Mitt Romney wants to use his past success in the private sector to help drive the nation's economy forward. But Romney's personal fleet of vehicles will move at a luxurious descent from the comfort of their own private elevator in Romney's new California home.
Politico reports that Romney's proposed renovations for his California beachfront property, located in the La Jolla community of San Diego, include a car lift for his four on-site cars and 3,600 square feet of underground living space. He's even spent more than $20,000 on a lobbyist to help expedite the approval process through the city government.
The U.S. Secret Service asked Politico to withhold from publishing the specific, proposed designs for the new property out of respect for the personal safety of Romney and his family. "For operational security, we'd request that you not publish the blueprints," Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told the paper.
Yahoo!'s own car blogger Justin Hyde provides some additional details on Romney's personal fleet of vehicles, along with some helpful suggestions on the best kinds of car lifts. Hyde notes that the PhantomPark car lift is listed at an estimated $60,000.
Though unusual, Romney's proposed car elevator is not unique. A company called American Custom Lifts provides home car elevator construction services, though they do not publicly list their prices. And while the Romney's proposed car elevator will undoubtedly be cutting edge, the concept itself is not groundbreaking. A large-scale car elevator was being used in Chicago as far back as 1936, according to the website Chicagoist.
In this simulated video, you can see designs for an even more luxurious car lift used in an 11th Avenue high-rise in New York:
News of Romney's expensive renovation plans is sure to stoke criticism of his personal wealth. Romney has gotten into trouble several times on the campaign trail for inartful statements regarding his personal fortune and the financial struggles of other Americans.
In January, Romney was the focus of a wave of media and political criticism for saying, "I'm not concerned about the very poor." The full context of the quote was far less abrasive but hasn't stopped Romney's political opponents from using it against him. And Romney didn't do himself any favors either when he announced that he pays only about 15 percent in taxes each year, despite having an estimated $250 million personal fortune.
In addition to the California beachfront home, the Romneys also own a condominium in Massachusetts and a New Hampshire lake house.
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