Two months ago, Rob Lowe finalized a deal to sell his lavish Montecito estate for $44.5 million to private equity tycoon Jack McGinley. Ever since then, the “Parks and Recreation” actor and longtime wife Sheryl Berkoff have been looking to reinvest those profits back into real estate. They’ve moved into a $5.2 million gated fixer-upper in Montecito, and they also paid $3.75 million for a luxurious crash pad in Beverly Hills.
Now the couple have capped off 2020 by acquiring a third house, this one a large and indisputably elegant but rather down-on-its-heels estate in prime Montecito, for which they paid $13 million. The sprawling property, which spans 6.7 acres, is but a short walk to the $14.7 million home of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, and the $49 million compound of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
The new Lowe estate includes a main mansion originally built in 1925 and designed in the classic Spanish Revival-meets-Mediterranean architectural style that proliferates Santa Barbara. There are also two detached guest cottages, both of them rather ramshackle, clapboard-sided affairs surrounded by overgrown foliage and equipped with their own pea gravel patios.
Per the listing, the property is locally known as Stonehedge and is “one of Montecito’s finest legacy estates,” but is awaiting “a thoughtful design-build team” to spruce up the place and bring it into the modern era. Current photos show the main house could use a new coat of paint, and the smooth exterior stucco is blotchy and faded in many spots.
Still, the interiors are well-maintained with original wood and tilework. A long entrance gallery connects the various public rooms — a fireplace-equipped living room with mahogany paneling, a formal dining room with French doors and another fireplace, and a breakfast room with views of the gardens. The various upstairs bedrooms are all spacious, with their own private sitting areas, and views sweep over a wide swath of Montecito greenery before summiting at the deep blue Pacific Ocean.
The lovely if somewhat unkempt grounds include vast grassy lawns, colorful bunches of lavender, citrus trees, mature eucalyptus trees, and sculpted hedges, plus man-made tile patios and covered loggias for large-scale al fresco entertaining.
While it’s not yet clear what Lowe and Berkoff’s intentions are for the estate, the pair have a habit of renovating and upgrading their homes, so a fair bet is that they’ll live in the smaller Montecito house while they fix up the larger property, transforming it back into the glamorous compound it was a century ago, back in the original Roaring ’20s.