specialize in technical documentation. Frequently, when I arrive at an IT/Telco firm, the documentation is a mess of documents. When I convert this to an internal wiki and train everyone how to use it, the results within six months are dramatic.

The accuracy of the company's knowledge base increases, redundant or contradictory information is merged and clarified, links are established, terminology standardized, and everyone can find the information they need when they actually need it.

This is a crucial competitive advantage in the information industry. Wiki isn't the only way to do it, but in the right corporate culture it works wonders. The key is to focus on correcting mistakes rather than hiding them -- sharing and improving information instead of hoarding it.

Wikipedia itself is a remarkable phenomenon. I volunteered at MediaWiki HQ in the summer of 2008 and was amazed at how few people it took to do so much.

While you're right that wikipedia certainly has errors, for it's breadth and scope it remains a valuable first resource. It's not suitable for in depth research, but I look to the links at the bottom on most pages to find the way to better and finer grained detail. This is in addition to searching with Google in both English and other languages. But I do this for a living, and don't expect the normal (yes, I'm happily abnormal) guy to go through that effort to find information sufficient to satisfy his curiosity.

For most people, what is found in wikipedia is good enough, and continues to get better. I think it's unreasonable to exclude wikipedia as an information resource -- especially in commentary on Reader articles. Cast doubt on any specific instance of error, absolutely, but do not declaim the entire resource ineligible for consideration as evidence.

Best,

Fred

Oct. 9, 2009

Somehow Sinbad didn't. It reported that he was dead.

==========

Maybe Sinbad is actually dead and he just doesn't know it.

Oct. 9, 2009

For those of you who want to add to a San Diego wiki, please go to:

http://www.changesandiego.org

This is a wiki that requires no registration to edit. I've set up some blank pages you can add to right now:

http://www.changesandiego.org/wiki/How_can_we_improve_San_Diego

http://www.changesandiego.org/wiki/What_are_our_common_goals

http://www.changesandiego.org/wiki/What_are_our_priorities

Yes this is a wiki, and at the beginning may have errors. But it only takes you to make it better.

If you like, you can even copy the wikipedia article about David Copley onto changesandiego.org and you can all add whatever additional relevant information belongs there. Maybe we should do the same for John Moores, whose wikipedia article is sadly deficient -- and tightly watched for anyone adding negative facts (even if true).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Moores_(baseball)

Oct. 9, 2009

The thing I hate about people who dicredit wikipedia is the same lame argument"Well,anyone can change a wikipedia article to suit their set of facts". Very true. The flipside to that is simple. If a wikipedia article says that the sky is blue and someone comes along and changes it to say the sky is red,anyone can come along and change it back. It's my understanding that when a wikipedia article gets changed alot,it's locked,meaning no one can change it again until the facts are straight.

Oct. 9, 2009

Pete, you are correct. The wikipedia administration and resolution process for such conflicts is quite remarkable. It's not just good IT practice, it's good social practice we can all learn from.

But there is always a benevolent dictator who decides in the end. When I'm in charge of a wiki, I end up the ultimate arbitor. But I've never had to use this power yet, except blocking malicious posters.

Oct. 9, 2009

Malicious posters? You mean moi? Heh heh heh. You'll figure that one out eventually and smile when you do. :-D

Oct. 9, 2009

Pete, have a look at your page. Click edit.

Notice that =headline1= is formated with the "=" front and back. ==headline2== uses two "==", and so on...

Use the "*" for bulleted lists

Use the "#" for numbered lists

Happy editing...if you have questions, contact me through the site or through the Reader.

Fred (aka TWFred)

Oct. 9, 2009

HAH! That's hilarious! What do you mean my page though? I was just screwin' around.

Oct. 9, 2009

Response to post #23: I think Wikipedia is balanced and thorough most of the time. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #24; Once again, my ignorance is showing. Who is Sinbad, other than the historical character? Be he a rock singer? Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #25: Fascinating background on Wiki. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #26: OK, I looked up Sinbad -- on Wikipedia. I guess I am a dolt for not knowing who he is (not was). My TV watching is limited to business/economics shows (Bloomberg and CNBC) and sports. I don't watch Fox. So I had no idea who the guy is. Since the word Sinbad has been around for centuries, and "sin" and "bad" are natural words to combine into a moniker appealing to today's audiences, it is amazing that others haven't adopted that name. The Wikipedia I saw did not say he was dead. The most delightful way to learn about the REAL Sinbad is to listen to Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #27: John Moores took his money and fled to Texas. In baseball parlance, it's called "stealing home." Your information on Wiki will help a lot of people. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #28: Of course, the sky IS red when it's the most beautiful, especially in Western mountain country. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #29: I notice you did not say that you are the ultimate "decider." Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to posts #30, 31 & 32: This sounds like inside baseball. Rather like T.S. Eliot's poetry. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

OK, I looked up Sinbad -- on Wikipedia. I guess I am a dolt for not knowing who he is (not was).

By dbauder

Sinbad;

http://www.broadwayworld.com/columnpic/sinbad4.jpg

.... is a washed up comedian who has not been in the limelight for at least 10-15 years-except for the fact that he, along with Dionne Warwick and OJ Simpson, are in the top 10 tax scofflaws in the state of CA.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/09/dionne-warwick-sinbad-mak_n_185424.html

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #41: Sinbad the Sailor was washed up, too -- washed up on a desert island on one of his adventures. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

(#36) "The Wikipedia I saw did not say [Sinbad] was dead." Maybe because he held a press conference to announce that the Wikipedia entry that claimed he was dead was greatly exaggerated. Musta been corrected after that.

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #43: No wonder he is a moribund comedian. That was Mark Twain's line more than 100 years ago: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Sinbad was REALLY dusting off the old ones. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

(#44) Don, I don't recall Sinbad's actual words. That was me paraphrasing. And in any case, if you're going to steal, steal from the best.

Oct. 10, 2009

I must say I did like Sinbad in "First Kid" where he plays a secret service agent protecting the President's son........Yeah, it is recycled Hollywood, but it was funny.

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #45: Even if the words weren't the same, the punchline was. Twain should have sued Sinbad for theft of intellectual secrets. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

Response to post #46: Was it Gerald Ford's son, who was in San Diego at one point? Still could be, for all I know. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 10, 2009

I heard that Fuson is officially retired.

Oct. 12, 2009

Response to post #49: I have heard that he is still serving as secretary to the board. But you may be right. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 12, 2009

The waivers for cash in return for a promise not to sue Copley over promised but terminated retiree health insurance benefits were finally countersigned by Fuson and returned to retirees in my area. No money yet, though. The company has promised to pay by December 31. Will it be paid? Flip a coin.

See my comments on this post for reference: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

Oct. 13, 2009

Response to post #51: I hope you will keep me informed on this one. This episode suggests -- but does not definitively indicate -- that there is definitely a strain on the Copley Press budget. Ditto for GateHouse's suit against Copley, even though it was for a small sum. Some believe that the attempts to sell the LJ headquarters, library, and 22 acres adjacent to Fox Hill suggest a strain. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 13, 2009

I'll let you know if the money comes through, Don. Why wouldn't he sell the land? The Copley Press is an enterprise without a purpose. Timing might not be good, but if I were David Copley, I might do the same thing. He's paying taxes and getting no revenue. This is a separate issue from whether he should have sold off the papers. That's water under the bridge. The GateHouse suit is still an odd thing. I wonder if it has been settled.

Oct. 14, 2009

While working at the old SD Union I once tried to make an appointment to browse the famous Copley library during a trip to Copley HQ in La Jolla.

The curt response was that because I wasn't engaged in legitimate academic research, I could not be admitted. I tried to point out that Helen Copley employed me as a reporter and that I was constantly conducting research in the course of said employment, but to no avail.

No such attitude at the Rancho Penasquitos branch library!

Oct. 14, 2009

Response to post #53: Your points are well taken. The old Copley Press no longer has a business, other than managing its real estate until it is sold. (David's estate is handled by a three-person group, including David.) So it would make sense to sell the buildings. But one could ask if this is the right time to try to sell, with both residential and commercial markets dismal. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 14, 2009

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