The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has sent Hollywood celebrities like Katy Perry, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Meghan Markle flocking north to the seaside town of Montecito, joining longtime area residents like Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and Rob Lowe in a slower-paced environment where homeowners have some breathing room, not to mention loads more privacy. The latest high-profile folks to join the herd are Adam Levine and his wife, Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo — records reveal the pair have shelled out a whopping $22.7 million for a century-old estate that spans nearly 5.2 acres, all of them set near the proverbial heart of town.
Designed in 1923 by venerated architect George Washington Smith, the stately mansion was built for attorney John A. Jameson, one of Montecito’s founding godfathers, if you will. It subsequently passed to a number of non-famous owners and more recently had been on and off the market for years, initially at a $29.5 million ask, before along came Levine.
Behind tall gates, a long driveway is shaded by mature oaks. The road winds up through the property’s own mini-forest and past its “seemingly endless expanses of manicured lawns,” as per the listing, before arriving at the Mediterranean villa-style main house. Of course, this is a bonafide classic Montecito compound, with at least four separate structures on the property that include a detached five-car garage with additional staff quarters, a two-bedroom guesthouse, and a so-called “garden cottage” with another spare bedroom. Join those with the main mansion’s five bedrooms, and altogether there are nine bedrooms and a total of 11 full baths on the premises.
The listing gently hints that the main mansion’s interiors, while well-maintained, could use a decorative refresh. Renderings included with online marketing materials suggest the new owners may want to paint the home’s heavy-handed wood trim a bright white, and replace the tile floors with a medium-toned hardwood, as is the current style.
Still, the wood and other current details look to be in great condition. An arched front door opens into a step-down foyer; beyond lies a grandly-scaled living room with a stone fireplace and multiple sets of arched windows and French doors. The chef’s kitchen has handsome — if somewhat old-fashioned — wooden cabinetry, plus expensive stainless appliances and a boxcar-sized island. The huge upstairs master suite has views of the property’s grounds and ocean glimpses via a private terrace, and somewhere in the 12,000-square-foot main house are a movie theater and wine cellar.
Outside, the fairytale-like grounds provide numerous outlets for chic recreation, including a putting green, a full-size tennis court with viewing pavilion, and a swimming pool that’s privately tucked well away from the main house, discreetly sited behind hedges and lemon trees. Elsewhere are meandering pathways through the trees, a manmade pond/creek, numerous loggias and patios for al fresco entertaining, and gurgling stone fountains.
Besides his new Montecito vacation digs, Levine once owned a Tudor-style Beverly Hills mansion that was sold in 2019 for $42.5 million to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. (That house is currently back on the market, asking a hefty $53.5 million.) But the Maroon 5 frontman and Prinsloo now primarily bunk up in L.A.’s posh Pacific Palisades part of town, in a palatial property they bought for $32 million from now-divorced Tinseltowners Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck in 2018.
Riskin Partners Group at Village Properties repped both sides of the Montecito deal.