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Once upon a time, way back in 1979, there was a Republican San Diego county supervisor named Roger Hedgecock who went into partnership with his old friend and Pacific Beach builder Mike Turk to put up some solar powered condos in North Park.

The condos came on the market at a bad time, and Turk took over the operation from Hedgecock in a deal fraught with future complications for the aspiring politician.

Hedgecock was elected mayor of San Diego, was forced from office during the J.David Dominelli Ponzi and money laundering scandal (during which Turk testified on the Hedgecock's behalf), but then went on to radio talk show fame.

Throughout Hedgecock's legal and political travails, the Union and Tribune, newspapers of the Copley Press, owned by Helen Copley of La Jolla's Foxhill Estate and a friend of the mayor's chief nemesis, Maureen O'Connor, led the charge against him, going over Hedgecock's and Turk's mutual finances (and those of Jerry Dominelli and his girlfriend, Del Mar mayor Nancy Hoover) with a fine-tooth comb.

None of it mattered much once Hedgecock was out of office.

With the exception of the deaths of two workers in a 1982 cave-in at a Pacific Beach construction site, resulting in Turk's no-contest plea to labor law violations and an $8.1 million settlement with survivors, Turk has survived and prospered as well or better than his erstwhile partner.

He joined the city's Sustainable Energy Advisory Board, continued to develop photovoltaic energy systems, and make political contributions.

Copley died in August 2004, leaving the Copley Press, Inc., her publishing and property empire, to her son David, who has been gradually liquidating it ever since.

The two flagship San Diego papers, by then joined into one, were sold to L.A.'s Platinum Equity in March 2009.

Now comes word via the San Diego Daily Transcript that Copley Press has sold nine residential units and a 7048-square-foot parking lot on La Jolla's Ivanhoe Ave. to Heritage on Ivanhoe, LLC, Mike E. Turk Manager, for $5.9 million.

"The units at 7714-22 total 2473 square feet and consist of six bedrooms and four bathrooms," the Transcript reports. "The units were built in 1930 on a 10,576-square-foot lot.

"The units at 7736-42 total 4235 square feet and were constructed in 1940 on a 14,100-square-foot lot."

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Visduh Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:32 a.m.

Matt, could you delve into this matter and determine when Copley Press bought those units and why they were purchased? It seems most unlikely that Helen Copley was into real estate speculation or wanted the corporation to be playing landlord for apartments. More likely, they were acquired for expansion of something Copley owned that was adjacent or close by.

It sure is interesting that Turk ended up buying anything associated with Copley Press. But, hey, business is business.


monaghan Oct. 10, 2011 @ 3:22 p.m.

Isn't this property adjacent to the former Copley Library on Ivanhoe? That would answer Visduh's question, if true.


InOmbra Oct. 12, 2011 @ 9:35 a.m.

Yes, the James S. Copley Library is right next door.


Burwell Oct. 10, 2011 @ 4:30 p.m.

Turk is going to have to build high-rise condos to earn a return on his $5.9 million investment. The 9 rentals likely generate less than $250,000 a year in rent income. Turk would need to generate at least $400,000 in rent income to support his $5.9 million investment. The numbers suggest that Turk is going to raze and develop the property. The community is not going to like it.


monaghan Oct. 12, 2011 @ 8:51 p.m.

A lot of high-end two-story single-family urban-style fortresses have been built on Ivanhoe and Herschel and the north end of Prospect Street in La Jolla in recent years. Architect Jonathan Siegal(sic)even built one for himself on Prospect not long ago, using up the entire footprint on dwelling with a few succulents along the edges for "yard."

These high-tech homes sell for a fortune, even now, at prices higher than two or three or four million dollars, so I don't see Mr. Turk hassling with community planning and coastal rules when all he needs to do is replace nine rentals with nine low-rise single family residences which will sell at a killing and not raise anyone's ire.


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