Just 500 feet from the magical shoreline of Coronado Island in San Diego, Calif., is a fully restored and stunningly beautiful vintage mansion. The reimagining of the lovely homestead is due to the vision of Funko Pop collectible toy honcho Brian Mariotti, who first noticed the house on a bike ride with his wife Shannon.
Known as the W.A. Gunn House, the home was designed by renowned San Diego architect Richard Requa for a Michigan furniture maker in 1925 and designated a historic residence in 2004. The house was built for $57,000, which sounds like a paltry amount by today’s standards. And it is. But back then, that was still more than 10 times the average cost of homes being built in the area.
The one big problem for the Mariottis: the house was not for sale. But of course, when you’re rich enough, almost everything is for sale! The Mariottis soon and successfully engaged a real estate agent to knock on the door and make a play for the property. In February 2017, the couple paid $12.2 million for what was then a 6,000-square-foot house on half an acre. Not content with the half acre, the couple then negotiated to buy the 2,500-square-foot house next door, which eventually became their garage. That deal cost them another $6 million.
Now one of the largest lots in Coronado, the property includes three buildings and a garden with tranquil fountains and an estancia. Now on the market for $32 million, down from its original ask of $39 million, the compound is listed with Chris Clements, Jan Clements and Lennie Clements at Compass and Joshua Altman of The Altman Brothers at Douglas Elliman. In addition to the 4,142-square-foot main house, with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, the property has a 935-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath guest house with full kitchen, and a pool house.
When the Mariottis took over, their designer, Kim Grant, said they took as their inspiration the Eagles’ “Hotel California” album cover, with the castle-like house with palm trees. The couple updated the house with materials designed to look as old as possible, in keeping with the original design. Old tiles, wooden beams, and stone fireplaces replaced more modern looking additions over the years.
One feature of the house that is distinctly modern is the lower level, which required careful excavation and pumping six million gallons of water out of the area. A costly feat of engineering, the lower level now includes a Star Wars themed home theater, with life-size Storm Troopers, Boba Fett, and additional characters, as well as a golf simulator, a media room with bar, a trophy room, and a 1,300-square foot fitness center and spa replete with dry sauna, massage table, and ice bath. Another media room is decorated with vintage tennis rackets, Mariotti’s favorite sport to play, where he watches the Tennis Channel on a big screen.
Outside, there is a six-hole putting green and a patio with a large dining table and a living room area with a flat screen TV. A swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and three beer taps on a French stone patio, and a garden, with olive and magnolia trees, complete the estate. Total cost to create this masterpiece: well over $20 million.
Tennis fans, Star Wars stans, and golf aficionados would be the ideal new owners, as long as they’re extremely rich. Maybe the sellers will throw in some autographed Funko Pops too!