After 31 years with the same owners, Grace Mansion is available for $8.2 million. It’s also fresh off a $1.4 million renovation.
“It’s special. It is really a portal to Pasadena history,” says the listing agent, Thomas Flanagan with Compass. He hopes to pinpoint a buyer “who understands how special the property is.”
Built in 1891, the 9,000-square-foot Victorian was a single-family home until it became an apartment building in the 1920s.
Still configured as a multi-unit dwelling today, it has seven units and one nonconforming unit.
Flanagan says the home can bring in more than $400,000 a year in rental income. The units have rental prices ranging between $3,650 and $5,995 per month. There’s also a basement space for storage, as well as a detached garage. Most of the units are rented.
“It looks like a mansion. As you walk around, it has amazing views and is architecturally impressive,” he says. “It definitely looks like a home, and it’s fully renovated. It’s turnkey, with incredible attention to detail, and classic architecture, with completely modern amenities.”
The units range in size from 853 to 1,733 square feet, and all offer historic charm along with modern conveniences.
Each has an individual entrance, and they all feature hardwood floors, high ceilings, and architectural details that date to when the home was built.
“They’re all original. There is a lamp in unit No. 2 that still has gas burners on it,” Flanagan explains. “It’s electric, but because electricity was so unreliable in the 1890s, you might still have to light it.”
Unit No. 3 has what was part of the original carriageway running through it. Now it is the living room. Other units have ornate woodwork, fireplaces, hardware, and lighting.
After a water leak in one of the units, the owners decided to renovate the entire interior. They replaced all the plumbing and many of the other mechanicals.
“They were ambitious and started doing a ton of work—a lot more than they thought—because they cared so much, and it had to be perfect,” Flanagan says. “If they can get a good number for it, they’re willing to let it go.”
The architect Frederick Roehrig designed the home. He’s known for designing many buildings in the area, including many mansions on what was once known as Millionaire’s Row.
Back in the day, the home had multiple turrets. Today, only one remains, after a fire burned the others.
“Even though those amazing Victorian turrets were cool architecturally, when they burned off, they opened up patios on each unit. They now have huge circular patios,” Flanagan says.
The grand home sits on top of a hill, and concrete steps from the house lead down the hill to shops and restaurants below.
Besides the Victorian beauty, three huge trees add even more intrigue to the property.
“The northernmost tree is the second-largest Moreton Bay fig in the United States,” Flanagan explains, adding the largest is in Santa Barbara, next to the Amtrak station.
The saplings were planted around the time of construction in the late 1890s. One tree was able to grow unimpeded, but developers damaged the other two somewhere along the way.
As the agent said of the tree, “It’s huge. It’s insane.”
The same sentiment applies to the size of the opportunity for an aspiring landlord.