700 Front Street #2063, San Diego, 92101
Current Owner: Raskin Family
List Price: $4,750,000
The region’s priciest condo, a 26th-floor corner unit in the Meridian building at 700 Front Street, promises prospective buyers “exclusive living style in the heart of Downtown San Diego.”
With more than 3200 square feet of living space including three bedroom suites and “expansive views of San Diego from every room,” the home features interior design work from the “renowned Fred Gemmell” of Matrix Design Studio, a local high-end architecture and interior design firm that also offers custom-made furnishings for the spaces it designs.
“The custom interior is as exclusive and divine as the water views with an abundant amount of tasteful exotic wood built ins and accents,” promise listing materials.
That interior includes the “huge kitchen” with a built-in wood-faced refrigerator, arched stone countertops, and a bar facing the dining area with seating for nine, built-in wine storage with room for 400 bottles, two west-facing living areas connected by an L-shaped private exterior deck, and an automated home system providing “lighting design for every mood.”
“The Meridian is a full-service residence building,” the listing continues, where your $1746 monthly homeowner’s association fee includes access to “24-hour parking attendants for residents and guests, door Persons (it is likely a Meridian resident will never touch the front door), porters, concierges, bicycle valet, and more.” The “lush” common areas include a pool and spa with covered cabanas, barbecue area, and a fitness center complete with “his and her changing rooms, lockers, showers, sauna and steam.”And, “The Meridian offers residents five hotel-like rooms for guests.”
Sited a block west of Horton Plaza and three blocks north of the convention center, the property is “centrally located to just about everything, but away from the louder noise of the Gaslamp,” with easy access to an abundance of downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment offerings.
Unit 2602 last sold in late 2005 for a reported $5.5 million, though its current assessed tax value is only $3.5 million, which carries an annual tax bill of just over $41,000. The official value is up $1.15 million from the 2015 assessment of $2,350,000, indicating that, like many other wealthy property owners, the Phoenix-based Raskin family applied for a reassessment during the housing crash of the late 2000s to reduce property-tax obligations. While an effective short-term strategy, properties granted such a reduction are exempt from Proposition 13’s cap of 2 percent annual increase in assessed value, and can quickly be re-assessed up to their original value as the market rebounds.
Some controversy exists surrounding the estate of late family patriarch Donald Raskin, a Phoenix-area jeweler. According to a lawsuit brought by his daughter against his wife, Raskin “died on May 17, 2015, at his residence in San Diego, California, from a gunshot wound.” The daughter alleges that “Defendant was physically, verbally, emotionally, and financially abusive to her husband, which led to his death. She alleges that Defendant and Decedent’s care giver were having an affair at the time and that both were present when he died” in a wrongful death suit.
While the lowest entry point into the Meridian complex currently sits at $670,000 for a 1200-square-foot unit on the sixth floor, when unit 2603 was listed for $4,750,000 in November 2016 it was the highest-priced condo on the market in San Diego. That price remains unchanged to date, though previous listings for the same unit over the past 18 months have failed to attract a buyer with prices as high as $6,250,000.