Real Estate

Mansion Built for Cold War CIA Director in San Marino Sells for Record $30M

San Marino mansion built for ex-CIA director sells for record $30M, $7.5M above asking price.

By Doug Elli

6/11, 16:03 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • A mansion built for former CIA Director John McCone in San Marino sold for $30 million, setting a city record.
  • The 13,700-square-foot estate was listed at $22.5 million but sold for $7.5 million above asking price.
  • The property includes three homes on 5 acres and features such as waterfalls, a greenhouse, and a 50-foot-long swimming pool.

Record-Breaking Sale in San Marino

An estate built for former CIA Director John McCone in San Marino has set a new record, selling for $30 million, the highest price ever paid for a residence in the city. The 13,700-square-foot mansion at 1100 Oak Grove Avenue was sold to an unidentified buyer for $7.5 million above its asking price. This sale surpasses the previous record held by the USC presidential mansion, which sold for $25 million in 2021. The neoclassical-style mansion, listed just last month, includes nine bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, and spans three homes on a 5-acre property.

The Details of the Historic Estate

The mansion, built in 1957 for John McCone, features 15-foot ceilings, carved wood doorways, and ornate mantels. The property is hidden behind 20-foot privacy hedges and includes marble patios, rolling lawns, waterfalls, streams, a greenhouse, a workshop, a rose garden, and a 50-foot-long swimming pool. The estate became a destination for U.S. politicians and international dignitaries during McCone’s ownership, including President Dwight Eisenhower and members of the Kennedy family. The sale was handled by Compass agent Brent Chang, with Nicholas Borrelli of Coldwell Banker George Realty representing the buyer.

High-End Real Estate Market Trends

The sale of the McCone estate is part of a broader trend in the high-end real estate market, where luxury properties are fetching record prices. For instance, a waterfront estate in Coconut Grove, Miami, is currently asking $38.5 million, topping last week’s signed contracts report by Eklund-Gomes. Similarly, Sean Hannity’s Gold Coast home in Long Island sold for approximately $12.7 million, just weeks after hitting the market. These transactions highlight the strong demand for luxury properties, even as the market faces various economic uncertainties.

Implications for Luxury Real Estate

The record-breaking sale in San Marino underscores the resilience and appeal of luxury real estate in prime locations. High-net-worth individuals continue to invest in exclusive properties, driven by the desire for privacy, luxury, and unique historical significance. The McCone estate, with its rich history and opulent features, exemplifies the type of property that attracts significant buyer interest and commands premium prices. This trend is mirrored in other high-end markets, such as Miami and New York, where luxury homes and condos are seeing robust activity and substantial price tags.

Management Quotes

  • Brent Chang, Compass agent:

    "Showings lasted up to four hours."