|A spokesman for Mitt Romney said his family needs the space.|
WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is planning to nearly quadruple the size of his $12 million California beachfront mansion.
The former Massachusetts governor is planning to bulldoze his 3,009-square-foot home facing the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, Calif., and replace it with an 11,062-square-foot home, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The Union-Tribune reported late Saturday that Romney has filed an application with the city for a coastal development permit but that no date has been set to consider the project.
A Romney campaign official confirmed the report, saying the Romneys want to “enlarge their two-bedroom home because with five married sons and 16 grandchildren it is inadequate for their needs. Construction will not begin until the permits have been obtained and the campaign is finished.’’
In 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain was criticized and mocked when he said he was unsure how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, owned. The answer was eight.
Since then, perhaps sensing that the issue could be a liability for him, too, Romney has consolidated his real estate portfolio. Romney and his wife, Ann, sold for $3.5 million the 6,500-square-foot colonial home in Belmont, Mass. They also sold a 9,500-square-foot home at Deer Valley ski resort near Park City, Utah, for close to its $5.25 million asking price, according to a 2010 Associated Press report.
The couple maintain a vacation home along Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, as well as a townhouse outside Boston that they consider their primary residence.
Romney - who made part of his fortune as cofounder of Bain Capital, a private equity firm - and his wife have personal financial assets worth as much as $264 million, according to disclosure documents filed with the Federal Election Commission this month.
Romney’s campaign said “a more accurate range’’ of his estimated wealth is between $190 million and $250 million.
The Romneys have spent considerable time at their home in La Jolla, a wealthy beach enclave in San Diego. Two of their sons, Matt and Craig, as well as several grandchildren live in the area. And Ann Romney, who has multiple sclerosis, has access to horse riding in California. She believes that riding and the warmer weather have a therapeutic effect.
The Romneys purchased the single-story residence three years ago, according to the Union-Tribune.