Six beds, 6 1/2 baths, more than 11,000 square feet and made entirely of white concrete, stainless steel and glass. The Razor House, tucked into the cliffside of Razor Point in La Jolla, really does shine like a star, or glisten like a jewel above Torrey Pines State Park Beach. With the sun reflecting in the home’s infinity pool and bouncing light between the structure’s glass walls, it would be difficult to believe the house was real, if La Jolla wasn’t known for its scenic real estate.
Renowned local architect Wallace E. Cunningham built The Razor House more than 10 years ago and it was upgraded by the building’s most recent owner Donald Burns, the creator of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) product Magic Jack. At the beginning of September, the property was sold to Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and her powerhouse music producer husband Kasseem Dean, better known to the public as Swizz Beatz.
“It’s one of the most incredible modern homes we’ve ever seen,” said Matthew Altman, who was a listing broker for The Razor House along with his brother and business partner Josh Altman of The Altman Brothers Team. The brothers represented both Burns and Keys. “We’ve sold over $3 billion in real estate and very rarely do Josh and I get blown away by a property.”
While there’s been plenty of buzz around the house being bought by celebrity Keys, there’s also some facts about The Razor House — other than it being the inspiration for Tony Stark’s CGI house in the “Iron Man” and “Avengers” movie franchises — that might be lesser known to even La Jolla natives.
1. Donald Burns was not the original owner. Before the telecommunications developer moved into his sweet new digs, a man named Jim Donald Cooksey owned the property. This might not seem like a fun fact, but what is interesting is that Cooksey sold the property — originally listed for $45 million — to Burns for only $14.1 after Cooksey filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Keys bought The Razor House for $20.8 million.
2. The Razor House was the most expensive home sold in La Jolla this year. Not only that, but the house is also more than 1,010% more expensive than the rest of the neighborhood’s properties.
3. The house has a “bat cave.” At least, that’s how Altman describes the underground, tunneled car garage, which he says, “looks more like a car art gallery.”
4. Not all of the walls are glass. While a majority of the house is floor-to-ceiling glass, the walls of the master bedroom are actually made of cream-colored velvet.
5. The Razor House has an elevator to take guests to the glass library. Unsurprisingly, all the walls of the upper floor library are made of glass. What is surprising is there’s also an indoor movie theater, which sits roughly 20 people and “one of the most incredible movie theaters” Altman says he has ever seen. Iron Man may not have lived in the house but it’s definitely the best place to watch his movies.
6. The home has appeared in commercials for Visa Black Card and Calvin Klein. The Razor House was certainly built to be picturesque and camera-ready, with even a rooftop entertainment suite featuring a stainless steel spa, outdoor kitchen and an infinity pool that lines up with San Diego’s horizon.
“You just see blue forever,” added Altman.
7. Keys chose The Razor House over homes in Beverly Hills. Altman says he and his brother are “globally known for introducing buyers to properties they would have never otherwise considered.” Though Keys had originally intended to purchase a home in Beverly Hills, The Altman Brothers set her sights on The Razor House, and it wasn’t a hard sell.
“You look to your left and you can see through the whole house, then you look to your right and you can see the whole ocean,” said Altman. “It really does look like it was Iron Man’s house from the movie. It’s one of the most special homes I’ve ever seen. Everything about this house is incredible.”