Senator Mitt Romney voted to sell his controversial La Jolla, Calif., beach house in an off-market deal, it has emerged. (The New York Post had the scoop, and their article includes some good images of the house.) Romney paid $12 million for the property in 2008; tore down the existing three-bedroom structure, and built a new, much larger house. Biotech entrepreneur and venture capitalist William Rastetter and his wife, Marisa, have paid $23.5 million for the place.
You probably remember the property from Romney’s presidential 2012 campaign. Democrats pounced on a filthy rich ex-governor quadrupling the size of his oceanfront house and adding a two-level, four-car garage with a mechanized lift, characterizing Romney as someone who couldn’t understand the middle class. “The cars,” Politico reported, “will have their own separate elevator.” Out of touch? Doesn’t every Joe Sixpack have a car lift? “The cars get the elevator, the workers get the shaft,” said Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan.
Actually, the car lift was a smart design solution for the house, given its petite plot of land. Which, itself, served as the basis for a lot of complaints from neighbors. The 8,153 square foot house, with five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, was deemed by locals to be too large for the narrow 0.42 of an acre plot. It also spoiled some of the neighbors’ ocean views.
Today, the Romneys are out of La Jolla but hardly homeless. Mitt and Ann own at least three other properties: their 5,900-square-foot new build main residence in Holladay, Utah (which includes a secret room); an 11-acre vacation home on Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H., purchased in 1997 for $3 million; and a house in the Washington, D.C. area.