Honduran mahogany, Brazilian granite, Venetian plaster

Honduran and Cameroonian influences in Olde Del Mar

Many rooms, with a view
  • Many rooms, with a view

2116 Balboa Avenue, Del Mar, 92014

Beds: 5

Baths: 5

Current Owners: Charles & Patricia Zuker

List Price: $10,700,000

Welcome to what’s billed as an “extraordinary seaside Villa in Olde Del Mar,” where one can “enjoy spectacular whitewater ocean, sunset, and Del Mar racetrack views.”

The estate at 2116 Balboa Avenue sits on a hillside ⅓-acre lot that’s fully fenced and gated, sited about a quarter mile from both the beach and fairgrounds. The residence, built in 2004, contains five bedrooms and baths within its nearly 5700 square feet of living area.

The house was “built with a meticulous attention to detail and quality craftsmanship throughout,” with features including “imported marble and mahogany wood flooring,” four indoor fireplaces (with an additional outdoor fire pit), and “Venetian plaster walls.”

Luxury appointments include an office/music room, a temperature-controlled wine room with storage for 2400 bottles, a kitchen described as “a cook’s dream with custom cabinetry in solid Honduran mahogany, Brazilian granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a butler’s pantry, and floor-to-ceiling paneled glass doors that open onto a spacious Cameroon flagstone deck.” The entry-level master retreat “offers an impressive 1000-square-foot view loggia, his and hers walk-in closets, and a romantic bath.”

Other features include three-zone air conditioning, a “built-in music system with independent stations,” reclaimed wood beam and custom “Venetian plaster ceiling vaults,” an elaborate security and monitoring system, computer-controlled radiant floor heating, and “custom-designed solid Honduran mahogany doors, windows and shutters, custom light fixtures, smart wiring,” and the all-inclusive “much more!”

Outside, backyard vines and trained foliage creep up exterior walls, while oversized sliding glass doors open to a large grassy area, “gracious flagstone patios with mature landscaping,” a built-in barbecue, and vanishing edge pool overlooking the ocean below.

The last recorded sale for the property was before the current home’s reported construction date, when it was purchased for $2.2 million by Charles and Patricia Zuker. Charles Zuker is an MIT-educated Chilean neuroscientist affiliated with UC San Diego from 1987 through 2009.

Charles Zuker, working in collaboration with Nick Ryba, “identified and characterized the cells mediating all five basic taste modalities: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. They then demonstrated that individual taste receptor cells are tuned to encode individual taste qualities, and are hardwired to trigger innate behaviors (like attraction to sweet and aversion to bitters).”

In 2009, Zuker transferred to Columbia University in New York. The home was offered for sale at $11,800,000 from February 2009 to January 2010, when it was taken off market and listed as rented for $13,250 per month (two more subsequent rental listings, seeking as much as $15,000 monthly, both report agreements reached at $13,500).

After spending several years off-market, the Balboa residence was re-listed in late July, this time carrying an asking price of $10,700,000 that remains unchanged to date.



Guest bedroom

Guest bedroom







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