Aztec Shops purchase $2.3 million Alvarado Estates home for incoming president


SDSU’s next president, current UC Davis administrator Adela de la Torre, will move into a this $2.3 million home in Alvarado Estates.

by Lauren J. Mapp, Staff Writer

When San Diego State’s next president, Adela de la Torre, steps into her new position, she will be moving into a newly-purchased, $2.3 million home in Alvarado Estates.  

Located in the same gated community as the previous president’s house, the property will both be a home for de la Torre and be used to hold small functions for the university. The decision to remain in the same community was partially based on its proximity to SDSU, university spokesperson Jill Esterbrooks said.

“SDSU presidents have lived in the nearby Alvarado Estates since 2000,” Esterbrooks said via email. “The near-campus location helps strengthen the president’s connection to the university and College-area community.”

The new home is located at 4811 Yerba Santa Drive — about half a mile from the old presidential residence at 4545 Yerba Santa Drive, and a little under a two-mile drive from campus.

The procurement of the new property was deemed to be more economical than repairing and renovating the previous home. It was not purchased using student fees or state funds, Esterbrooks said.

According to meeting minutes from the Campanile Foundation board meeting on Sept. 14, 2017, the new house was purchased through Aztec Shops, a nonprofit auxiliary of SDSU.

It is common for public and private universities to either own a home for the president or to compensate them with a housing allowance, Esterbrooks said. Some local colleges also provide housing or housing allowances for their school’s president or chancellor.

At UC San Diego, the chancellor resides in Geisel House — a reinforced adobe home originally purchased by the university in 1967. The home was declared uninhabitable due to seismic and utilities deficiencies in 2004. It was reopened in 2013 after an extensive renovation, which UCSD spokesperson Laura Margoni said cost more than $10 million and was paid for in gift funds.

The chancellor’s residence is used as both a personal home and for various university-related functions, Margoni said.

“Geisel House has traditionally been the home of uniquely UC San Diego events honoring faculty, staff and students, as well as hosting large and small campus celebrations,” Margoni said via email. “Geisel House continues to host a variety of activities, from dinners to honor Nobel Laureates to alumni and advocate receptions to large events that celebrate students and student-athletes.”

California State University San Marcos President Karen Haynes does not live in a house provided by the university, but instead owns a home and receives an annual $60,000 housing stipend, said Margaret Chantung, associate vice president for the Office of Communications at CSU San Marcos.