When asked to define the word “home,” Craig Irving, Founder and CEO of The Irving Group in San Diego, is quick to respond. “For me, it is the ultimate gathering place, where friends and family meet and spend quality time together.”
Irving’s stunning Point Loma custom estate is a one of a kind property as well as the site for countless philanthropic events. Designed for entertaining, the estate is a place where everyone feels welcome while soaking in the panoramic coastal views in a completely secluded and private setting. While involved in leadership roles for several charitable organizations, including serving as former Chairman of the Downtown Partnership, former Chairman Emeritus of SD Police Foundation of the San Diego Police Foundation, Founder of the Safety Net Program, and numerous other prominent roles including creating the largest annual holiday toy drive in San Diego in the early 1990’s supporting Promises 2 Kids, it’s safe to say Craig Irving is well known in San Diego for his passion and commitment to community service.
But perhaps the charity he takes the greatest pride in is the SEAL Family Foundation (sealfamilyfoundation.org) of which he is the founder and past chairman of the board. Since its inception in 2009, this non-profit group has raised over $20 million to support individual and family services for Navy Seal families. Just some of what the foundation has done includes sending kids to summer camps and after-school programs, providing police escorts for funerals, assisting the wounded with special needs, and providing needed support to the families of active-duty SEALs who are away from home for extended periods of time. Irving has never hesitated to share his respect and commitment to our military. “I never had the honor of serving in our military. I pursued a professional career and raised a family in a safe, war free country,” he says. “I have always respected our active duty military and veterans, and after 9/11, I felt compelled to do more.”
In 2001, along with his father, Craig Irving started an annual golf tournament for Marine Corps families and asked civilian business associates to participate. Today, it is still going strong. “In 2009, I visited the SEAL facility in Coronado for the first time, and at the end of the tour, I asked the Admiral what the business community did to support them. I was surprised that the answer was ‘nothing,’” Irving says. “So I volunteered to host a fundraising dinner at my home the following month. I was hoping to get 50 – 75 attendees. We got 500, and as they say, the rest is history.” He points out that the support the Foundation has received from the business community has been unparalleled. “I am so proud of the support and generosity our business community provides military families,” he adds. “One fact that makes our non-profit different from so many others is that we run a very lean operation, allowing us to allocate the majority of donations directly to those we serve. And unlike others in our space, we disperse all the money raised each year to the families.”
From the day he finished building his home 16 years ago, Irving has opened his home to dozens of charities for their annual fundraising events.
And what a home it is.
Surrounded by 80 acres of parkland and set on 1.55 acres with unobstructed coastal views, this home boasts timeless traditional design with modern finishes, seamless indoor/outdoor living, and the most dramatic ocean views in Southern California. The 6-bedroom, 5-bath home is graced with classic, craftsman charm, mindful scale, a thoughtful floor plan, and beamed ceilings, as well as the stunning use of materials and stained glass throughout.
The main-level rooms all face west and open to the outdoor spaces which are plentiful, via lock-and slide window doors that completely disappear. Other features include a fully equipped catering kitchen, 1,500-bottle temperature controlled wine cellar, a guest casita and 4-car garage.
Now that the property is currently on the market, Irving wistfully talks about his favorite features of this estate that he built in 2001. “People are always amazed by the panoramic, unobstructed views of the ocean, and comment they can’t believe a house like this exists in San Diego,” he says, “But the hidden treasure is the WWII Base End Station/ Bunker.” Built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1942, it is three stories, including sleeping quarters. Irving spent over a decade restoring it to as close to its original condition as possible. It is now museum quality. “After the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Americans were certain that San Diego Harbor was next, and so Point Loma was quickly fortified. Other than Fort Rosecrans, most of that history has been destroyed or forgotten,” he says. “I felt it was my duty as a native of Point Loma to restore this historic treasure. Thousands of our guests have been able to tour it, and have learned firsthand how important Point Loma was considered during WWII.”
For additional information or to schedule a private showing of the Irving estate, contact Corrine St. John, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty at 858.500.6293.