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High-End Coastal Living Offers an Experience You Can’t Top

If you haven’t lived in San Diego County for any length of time, you might wonder why there is just one prominent high-rise along the shore from La Jolla to Point Loma. At 21 stories, it is quite visible from land on a clear day and can serve as a navigation point for ships at sea.

The building is 939 Coast Blvd. in La Jolla with 162 luxury residential condominiums.

“It’s 21 stories, but only 18 stories of residences,” said Todd Bloom, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in La Jolla for the past 17 years. “There isn’t a 13th floor and the first few floors are the garage, lobby and other common areas.”

Bloom said there is a lot of history and controversy surrounding the building. Its construction in the late 1960s was met with fierce opposition from citizens and government officials. Constructed of all steel and concrete, “there is not another building like it; the Coastal Commission will not allow another building like it to be built,” he said.

Not only would it not get by the Coastal Commission, but in reaction to 939 Coast Blvd. and other projects along the coast during this time, Proposition D was approved by more than 60 percent of the voters in 1972. The measure restricts the height of buildings in the coastal zone to

The dining room of Unit 15HJ at 939 Coast Blvd. in La Jolla. Photo courtesy of PreviewFirst

no more than 30 feet.

The building stands alone on the coast as a result.

Bloom, a native San Diegan and La Jolla resident, has a listing at 939 Coast Blvd. Unit 19F for $2.295 million.

“It’s a wonderful building,” Bloom said. “It has full-service concierge, the guys at the front desk are as helpful as they can be, they’ll bring your car up, your dry cleaning up; they’ll do anything you want.”

Bloom said when clients tell him they want a full-service building the choices are limited in La Jolla. There are three. The Seville, which overlooks the La Jolla Country Club on one side and the ocean on the other; 464 Prospect St., originally Scripps Hospital and renovated into a luxury 41-unit building; and 939 Coast Blvd.

Bloom’s Unit 19F listing is two bedrooms, two baths with 1,950 square feet. Bloom said his clients bought it from a woman from Mexico City who used it as a second home.

Bloom has another property in escrow, Unit 17E listed at $2 million to $2.2 million. The unit last sold in 1994 for $550,000.

“It’s closing the end of April,” Bloom said. “It sold very quickly; it sold in the first week.”

The view from the office in Unit 19F at 939 Coast Blvd. is on the market for .295 million. Photo courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

Bloom said his clients intend to gut the property, “which is what people usually do there.”

Cher Conner, also a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, has a listing on Unit 15HJ, currently the highest priced in the building at $3.2 million.

“It’s two units put together, Conner said. “It’s completely redone from the studs out.”

Conner, who has been selling real estate for 40 years, said the views from this unit are north shore views all the way to the snow in the mountains, overlooking the Pink Lady (the La Valencia Hotel) at night and wraps around to views of the village.

“The master bedroom has views overlooking La Jolla Cove and all the way to the south,” Conner said. “It’s an extraordinary unit.”

Conner said because the condo combines two units, it has two parking spaces and allows two pets under 40 pounds.

Ordinarily, the units are restricted to one parking spot and one pet.

“It also has a fireplace,” she said. “I have not seen that before in 939.”

It is a 2,286-square-foot unit with two bedrooms, two and a half baths, parquet floors, all electric blinds, powder room, walk-in pantry, laundry and a walk-in closet.

This is the third time Conner has represented this particular unit. The first time she represented the unit was for two sisters who donated the proceeds from the sale to a children’s hospital in Tijuana.

Conner has another listing for sale, Unit 6G, which she said is the least expensive two bedroom in the building. It, too, is an estate sale and listed for $1.149 million.

A 21-story luxury residential condominium building at 939 Coast Blvd. in La Jolla. Photo courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

Not surprisingly, the homeowner’s fees attached to the units in 939 Coast Blvd. are steep, but predictable given the location, amenities and services. Conner’s Unit 15HJ is $1,820 a month and Bloom’s Unit 19F is $1,532. The least expensive condo currently for sale in the building is $499,000 for a studio with 432 square feet and a homeowner’s fee of $700. Jeffrey Presar of Presar Realty has the listing on the latter.

Initially called the Huntley Building, nearly a half-century has gone by since 939 Coast Blvd. was built. According to the La Jolla Historical Society, even Herbert Hoover, a frequent visitor to La Jolla, objected to it. Conversely, if it were not for the opposition to 939 Coast Blvd. and the subsequent passage of Prop. D, San Diego’s coastline could have been more like Miami Beach than the accessible, beautiful coastline it is today. Or, worse yet, we could have had the other mid-1960s Huntley project go through, which was to put seven, 18-story buildings atop Mount Soledad.

Send luxury real estate items to sglidden@sdbj.com.

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