A Big Buy on the Beach in La Jolla

BUYER: Gary Barber
LOCATION: Camino de la Costa, La Jolla, CA
PRICE: $17,350,613
SIZE: 9,800 square feet (approx.), 7 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms (approx.)
DESCRIPTION: A truly rare offering…a stunning oceanfront compound with direct access to a secluded sandy beach. Impossible to duplicate today, this magnificent 6BR/9BA gated residence was recently remodeled to perfection. Your buyer will think he is visiting a Four Seasons Resort with all the finest finishes and amenities.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: While many of Wall Street’s formerly rich financiers get increasingly eager (and desperate) to unload their lavish, high maintenance homes, a few entertainment tycoons are shopping up a storm. Thanks to Beachfront Billy Your Mama was directed to a recent article in the La Jolla Light with a headline that screams, “Celebrity Pays $17M for LJ Home.” Some people brake for deer, dogs and old ladees; Your Mama comes to a screeching halt for headlines like that.

The article did not identify the buyer who paid a not very recession-like $17,350,613 for the recently rehabbed oceanfront mansion on swank Camino de la Costa, but public property records clearly show the new owner isn’t so much a “celebrity” as a super producer named Gary Barber who along with Roger Birnbaum, his bizness partner at Spyglass Entertainment, have produced cinematic cash cows including (but far from limited to) The Love Guru, 27 Dresses, Evan Almighty, Seabiscuit, and the Ace Ventura film franchise.

On a side note, Mister Birnbaum’s beatific Beverly Hills house–which Your Mama discussed in mid-April of 2009–is currently on the market with an asking price of $16,000,000.

Mister Barber’s new beach house, according to listing information we were able to scare up off the interweb, shows the dignified Spanish Colonial style casa built in the 1920s wraps around an interior courtyard where a gurgling fountain hints at the sound of the crashing waves at the back of the property. The multi-winged manse measures approximately 9,800 square feet.

There seems to be some discrepancy regarding the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The news reports all say there are 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, while listing information indicates there are 6 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Some other thingymabab we pulled up showed 9 furll and 2 half bathroms. Whatever the case, there are enough sleeping chambers and poop rooms to keep at least one house gurl making hospital corners and scrubbing terlits several hours a day. Your Mama surmises the difference may have something to do with the bit of square footage atop the garage that overlooks the swimming pool which may (or may not) be guest quarters that would account for the extra bedroom and terlit shown in the press reports.

Anyhoo, a little more poking around on the internets turned up some photographs which clearly show Mister Barber’s new beach house is far from a cozy little surf shack. The front door opens to a rotunda-like entrance hall with a curving staircase, swooping wrought iron details and an over the top glittering golden chandelier. The impress the guests foyer as well as the formal living and dining rooms have what appears to be inlaid marble floors, fancy mill work lining the archways in between the rooms and floor to ceiling windows that frame views of the Pacific Ocean. A den or media room has carved paneling, built in shelves for pricey and fussy gewgaws and a trio of arched windows looking out over, you guessed it, the Pacific Ocean. The master suite has another fireplace, access to an oceanfront balcony, a bathroom Marie Antoinette could love and custom fitted closets and dressing rooms.

A small but adequately sized swimming pool is tucked into an ell formed by two wings of the house. a wide terrace runs the full width of the property and a sunbathing terrace with a stone balustrade hangs over the ocean below. The property offers private access to a sandy beach, a surprising rarity on all theses insanely expensive La Jolla houses that do not have direct beach access because they sit high atop vertical cliffs that drop down to the craggy coastline.

While every Mercedes driving real estate agent in La Jolla would probably like to think this high-priced property transaction means the worst of the economic troubles are over. Your Mama would not hold our breath or bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that is the case because it just might get worse before it gets better, particularly in California where a behemoth budget crisis threatens to bankrupt the state, a situation that surely makes all you California haters salivate with real estate righteousness.

On a lighter note, records would indicate that Mister Barber also owns a 4,270 square foot penthouse apartment with 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms in a posh high-rise on Wilshire Boo-lay-vard which he and the wifey picked up in December of 2003 for an undisclosed amount of money.

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