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Home of the Week

Sweet dreams in the desert

June 08, 2003|Ruth Ryon | Times Staff Writer

It was two years in the making, but now this newly built home is one of the largest and most expensive estates on the market in the greater Coachella Valley-Palm Springs area.

Called Castillo de Suenos (Castle of Dreams), the house looks like a traditional Spanish Colonial estate with its bell tower and hand-painted tiles. It has a New World interior, however, with computer-controlled "smart home" automation and a projection theater.

Juan Carlos Ochoa of Palm Desert designed the home, in the Mountain Estates of Bighorn Golf Club, and Shannon Martin of Palm Desert designed the interiors.

About this house: Jack McDonnell, chairman of McData Corp. in Bloomfield, Colo., and his wife, Patricia, already had a home at Bighorn when they started building this home for themselves.

Part way through construction they decided they would sell this home and build a ranch estate in Colorado. McData Corp. is an information storage technology provider.

Asking price: $13.9 million, fully furnished, including three 50-inch plasma TVs and a 6-foot screen home theater.

Size: There are six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms in 12,248 square feet. The home is on 1.25 acres.

Features: The house, with massive wooden entry gates, was built around a courtyard on three levels to take advantage of the panoramic views of the Coachella Valley and the Santa Rosa Mountains.

The home also has a nine-seat theater, an exercise room, a game room and a wine cellar capable of storing 910 bottles.

Besides spiral staircases, there is a hand-painted elevator. The garage has room for four cars and a golf cart.

Water elements include a fountain and a lagoon-style pool with a cliff-side spa and waterfall. There is also a barbecue area off the pool.

Where: Palm Desert

Listing agent: Randy Viscovich at Dyson & Dyson Real Estate, Indian Wells, (760) 779-5353

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, please send color interior and exterior photos (copies only; we cannot return the pictures) and a brief description of the house, including what makes the property unusual, to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; or e-mail



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