Empire Ranch

Three houses on 4500 acres, $17 million — cheap (for some).

How many properties come with their own mile-long runway?
  • How many properties come with their own mile-long runway?

For some, having virtually limitless access to money leads to the desire for the perfect private retreat to partake in outdoor hobbies. These individuals might find their ideal getaway in the Laguna Mountains near the small town of Boulevard.

1758 Jewell Valley Road, Boulevard, 91905

Current owner: East County Boulevard LLC

List price: $17,000,000

Beds: 6 (plus bunkhouse)

Baths: 3

House size: 3000 square feet

The property at 1758 Jewell Valley Road, dubbed Empire Ranch, boasts by far the largest lot size of any residential property currently offered for sale in San Diego County, checking in with 4500 acres of hills, valleys, oak groves, and ponds. Equestrian trails meander about the property, as do “approximately 50 miles of drivable roads,” most unpaved for off-road enthusiasts.

“Relax amongst the lush grounds, the mature oak trees, and the tranquil lake,” invites the listing. The property is high enough in the mountains to receive a dusting of snow at times, even during San Diego’s mild winters.

For those who don’t want to make the 70-mile drive into the city, the property even has its own “expertly maintained” 5000-foot private landing strip that “most likely will continue to have approval for the new owners, allowing for fly in and fly out recreation.”

The horse facilities, however, are a primary selling point at this “equestrian retreat.” In addition to the private trails, the property has its own stables, corrals, and even a lighted polo field.

Living quarters consist of three 1930s-era two-bedroom homes to accommodate vacationers, as well as a bunk house to provide room for up to 20 guests.

The horse facilities are a primary selling point.

The horse facilities are a primary selling point.

Ownership of the ranch, as with many high-value pieces of real estate, gets a bit murky. Just a few months before being listed for sale, the property was transferred to 569 East County Boulevard LLC from the Lansing Industries Inc. Profit Sharing Plan & Trust (Lansing is a San Diego–based real estate developer), which got it from Empire II LLC, where it was placed by various members of the Haagen family, descendants of the powerful real estate developer Alexander Haagen, who developed numerous shopping malls in the Los Angeles area and famously clashed with former Los Angeles Raiders owner Al Davis during the team’s stay in Southern California. Haagen’s grandson, Alexander III, owns the Empire Polo Club, home to the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

1758 Jewell Valley Road

A search of public records failed to turn up information on other entities that have possessed the title, including Boulevard Empire LLC and Padoma Wind Power LLC. These companies appear to indicate commercial use has been explored for the land, though it’s currently being marketed only as a vacation retreat.

The property’s listing agent did not respond to a request for clarification or comment.

Empire Ranch was listed for sale on May 31, asking for offers in the $15,000,000-$17,000,000 range. Nearly three months later, it remains available, with no change to the list price.

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These stories blow my mind. I cannot imagine these places.

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