Mitt Romney sells $23.5 million home following years of opposition from neighbors
Mitt Romney’s infamous San Diego home, which made headlines in 2012 for allegedly planning to install a car elevator, is now in escrow for $23.5 million.
The move comes after years of facing opposition from neighbors for demolishing the original oceanfront structure and replacing it with a larger home.
Anthony Ciani, an architect in La Jolla, California, and a former neighbor of Romney at the time, told The Post that his main beef was with public access to the beach.
“Not all neighbors objected to the Romneys’ project,” Ciani explained, “but others, including myself, disputed their claim to own the sandy beach west of the historic property line, which could jeopardize the beach’s historical public use, and because it uses that additional area of land to build a larger house than would otherwise comply with development regulations.”
“I hope the new owners enjoy their new home and understand how much the public enjoys the beach, ocean, and sunsets that they will have 365 days a year,” Ciani said.
Ciani added, however, that he no longer harbors grudges against Romney for keeping his promise to “dedicate the beach for public use.”
Ciani explained five years ago why the former Republican presidential candidate desired to purchase the home.
“He could have purchased larger, less expensive, and less troublesome houses nearby, but he chose not to,” Ciani told the San Diego Tribune in 2015. “Since the story implied that it was extremely important to him, this is a significant contradiction.”
Romney, 74, and his wife, Ann, paid $12 million for the La Jolla home in 2008, according to property records.
The home had only three bedrooms and five bathrooms when it was purchased, spanning 3,000 square feet.
Today, the new residence is a two-story structure with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms and a total square footage of over 8,100 square feet.
Following completion of the contentious rebuild in late 2015, Romney hired a broker to locate a seller in an off-market transaction, his lawyer confirmed to the San Diego Tribune at the time.
“I can confirm that the under-construction home has been shown to prospective buyers,” said Matthew Peterson, Romney’s 2015 campaign manager.
The rebuild, which drew widespread opposition from residents, included new retaining walls, a rerouted driveway, and a four-car garage with a lift.
In the 2012 presidential election, the home became politicized. While Romney’s opponents used the project to portray him as a wealthy individual out of touch with the American people, the Romney campaign stated that the family required the additional space and lift for his wife, who suffers from multiple sclerosis.
At the time, planning documents outlined plans for a house larger than 11,000 square feet with a library, exercise room, recreation room, and a room for beach gear.
Romney made the announcement during a virtual meeting with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Utah’s largest business association.
The Republican senator and his wife continue to own four additional properties: a 5,900-square-foot home in Holladay, Utah; a ski chalet in Park City, Utah; a vacation home on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire; and a home in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.