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  • Kermit Brown

Mystery Buyer Pays Record Price for San Diego County Home

The beachfront compound, which sold for $44.1 million, is a few houses down from the property Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates bought in 2020

The Wall Street Journal | E.B. Solomont

A beachfront compound near San Diego has sold in an off-market deal for $44.1 million, according to San Diego County Assessor Jordan Marks.

The “monumental” deal is a record for the county, said Marks, who is also the county recorder and clerk.

The compound, on just over an acre, is located in Del Mar, a few houses down from a property purchased by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his then-wife, Melinda French Gates, for $43 million in 2020, records show.

The seller is a corporation tied to descendants of C.E. Toberman, a California real-estate developer who helped build Hollywood landmarks such as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Roosevelt Hotel and the Hollywood Bowl. The buyer’s identity is unknown.

Located on Sandy Lane, the property has a ranch-style main residence, a guesthouse and a detached apartment, with eight bedrooms combined, according to real-estate agent Brian Guiltinan of the Guiltinan Group, who represented the buyer and seller. There is also a tennis court and swimming pool.

“The real significance to the property is it is over an acre on the sand, with 110 feet of frontage” on the ocean, said Guiltinan. It is the largest parcel on the beach, he said.

Toberman built the house in the 1950s, according to Wendy Fletcher Dyer, one of his great-grandchildren. Dyer is president of Investors Leasing Corp., which owns storage facilities in Nevada and California and is the legal owner of the house.

Dyer, who was raised in a house four doors down, said at one point her relatives owned seven houses on the street, all of which have been sold off over the years. She said her late father, Charles “Kim” Fletcher, lived in the house with her stepmother, Marilyn Fletcher, until his death in 2019. Kim Fletcher was president and CEO of Home Federal Savings & Loan in San Diego. After he died, Dyer said, she and her siblings voted to sell the property.

“We enjoyed the house and beach for decades and we made a lot of good memories,” she said, but beachfront properties are expensive to maintain, and she and her siblings have their own lives. “This allows another family to move in and make their own memories, and we’re excited for them.”

Last year, however, Marilyn Fletcher alleged in a lawsuit that Investors Leasing Corp. and its shareholders tried to evict her from the property in order to sell it. Her complaint alleged that the shareholders removed her belongings from the guesthouse, changed the locks and posted a “No Trespassing” sign. In July, a San Diego court ruled in favor of the shareholders.

“It was an unfortunate situation, but it was resolved in ILC’s favor,” Dyer said.

Marilyn Fletcher couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.


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