If you’ve got $ 34 million, there’s a Coronado mansion with ocean views, 12 bedrooms, marble floors, and a 20-person dining room with your name on it.

Built in 1902, the sprawling 23,957-square-foot Crown Manor on Ocean Boulevard – one of San Diego County’s most historic homes – recently went on sale with a slew of upgrades. Even if there weren’t a famous house there, the land alone would cost a fortune as it is across the street from one of America’s most famous beaches and a short walk from the hotel Del Coronado.

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The owner tried to list Crown Manor for $ 25 million in 2018, when the luxury market was not as vibrant as it is today. This time he took the bet with millions spent on upgrades and better timing.

Improvements, such as an advanced air and water purification system, set it apart from its 2018 list. However, while upgrades create more value, it’s not just a few new bells. and whistles which caused a price hike of $ 9 million – it was probably luck to catch a big buyer. The luxury housing market in San Diego County is the hottest in years and shows no signs of slowing down.

One of the many stylish living spaces at Crown Manor in Coronado.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Homes $ 4 million and over were selling on average 162 days at the end of August – up from 302 days at the same time last year and 544 in 2019, Orange County housing reports said. That’s even faster for homes of $ 2-4 million, which sold in 51 days, compared to 92 days in 2020 and 306 days in 2019.

“You can put a $ 4 million house on the market and have two offers by next week,” said Steven Thomas, founder of Reports on Housing.

He said part of the reason the San Diego luxury market is so hot is that it is still viewed as a more affordable option on the California coast for wealthy shoppers. The fortunes of most affluent Americans have increased during the pandemic, in part because of heavy exposure to the stock market boom and the ability to work from home.

The Crown Manor billiard room in Coronado.

The Crown Manor billiard room in Coronado.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

A Wall Street Journal analysis found that most Americans in 2020 gained in wealth, but more than 70% of the increase went to households that are in the top 20%.

If Crown Manor sells around its listing price, the mansion will join a growing list of top home sales during the pandemic. Bill and Melinda Gates (before the divorce) bought 2808 Ocean Front from Del Mar for $ 43 million in April 2020, and 8466 El Paseo Grande in La Jolla were bought for $ 24.7 million at the end of December 2020. Mitt Romney Former Republican presidential candidate and current Utah senator sold his beachfront home in La Jolla in July for $ 23.5 million. The buyer was William Rastetter, a biotechnology entrepreneur from San Diego, and his wife Marisa.

    This room was used for meditation at Crown Manor in Coronado.

This room was used for meditation at Crown Manor in Coronado.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

What defines “luxury” is a moving target in San Diego County. Housing reports typically put it at $ 1.25 million and above, but the median home price is catching up. In July, the median home price was $ 730,500, CoreLogic / DQNews said. Home improvement site Porch released a study in August that predicted the San Diego County price to be around $ 940,933 in one year.

San Diego isn’t the only market to see the line between luxury and median home prices blur, with home prices rising 18.6% annually in June, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes . The National Association of Realtors said the number of sales of homes nationwide priced over $ 1 million year-on-year in May was up 244.5 percent. That is from $ 250,000 to $ 500,000 homes up 47.9 percent.

Push down on a shelf to reveal this hidden underground bar at Crown Manor in Coronado.

Push down on a shelf to reveal this hidden underground bar at Crown Manor in Coronado.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Crown Manor stands out among ultra-luxury listings because it sits outside of where we’ve seen the highest prices in recent years: Del Mar, La Jolla, and Rancho Santa Fe. There are currently only two other homes for sale for over $ 30 million in San Diego County, and both are in Rancho Santa Fe.

Listing Agent Scott Aurich likes to say that Crown Manor is Southern California’s most iconic estate. It’s up for debate, but he clearly has a rich history of famous guests, including former President Bill Clinton. In an effort to preserve its historic designation, and because the eight owners probably didn’t want to change a good thing, very little of the property has been altered since the turn of the 20th century.

This large space features an early 1900s piano and music players at Crown Manor in Coronado.

This large space features an early 1900s piano and music players at Crown Manor in Coronado.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

“The details of this house have been so well preserved,” Aurich said on Tuesday during a visit.

Aurich, an agent for Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, said Crown Manor is a value purchase because the property is historically designated and property taxes are lower than other properties of its size due to the Mills Act. It also means that there cannot be any significant changes made. at home because of its historic designation. The house was designed by William Sterling Hebbard and Irving Gill, who is considered the area’s most eminent and innovative architect, said the San Diego History Center.

Gill’s work includes The Green Dragon cottages in La Jolla (demolished), the experimental cottages at Hillcrest and Sherman Heights to make housing more affordable, the Marston House in Balboa Park (now a museum), the fountain at Horton Plaza ( still there despite the recent demolition of the tech campus mall), Bishop’s School in La Jolla (there are still three of its buildings on campus) and many houses and churches in San Diego County.

Bill Clinton stayed in this suite in the 1990s at Crown Manor in Coronado.

Bill Clinton stayed in this suite in the 1990s at Crown Manor in Coronado.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The property has been owned by private equity manager Christopher Bower since the early 2000s. Property records show the house was last sold for $ 5.5 million in 2000. Bower scrapped plans to rent the mansion for overnight stays and events last summer after neighbors walked away. be complained. The Coronado Planning Commission rejected his original plan and he decided not to resubmit it. Aurich said Bower was selling because he hadn’t lived in the house for several years and had other properties in the area and in Florida.

Crown Manor is considered part of the Revival Tudor style with gabled roofs and a red brick exterior. It has been a Coronado Historic Landmark since 1979 and is sometimes also referred to as the Richards-Dupee House.

The Crown Manor in Coronado has a saltwater swimming pool.

The Crown Manor in Coronado has a saltwater swimming pool.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Its features include an enclosed garden, 12 bathrooms, extravagant chandeliers, a 600 square foot dining room, a game room, a ‘butler’s kitchen’, a gym, saunas, staff rooms. and a saltwater swimming pool.

There are also some jaw-dropping amenities that a luxury buyer is unlikely to find in modern homes. It has a full salon on the second floor that could save you a trip to a barber, assuming a stylist is on staff. There is a sensory deprivation tank in the basement and a full swap bar hidden behind a shelf. Unlike modern speakeasies, popular in luxury homes, this one existed during Prohibition.

Much of the property has little details that can be easy to miss but have some interesting stories. In a smaller dining room – this one for breakfast – there is a painting at the top of the walls which depicts an English countryside with polo players on horseback and, although this does not make sense geographically , Crown Manor is perched on a hill.

The view of the beach and the Pacific Ocean from the second floor of Crown Manor in Coronado.

The view of the beach and the Pacific Ocean from the second floor of Crown Manor in Coronado.

(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Crown Manor has had eight owners since it was built. The house was commissioned by banker and rancher Bartlett Richards. Its most famous resident was probably Mr. Larry Lawrence, a real estate investor and major donor to the Democratic Party, who once owned the Hotel del Coronado. Bill and Hillary Clinton were his guests on at least two occasions.

Aurich said he recently had discussions with three potential buyers, all outside of San Diego County. Like the entire housing market, there is a dearth of homes available for sale in the luxury space – likely increasing Crown Manor’s exposure.

In July, 40 homes sold for $ 4 million and more in San Diego County, up from 28 at the same time last year, when there were more homes on the market. As of mid-August, there were 211 homes for sale in the $ 4 million-plus range, up from 258 at the same time last year.

* * *

Biggest home sales during the pandemic

1.2808 Ocean Front, Del Mar: $ 43 million (03/27/2020)

2. 8466 El Paseo Grande, La Jolla: $ 24.7 million (12/22/2020)

3.17111 El Vuelo, Rancho Santa Fe: $ 22.9 million (1/15/2021)

4 (tie). 311 Sea Ridge Drive, La Jolla: $ 20 million (1/19/2021)

5 (tie). 7010 El Camino Del Norte, Rancho Santa Fe: $ 20 million (8/28/2020)

Source: Association of Greater San Diego Realtors