Luscious living high up in a downtown penthouse

Selling the view at Sapphire Tower

Looking down on San Diego: the view from the top of Sapphire Tower
  • Looking down on San Diego: the view from the top of Sapphire Tower

This week we visit the top floor of Sapphire Tower at 1262 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego’s 17th-tallest skyscraper at 32 stories and a height of 380 feet above street level, where penthouse suite 3802 occupies half of the building’s peak.

Offering 2800 square feet of “luscious living” accessed directly via elevator, the unit has two bedroom suites plus an additional half-bath and study/den. Luxury appointments include floor-to-ceiling windows with electric shades, hardwood and travertine flooring throughout the living areas, lofty 10’8” coffered ceilings, and Venetian plaster accent walls.

The chef's kitchen (chef not included)

The chef's kitchen (chef not included)

The “chef’s kitchen” is outfitted with high-end appliances from Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Bosch, along with “Euro style” cabinetry, while a wet bar offers a Sub-Zero wine cooler accommodating up to 147 bottles of vino, and in-unit laundry facilities include a premium washer/dryer package.

Master Suite, complete with blackout drapes

Master Suite, complete with blackout drapes

The master suite includes blackout drapes (also electrically-controlled), a walk-in closet with custom built-ins (also featured in the den and elsewhere in the unit), and bath with “marble surround soaking tub, granite counter top, double vanity, water closet, view window, marble surround walk-in shower with tile accent inlay, and Kohler Plumbing fixtures.” There’s also a private deck, one of two exclusive to the penthouse.

The living room, and the view

The living room, and the view

What the unit is really selling: the “incredible high-floor bay, ocean, city and mountain views spanning west, south, and east.” Nine of the listing’s 25 photos focus on both daytime and evening panoramic cityscapes and westerly looks across San Diego Bay toward Coronado, and the views remain a prominent backdrop even when the residence is on display.

Monthly Homeowners’ Association dues of $1162 cover the cost of a full-time building manager, “24/7 lobby attendant,” a fitness center, plus “large sun deck with pool, spa, and barbecue, community room with wall-mounted TV, theatre seating, meeting table, and wet bar.”

Included with the price of the penthouse are two reserved parking spaces, which the listing promises are “close to elevators.”

“Sapphire Tower embodies a way of life sought by many, achieved by few... a life of elegance and comfort,” boast the marketing materials. “Downtown living at its best.”

Public records indicate the condo last sold in October 2017, when it was purchased by local architect and interior designer Sharon Zell for a reported $2,925,000. Barely four months later, the property was re-listed with an asking price of $3.2 million — a lack of photos from the previous listing makes it difficult to discern any significant recent improvements, but major points of investment such as the kitchen appear to have changed little since another previous sale in 2013.

On April 20, the asking price of the Sapphire penthouse was reduced by $150,000 to $3,050,000 – that number remains unchanged to date.

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