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La Jolla’s historic beach cottages on market for $10 million each

With a longstanding dispute over ownership of La Jolla’s Red Roost and Red Rest beach cottages finally resolved, and a lawsuit brought against their owners by the city settled, the historic beach cottages are once again for sale.

“The asking price is $10 million per property — that’s the starting point for a letter of intent,” said John Kline of The Registry Real Estate Group which is representing the century-old California bungalow-style cottages at 1179 and 1187 Coast Blvd.

“We’re looking for a new, joint venture partner,” said Richard Annen, an attorney representing La Jolla Cove Properties, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of La Jolla Cove Motel and Hotel Apartments which owns La Jolla Cove Suites at 1155 Coast Blvd. and the two beach cottages.

Annen said a 9-year-old ownership dispute between his client and other families who’d jointly owned several properties together — including the Red Roost and Red Rest — was recently resolved.

“The dispute was over the fair division of those properties, and we’ve finally worked that out and my client is now the sole owner of the beach cottages,” said Annen.

Annen added a lawsuit initiated by the city of San Diego on Oct. 14, 2008, charging Cove Properties Inc. with several code enforcement misdemeanor violations for their failure to properly maintain the property and the historical bungalows in a manner preserving their historical integrity has also ended.

“In January 2010 the city dismissed the criminal complaint after we convinced them that pursuing criminal charges was not the right thing to do,” Annen said. “We told the city we would enter into an agreement with them to maintain the properties. Now that we’ve gotten rid of the criminal complaint, we will now actually pursue bringing in a joint venture partner.”

Bruce Coons, executive director of Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), a nonprofit devoted since 1969 to promoting and supporting preservation of regional architectural, cultural and historical links and landmarks, questioned both the estimated value of the historic beach cottage properties as well as the sincerity of their sale offer.

“We welcome them (owners) to realistically put those properties on the market,” said Coons. “If they’re looking for a partner, we know a number of them out there who are very interested in partnership. We think this is just another delaying tactic.”

Annen responded that the asking price for the Red Roost and Red Rest will be “negotiated in a private transaction.”

He countered Coons’ perception that the cottages are overvalued. “There’s a development down the street with three condos on it that’s selling for $15 million,” he said. “This is not a delaying tactic — it is anything but.”

A huge redevelopment deal involving Cove Properties, La Valencia Hotel and Emar Development of Dubai, had been proposed in 2008.It called for redeveloping the historic beach cottages and putting in a new hotel on the La Jolla Cove Suite site with high-end residential condos tied in with the hotel. That proposal would also have included an entrance off Prospect Street with new retail. But the deal fell through when the recession hit undercutting the real estate market and cutting access to credit.