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On May 30, the late David Copley's downtown condo was sold to software whiz Steve G. Bjorg for $3.4 million, according to Redfin and real estate records. Copley had purchased the condo when John Moores, former Padres owner, was searching for tenants for the luxury building near Petco Park. The Union-Tribune was passionately in favor of the $300 million subsidy for the ballpark. The address is 165 6th Ave. Homeowner association fees are $3,559 a month. It appears that Bjorg may have paid cash. According to Redfin, the condo is 4000 square feet, and has a dining room with 25-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, affording a look at Petco Park, among other things. (At the time of the purchase, people on the staff did not seem to know if David Copley had any interest in baseball.) The kitchen has four ovens and two dishwashers. There are three balconies and several fireplaces, and four parking spaces below the building.

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aardvark June 2, 2013 @ 11:02 p.m.

Wonder how much Copley paid for it initially.


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 6:53 a.m.

aardvark: That should have been made public back at the time of the purchase. I didn't have time to research that and some other questions. The purpose of a blog item is often to get the news out first. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 3, 2013 @ 8:26 a.m.

Don--I had the time to look, but I fully admit, I was too lazy.


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 9:13 a.m.

Aardvark. Your species is not known for sloth. You folks eat ants to gather energy. Best, don bauder


aardvark June 3, 2013 @ 11:30 a.m.

Now I know why I'm fat--we have ants all over the yard. I can't eat fast enough!


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 12:15 p.m.

aardvark: Dylan Thomas wrote a poem about you: "Some few small ants, not wanted in the kitchen nor anywhere else for that matter, sat on the very edges of their chairs, afraid to break, like faded cups and saucers, just waiting for aardvark to lick the saucers." Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 12:29 p.m.

addendum: If memory serves me (and I refuse to look this up), "some few small aunts, not wanted in the kitchen nor anywhere else for that matter, sat on the very edges of their chairs, poised and brittle, afraid to break, like faded cups and saucers." I forgot the "poised and brittle" and I am not sure the word "poised" is correct, but "brittle" represents the purest example of Thomas poetry. It's from Child's Christmas in Wales. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 3, 2013 @ 9:03 a.m.

I do know it was originally listed for just under $4 million when his estate put it up for sale.


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 9:19 a.m.

It was listed for a bit more fully furnished, 3.75 million dollars. Best, don bauder


laplayaheritage June 3, 2013 @ 9:05 a.m.

<p>Zillow.com has great information on home values through Tax Assessment. Not sure if this is the unit, but Unit 3001 had a 2005 value of 2.865 million.


The largest unit 8,853 square feet is Unit 3101 which has a current value of $3.9 million. In 2005, the Tax Assessment was $3.5 million.



Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 9:28 a.m.

laplayaheritage: The unit was 2602. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 3, 2013 @ 11:35 a.m.

3101 might have been Moores' condo. I thought he had part (if not all) of the top floor so he could watch his neighborhood (and his wallet) grow.


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 12:12 p.m.

aardvark: And he could laugh at San Diego taxpayers who anted up for his toy that he should have paid for himself. And laugh uproariously at a compliant city council willing to break rules and agreements to subsidize him. After raking in $700,000 to $1 billion by peddling ballpark district real estate that he was given for very little money, he rode off to Texas, chuckling all the way. Best, Don Bauder


dwbat June 3, 2013 @ 4:09 p.m.

Copley's life is a good example that extreme money doesn't necessarily bring happiness. Buying multiple expensive homes, luxury cars, boats, jewelry, etc. ultimately is not satisfying. What did he leave behind as his legacy? He did give a pile of money to several nonprofits, so that's something.


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 6:50 p.m.

dwbat: David Copley gave to the arts. But the priceless Americana in the Copley museum was sold at auction. Apparently, a very small portion of the items was given away locally. The estate is also auctioning off very valuable artworks -- originals by famous artists. They should have been donated to San Diego museums of art. Best, Don Bauder


rdotinga June 3, 2013 @ 9:51 p.m.

Jeez, people are mighty judgmental about Copley. He gave away a tremendous amount of money and kept the U-T afloat without layoffs longer than just about any other major publisher. People who knew him say he was a kind and generous but shy man. Fate gave him some advantages (wealth) but major challenges (a difficult family, his sexual orientation). In death, as in life, the man deserves a break from maniacal over-judgment, especially from those who aren't exactly selfless monks themselves.


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 10:21 p.m.

rdotinga: David Copley was kind, shy, indecisive. He had the title of chief executive officer after his mother died, but he really was not. Chuck Patrick, COO, effectively ran the company, and not too well, greatly because he had no real operating experience in any area of the media business. People talk about how generous David was, but he did not leave enough of his art and historical items to San Diego. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh June 5, 2013 @ 10:05 a.m.

Don, I'm with you on that. David was heavily involved with the Museum of Contemporary Art and some other arts and educational groups, but after his mother died he turned avaricious. When the Copley Press sold off the Illinois papers, it was on favorable terms, but it kept the U-T too long. That paper, which was valued at more than $ 1 billion not too long ago went for a fire sale price to Platinum that was a tiny fraction of its value just three or four years prior. That meant, I'd surmise, that David lost his status as a billionaire at that point. But just why he seemed compelled to liquidate all the holdings to hoard cash, we will never know. The Copley dynasty, starting with Ira Copley and continuing through Jim to Helen all wanted to leave some sort of legacy. They all wanted what was best--in their view, of course--for the city and county. (There were widely divergent opinions of what constituted civic betterment.) His mother managed to get the Copley name on a few things, such as Symphony Hall, but on the whole she will not be long remembered. Then David, with the last chance for a Copley legacy, sold off the library and its marvelous collection, and his estate apparently will liquidate what is left of his art and other collections, and the real estate. No legacy there. And why a guy with no conventional family to think of would become so greedy in life and in death, again, we will never know.


Don Bauder June 5, 2013 @ 9:42 p.m.

Visduh: David had a great interest in modern and contemporary art. I do not know if he gave any of it to the contemporary museum. I do know that a lot of the original art, including great works by Impressionists, went to auction, or will go. (I have lost track of whether the auction has taken place.) There may have been estate tax considerations in these decisions. Auctioning off the Copley Library Americana was a bad move, although I understand some of it was donated in San Diego. As I have written many times, the Copley management got a great price for the Ohio and Illinois papers, selling at the peak of the market. But the U-T, valued only a few years earlier at $1 billion, went at almost the bottom of the market, for around $50 million, to Platinum Equity. Randy Dotinga commented that David was slow to cut the staff, and that is true, but not a feather in David's cap. The U-T staff was thoroughly bloated, particularly after the LA Times invaded the market, and U-T editors convinced La Jolla management that there had to be massive hiring. There was, and the paper went from overstaffed to ridiculously overstaffed. So in the end, David was not doing favors to the employees by keeping the place too fat too long. Best, Don Bauder


Duhbya June 6, 2013 @ 7:25 a.m.

Don, the auction was apparently held at Sotheby's last month. I couldn't yet find any mention of the results.



Duhbya June 6, 2013 @ 8:03 a.m.

Upon further review.....I was able to find some data on the results. The overall take on the lot containing the Copley pieces was $52,296,000. There were a (very) few non-Copley items in the lot, including the highest priced piece, a Renoir that went for $1,925,000. Copley's painting by Camille Pissaro, signed and dated (1878) by the artist, was the next highest at $1,805,000. The lowest price paid was $2500.00, perhaps for an engraved invitation to a soiree at Foxhole, or some other inappreciable crumb.


Don Bauder June 6, 2013 @ 9 a.m.

Duhbya: That Pissaro was probably worth $1.8 million. He was a great Impressionist. Helen had an English landscape -- I believe it was by Constable. She also had an original French Impressionist piece I remember -- possibly by Monet. I will think of it. I was only at Foxhill once that I can recall. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 6, 2013 @ 10:57 a.m.

Duhbya: I don't know what happened to the Constable -- that is, if she indeed had a Constable. I was there at some point in the early 1980s, and that was a long time ago. Possibly the French Impressionist piece was by Pissaro. I seem to remember it. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 6, 2013 @ 8:19 a.m.

Duhbya: It will be interesting to see how much those artworks fetched. It would be nice if somebody on the Copley board would come forward and say the art and Americana were sold because of estate tax implications. Copley Press made tax moves after Helen died. Those moves raised questions about tax planning before her death. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK June 3, 2013 @ 7:27 a.m.

being owned by Copley have anything to do with the price?


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 9:29 a.m.

Murphyjunk: The fact that the unit was part of the Copley estate was a sales point. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK June 3, 2013 @ 12:46 p.m.

right up there with Jon Voight’s Pencil ?


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 12:58 p.m.

Murphyjunk: That is one that goes right over my head. I don't know who John Voight is so obviously don't know what the Pencil reference is all about. You will have to explain these things to an old man. Best, Don Bauder


tomjohnston June 3, 2013 @ 7:59 p.m.

John Voight the actor. Midnight Cowboy, Deliverance, Catch-22. Ring any bells?? Perhaps better known to the current generation as Angelina Jolie's father? Jon Voight’s Pencil is something that you would DEFINITELY NOT get. It was an episode from Seinfeld.


Don Bauder June 3, 2013 @ 10:28 p.m.

tomjohnston: Midnight Cowboy does ring a bell. Admittedly, I have gone through life without watching sitcoms or going to many movies. Nor did I watch Seinfeld, but I do know who he is. (It seems to me I did watch part of one show and couldn't figure out what was funny.) At least, I admit I am not up on popular culture. I remember one time at the U-T. Somebody had written a book with a title something like "Invest Like Warren Buffett, Live Like Jimmy Buffett." I went out into the financial department and asked if anyone had ever heard of Jimmy Buffett. They howled. Best, Don Bauder


tomjohnston June 4, 2013 @ 8:51 a.m.

As an unabashedly proud Parrothead of some 40 yrs, let me introduce, or reintroduce you to one Mr. Jimmy Buffett: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-26/welcome-to-margaritaville-the-most-lucrative-song-ever


Don Bauder June 4, 2013 @ 9:25 a.m.

tomjohnston: Many thanks for sending the article, but I still don't know much about Jimmy Buffett. Did he play guitar? Sing rock and roll? Solo? Etc. I was surprised to learn that the highest-ranking pop song was something called "You've Lost That Loving Feeling." I have never heard of it, nor have I heard of the Righteous Brothers. Second is "Yesterday" by the Beatles. I have heard of the Beatles, of course, but have never heard the song "Yesterday" to my knowledge (unless I heard it in an elevator.) I do know "Happy Birthday to You." It has been sung to me at least 76 times. Nobody sang it to me on my 77th birthday, which was just a few days ago. Best, Don Bauder


tomjohnston June 4, 2013 @ 10:48 a.m.

"Nobody sang it to me on my 77th birthday" It's hard to believe that after 76 consecutive annual performances such an act could have been merely forgotten. Perhaps there is a message being conveyed with the abandonment of such a long standing tradition. Personally, I've never though of my birthday as anything special, so I don't know. I'm just sayin'. Sometimes things, or in this case the lack of, just makes you wanna go hmmmmmmmmm!!!


And the point was that Jimmy Buffett is worth a half a billion dollars, mostly from a little 4 chord ditty about being drunk.

God Bless America.

LOL x2

Of course my personal favorite, for about the last 40 yrs has always been "Why Don't We Get Drunk", which has all of 5 chords, so doesn't that speak volumes about me!!!!!

LOL x3


Don Bauder June 4, 2013 @ 4:39 p.m.

Tomjohnston. The family that has the rights to "Happy Birthday to You" oft,en goes to court to sue those who exploit it. Or,at least that used to be true. Best, Don Bauder


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