San Diego Penthouses

Posted on November 8, 2012 | by Denny Oh

According to Wikipedia, a penthouse is  “an apartment that is on one of the highest floors of an apartment building.”  In downtown San Diego, we currently have less than a dozen condos sale, that I would consider to be penthouses units (top floor, near the top, or the unit is unique enough to be mentioned).  I’ll go through the list and give you my two cents on each of them…

Harbor Club

As one of the oldest residential highrises in San Diego (built in 1992), Harbor Club has some of the best views in San Diego.  The twin towers are right along Harbor Drive and have some amazing views.  Typically there are three units per floor, but some people have combined condos to create larger homes (the developer also did this on the higher floors).

1 & 2. The first two penthouses are on the 29th and 33rd floors and are approximately 2510 sqft.  Both condos are modified units (someone combined the bubble unit and a one bedroom) and have city and bay views to the east, south and the west.  These condo are not exactly near the top floor of Harbor Club (41 stories), but they’re larger and have the added luxury of having three parking spaces and two balconies.  Based on 200 Harbor Drive #2502 (similar layout and size) that sold or $2.3M last year, both of the active listings seem to be priced about right.

3. The third penthouse at the Harbor Club is on the 38th floor and takes up the entire floor.  The elevators open up into the foyer (no common area hallway) and there are nearly 360 degree views from the condo.  With five parking spaces, three balconies and some of the most impressive detailed work that I’ve ever seen, this penthouse may actually deserve the hefty asking price of early $5 million.  While not everyone will love the current design/style, it’s certainly worth looking at if you’re in the market.


4. Next on the list is another combined unit at Electra.  The owner of this condo combined two, two bedroom condos together to create a pretty incredible 2BR/3BA with an optional third bedroom.  Located on the 26th floor, this is not near the top floor (43 stories), but this condo is definitely work looking at.  The condo was completely customized with over $700K in upgrades (according to the seller) and has three parking spaces, two storage units and three balconies.  The views are primarily to the east and south, but you do get some nice water views to the south (and slightly west).  Probably the best thing about this unit is the incredible level of detail/workmanship and the fact that it was once offered for $3,875,000 and can now be yours for less than $2M!


5. High up on the 31st floor, this west facing penthouse is only five floors from the top.  There are only three condos per floor on this level and this penthouse has two HUGE patios – one is over 600 sqft and the other is just under 500 sqft (about the size of a downtown studio).  The condo itself is almost 2100 sqft and has 3BR and 2.5BA.  The owner installed beautiful wood floors (much warmer than the typical stone flooring you see at Pinnacle) and many other upgrades.  Another great feature about this unit and Pinnacle, is that the ceilings are much higher than most other buildings and there’s a guest suite on the second floor.  Listed at $2.25M, this is priced well relative to the recent sales on the 32nd floor.

Sapphire Tower

6.  From floors 24-31, there are only two condos per floor at Sapphire Tower (32 stories total).  The two penthouse floor plans either take up the northern or southern half of the entire floor and have views to the east, west and south/north.  On these floors, the elevators open directly into your private foyer and both floor plans are a tad under 3000 sqft. There are still a few new units left and should sell for about $1.8M and up depending on the orientation and floor.  The best thing about these penthouses is that they have wide open floor plans.  The living/dining room space is HUGE and you get some great water views to the west.  I suppose my only complaint is that with so much space, they probably should have added another bedroom, or office.  This building is much smaller than most others downtown (only 97 units), so it might be perfect for those of you who want some more privacy.  FYI – unit 2602 (2823 sqft just sold for $1.7M).


 7 & 8.  Bosa has two more penthouses left to sell at Bayside.  They’re on the 33rd and 34th floors (the building has 6 stories) and are right around 3,200 sqft.  On these levels, there are only three condos per floor and these units take up the east, west and south or north sides of the building.  This is great since owners can see the city and the bay without having to settle for just one.  Both penthouses have two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a den and a study off the master bedroom.  These penthouses are somewhat similar to the Sapphire Tower penthouses, but have more rooms and less open space.  These condos are priced in a range, around $3 M.

The Mark

9. One floor from the top, this 30th floor penthouse is pretty cool.  It has views to the south, east and west and is shedding some new light on peoples’ views of the East Village.  You can see the bay and Petco Park from pretty much anywhere in the 2430 sqft 3BR/3.5BA penthouse.  There are also three patios and three parking spaces that come with the unit (and a storage room).  The Mark is one of East Village’s best buildings and is easily one of my favorite buildings, period.  Built in 2007by Douglas Wilson (who also built Parkloft), The Mark has high ceilings, exposed concrete walls and probably the best pool/yard area downtown.  At almost $2.6M, this is well over priced, but it’s still worth looking at.

If you would like more information on any of these downtown San Diego penthouses, or any other real estate in San Diego, please contact Denny Oh at 858-243-2092 or [email protected]  I can provide floor plans, private showings, or anything else that you might need.  Thank you.

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  1. Jennifer Houser says:

    Hi Denny,

    I enjoy reading your blogs and just saw this one on Penthouses from 2012. Time for another “Penthouse” story I think. My husband and I purchased #3402 in the Pinnacle in October of 2011 for 3.5 million and for some reason it doesn’t show up in any of the stats realtors use. Perhaps the listing expired before we wrote the contract? Anyway, I would love to hear what is new on the market in the way of penthouses. Technically, ours is not a penthouse as the entire 35th floor (which also includes part of the 36th) is owned by one woman. It is half of the floor and approximately 3000 sq. ft. I think it would go for more now but we will never sell because we have killer views!!
    My compliments to you on your website as it is the most user-friendly and I do enjoy your articles.

    Jennifer Houser

  2. Denny Oh says:

    HI Jennifer – thank you so much for reading and the kind compliment! I do see your condo on the MLS, but not as a sold listing (just expired). You have an amazing condo and I can see why you’d never want to sell.

    I’ll send you some info about other penthouses. Thanks!