For sale: Tour the infamous Spreckels mansion

CORONADO, Calif. -- FOX 5 got an exclusive inside look at the infamous Spreckels mansion that recently went back on the market.

The more-than-century-old home made international news after two tragic deaths -- one of those the bizarre death of Rebecca Zahau.

Realtor Scott Aurich can tell you all about the home and its history. He has gone through the buying and selling process several times since 2007.

“The real rich history of the house totally overwhelms it. This house was a John Spreckels creation,” Aurich said. “He hired Harrison Albright, who was known for working with steel-reinforced concrete."

Aurich said Spreckels had the Coronado beachfront home built in 1908. The 10-bed, 11-bath mansion is spread over about 19,000 square feet of land. It also includes two sun rooms, a courtyard with a pool and hot tub, and a guest house where royal guests once stayed.

“I would say it was 1928-29 when this was built. This is all pretty original,” Aurich said as he showed FOX 5 murals painted in the guest house.

But in 2011, the home's history was overshadowed by two tragedies. First, 6-year-old Max Shacknai, son of pharmaceutical CEO Jonah Shacknai, suffered fatal injuries when he fell over the second-floor banister. Two days later, Shacknai's girlfriend, Zahau, was found naked, bound and hanging from a second-story balcony.

Zahau's death was ruled a suicide, but her family strongly believes she was murdered by Shacknai's brother.

“It was pretty horrific. It was awful for their family,” Aurich said.

Aurich said he helped sell the house to Shacknai, someone he considers a friend. Though he is sensitive to what happened at the home, he said the tragedies should not take away from the value of the unique property.

“People don’t very much concern themselves with the past of a house, what it was like in the past. They’re really buying houses for what they see their future in,” Aurich said.

Aurich told FOX 5 the owners since then have been happy with the home. Jonah Shacknai sold it in 2011 for $9 million. Now, eight years later with $4 million worth of renovations, it is on the market for $16.9 million. He said a potential buyer recently came through the home.

“He had known about what happened here and it didn’t slow him down and come to look, but he did ask at the end of the showing to Blake -- the owner’s son was here -- and he said, 'Did you notice anything ever? Feel anything spooky about the house?' And Blake said no, it’s been a house he and his family came to enjoy, sleep in all the different bedrooms and it’s not been anything scary or weird about it,” Aurich said.

As for Aurich, he said he feels comfortable in the home that's expected to stand at 1043 Ocean Blvd. for decades to come.

Google Map for coordinates 32.682937 by -117.181503.

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