Wallace Neff-Designed Straus House in Santa Barbara Is Available—If You Ask

Aspectacular oceanfront home in Santa Barbara, CA is now available—even though buyers won’t find it on realtor.com®.

Apparently inspired by recent big-ticket sales along the Central Coast, the owner has chosen to go the off-market route, according to Mansion Global.
No price on the place has been made public, but it would be divulged to a qualified buyer. To get a ballpark estimate, the coastal estate was listed in 2017 for $32.75 million, and then relisted in 2018 for $21.5 million.

The estate, designed by Wallace Neff and known as the Straus House, had originally been commissioned by Robert K. Straus, heir to the Macy’s fortune, who purchased land in what’s known as the Hope Ranch enclave of Santa Barbara.

Straus and his wife lived in a Bel-Air home designed by the Southern California architect, and tapped him to design their coastal retreat.

For the interiors, the designer John Hall, who had completed several projects for their Bel-Air residence, was brought in. Neff collaborated with the celebrated landscape architect Thomas Church to design the grounds.

Finished in 1970, the coastal abode made a splash when it was first unveiled 50 years ago. Featured in Architectural Digest, the eye-popping estate has since changed hands and undergone a massive renovation. The property is described as “painstakingly restored, expanded, and modernized over a 10-year period,” according to the website promoting the property.

The spread sits on an oceanfront acre on the crest of a bluff, with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and over to the Channel Islands. The current owner, a local developer, purchased the place in 2007 for $7.5 million and proceeded on the lengthy renovation.

Sales materials state that the owner worked with the local Historical Committee on all aspects of preserving the integrity of the design and inspiration of Neff’s work—while also incorporating deluxe accoutrements for today’s luxury-minded buyer.

The gated property is accessed by a motor court. The 14,000-square-foot spread includes six bedrooms and eight bathrooms and sits on 1.53 acres. The dramatic main living area features a vaulted and beamed ceiling, a fireplace, and a wall of glass facing the Pacific Ocean.

Updates include a modernized kitchen, bathrooms, and a new lower level, which features a spa, media room, two elevators, and two wine cellars. A guesthouse is tucked under a hill, with ocean views.

The gorgeous offering is now available exclusively off-market with the listing agents Weston Littlefield, Dalton Gomez, and Aaron Kirman of the Aaron Kirman Group at Compass.

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