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Spreckels Mansion to Be Listed for $16.9 Million Soon—Same as in 2005

Scott Aurich of Pacific Sotheby's International Realty says century-old home has been renovated.

The historic Spreckels mansion, scene of the mysterious Shacknai/Zahau deaths in 2011, will be on the market again soon, it was reported Tuesday.

The home at 1043 Ocean Blvd. is expected to be listed within the next four to six weeks for the asking price of $16.9 million, real estate broker Scott Aurich of Pacific Sotheby's International Realty told U-T San Diego.

By coincidence, $16.9 million is the same price asked in June 2005, according to a U-T column by Roger Showley.

In June 2011, Patch reported an investment group had bought the home from Jonah Shacknai and would list it for sale for $14.5 million.

In July 2011, millionaire Shacknai's 6-year-old son, Max, was severely injured in a second-story fall while under the supervision of Shacknai's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau. Two days later, while Max remained hospitalized, Zahau was found bound and hanging from the mansio’s balcony.

Authorities ruled her death a suicide.

Max was pronounced dead in a San Diego hospital five days after his fall.

Shacknai’s ex-wife and Max’s mother, Dina Shacknai, has publicly questioned authorities’ assertion that Max’s death was an accident. She formally requested the investigation into Max’s death be reopened, but authorities denied the request.

Following the deaths, Jonah Shacknai, CEO and founder of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. in Arizona, entered a deal with a group of investors to renovate the 12,750-square-foot house for resale. The terms of that deal were never released.

Aurich told U-T San Diego the recently completed renovations include a new roof on the main house, exterior paint, refurbished wood flooring and upgrades to several rooms, including the master bedroom and kitchen.

Shacknai bought the 10-bedroom, 9.5-bath Spreckels Mansion in March 2007 for $12.75 million, the newspaper reported.

The mansion was built more than 100 years ago by architect Harrison Albright for San Diego luminary John D. Spreckels. It includes a main house and two auxiliary residences.

The power-broker industrialist, who made his initial fortune in shipping and sugar refineries, moved to Coronado with his family in 1908 and was known as the wealthiest man in the San Diego area in the early 20th century.

At various times, Spreckels, who died in 1926 at age 72, owned the Hotel Del Coronado, all of North Island, the San Diego-Coronado Ferry System, Union- Tribune Publishing Co., San Diego & Arizona Railway and Belmont Park in Mission Beach.

Spreckels also built several notable downtown buildings, including the Union Building in 1908, the Spreckels Theatre in 1913, the San Diego Hotel and the Golden West Hotel.

Showley also wrote in 2005:

Spreckels’ widow, Ellie, who remarried in 1947, remodeled the home that year. By 1975, after several years of being vacant, the house was sold for $275,000 to Dave Gillingham, now a Palm Desert resident, who made numerous improvements and upgrades before selling it in 1979.

The home sold in 1986 for less than $1.7 million, Showley said.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

Tripp March 21, 2013 at 04:36 AM
The Monster's Murder Mansion aka Jonah's House of Horrors.
No Greater Fool March 21, 2013 at 02:04 PM
The Greater Fool theory holds that people pay unrealistic amounts for real estate hoping to sell it to a Greater Fool in the future. In this case, there is no greater fool who would pay 16.9 million for a house that sold for less than 1.7 million in 1986. Add to that, the house is a murder scene whose owner obviously did a makeover to cover it up. When couples buy a house, the woman makes the decision and the guy goes along. No woman will want that house.
Laker's fan March 22, 2013 at 04:03 AM
I wonder how stupid the new owner would feel when a new investigation reveals the previous owner viciously murdered his own son and girlfriend? Good luck re-selling that property. The next owner will be stuck with ghost and bad karma for eternity.
Ray Cakel March 27, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Three questions - What kind of demented person sells the house for profit where his child and girlfriend met an early suspicious demise? Who buys a house where two people meet an early suspicious demise? Are there no other homes for sale where death isn't the main selling point?
Tripp March 27, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Sicko Aurich acts like the murder adds to the mystique of the historical home. WHAT A PIG!

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