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RISMEDIA, June 4, 2007-(MCT)-The wife of hedge fund manager T. Boone Pickens closed escrow yesterday on a $35 million house on the beach in Del Mar, smashing the county record for the most expensive home ever sold, the county assessor’s office reported yesterday.

The previous record was $25 million, also in Del Mar, paid in 2000 by local venture capitalist Bill Stensrud and his wife, Carol.

Madeleine Pickens’ purchase completed a $48.15 million sale of four adjacent lots owned by San Diego money manager Arthur E. Nicholas, who redeveloped the site in 1997-99 and retains a residence in Rancho Santa Fe.

The Pickens property includes a 5,800-square-foot main house on 120 feet of beachfront and a guest house that is approximately 800 square feet. They were designed by Solana Beach architect Ken Ronchetti.

Nicholas’ compound, originally owned in the 1920s by James and Marjorie Scripps, had been on the market since summer 2005. It was intended to be sold as one unit, said Lou Martin of Prudential California Realty, who was one of the listing agents.

The original list price was $50 million for all four parcels of land. But early this year, Nicholas agreed to sell three back lots between Ocean Front and Camino del Mar to Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs for $13.15 million and a beach lot spanning Ocean Front to Pickens. The Jacobs property includes two Ronchetti-designed guest houses, a tennis court and spa area.

Gary Jacobs is a founder of the High Tech High charter schools and a son of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs. He and his wife had previously purchased a $15.7 million beachfront home from another party immediately south of the Pickens house and across Ocean Front from one of the Nicholas lots.

In the meantime, Madeleine Pickens, whose permanent residence is in Texas, has put two other local properties on the market: a $26.9 million, 5-acre estate in the Del Mar Country Club and a $5.5 million house at the northern end of Del Mar overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack.

The listing agents for the Nicholas compound were Patricia Kramer and Martin; Pickens’ agent was Brian Guiltinan. All four are with Prudential California Realty.

Copyright © 2007, The San Diego Union-Tribune
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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