Two high-profile historic structures – Pacific Beach Woman’s Club on Hornblend Street and an America Colonial-designed residence on Grand Avenue – are being rehabilitated for reuse by a local real estate investor.
Escrow recently closed on the century-old PB Woman’s Club located on three parcels at 1721 Hornblend St. The buyer was Ramin Karimi, who also owns the historic 1,750-square foot, barn-style roofed home on the corner of Grand Avenue and Jewell Street.
Karmi said he purchased the three Hornblend parcels for $1.4 million. “They (Woman’s Club) gave it to us for the lower price when we agreed to let them use the property for the next two years for twice-a-month care for the homeless there via RV showers, and for having their events there a couple of times a year.”
Karimi has multiple options for adapting the Woman’s Club site. He is nearly done reconstructing the dwelling on Grand and Jewell.
“The plan is to keep the building, and we have two plans, three really, and we don’t know which route we’re going yet,” Karimi said of his Hornblend property rehabilitation. He added, “We asked the City, and it’s OK with them if we use it as medical offices, splitting the building’s interior with temporary movable walls.”
Added Karimi: “It’s in a multi-family zone. The City said we could use it as a single-family home or split it up. We can have up to six units on the site. We’re going to split it into three units, each 1,200- to 1,500-square-feet. We might keep the first level as parking and build something on top of that. We’re going to restore it (club building) and keep it the way it is.”
Karimi’s unsure of the timetable for redeveloping the Woman’s Club, adding it will take months just to get all the permitting to do construction. “I have no idea how long it will take before we can start work,” he pointed out, adding he would consider renting the former building out for weddings and other events. The building has two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a stage.
The 6,200-square foot lot at 1704 Grand Ave. is a pre-World War I historic home, with a cottage in the rear. It had been listed on the open market for $1 million. It was purchased in a dilapidated state with debris inside.
The two-story, three-bedroom, and one-bath home was built by the Handley family back in the 1900s. It had been owned and lived in by family members until it was sold to Karimi.
Of his Grand Avenue investment, Karimi noted: “That was in really bad shape. We’ve worked on it for almost a year, and we’re about 95% done. The architecture of the house, the framing, was amazingly solid, with no termites or bad wood. We didn’t change any of the structure inside.”
The cottage structure in the back of the Grand Avenue property will be razed. “One plan is to build three units on the backside where the little cottage is now,” Karimi said. “The front of the house has already been fenced and we’re going to keep it the way it is. We plan to advertise it as a historic vacation rental so people all over the country can book it and come and enjoy a 1920s-era home in PB.”
Karimi’s been active in the PB real estate market for about a decade. He said he purchases historic homes because he finds them “interesting to work on. I like to restore them like old vehicles.” Karimi added homes in his native Persia aren’t considered to be historical until they’re more than 1,500 years old.