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Bruce Halle’s Montecito villa lists at massive loss

Less than three years ago, in May 2016, a brand-new contemporary mansion atop a majestic Montecito mountaintop sold for $16 million amid multiple offers. The winning bidders were bazillionaire Arizona-based entrepreneur Bruce Halle and his longtime wife Diane Cummings Halle, an heiress to the Sara Lee food corporation.

Here’s a peek at how the property looked back then:

The ocean view estate is undeniably spectacular. But now the same house is back up for sale at a multimillion dollar loss. And as y’all might expect, a lot has transpired in the last three years.

Let’s begin at the beginning. Rather than moving into the stunning home, the Halles did something that might seem strange to most folks (who aren’t billionaires). They hired Santa Barbara-based general contractors Griffin and Crane and spent over $8 million to rip all the new finishes out and remodel the place in a custom, ultra-high-end manner — specifically tailored to their every whim.

Tearing up a brand-new mansion? Who does that? Believe it or not, kids, but that’s par for the course in the rarefied world of limitless budgets and ten-figure egos.

Diane & Bruce Halle

Mr. Halle singlehandedly founded of Discount Tire, which grew to become the largest retailer of wheels and tires in the entire world. As his business boomed, Mr. Halle blossomed into a major philanthropist, noted art collector and big-time Republican donor. He was the richest person in Arizona, with a net worth estimated well north of five billion bucks.

We say “was” because Mr. Halle peacefully passed on in January 2018, at the ripe old age of 87. And it would seem his heirs — his widow and three adult children — have no interest in completing the Montecito project. So the gutted house has popped up for sale with a $12.5 million ask. Per the listing agents, that’s barely half the amount dumped into the place since 2016.

Set on 2.73 acres of land, the low-slung sprawler boasts more than 8,000-square-feet of living space, although there’s only 3 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. This is the perfect property for a sick-rich single person or a child-free couple — as the enormous 2,300+ square foot master suite will attest. Killer views in every direction drink in the Montecito valley, Pacific Ocean and fire-ravaged Santa Ynez Mountains.

Although this property is offered at a big discount, y’all — depending on how one looks at it — buyers should keep in mind that they’ll need substantial funds (and time) to get this baby back into showroom condition. Probably several million bucks and a couple years, at least.

At the time of his death, our real estate baller Mr. Halle also had a swanky oceanfront compound in Palm Beach (FL). He had coughed up a near-record-breaking $41,500,000 for the property in 2012.

The $39 million Palm Beach estate

Just two short months after his passing — in March 2018 — the property was sold for $39.4 million to hedge funders (“hedgies”) Bill Powers and Marianne Elmasri.

The Halles also kept other homes, like their 600+ acre Wildcat ranch near the winter resort town of Snowmass Village, Colorado. Their longtime primary residence, however, was a swoopy contemporary compound in pricey Paradise Valley, Arizona.

The eye-poppingly lavish desert estate features nearly 20,000-square-feet of living space (spread out across multiple structures) on approximately 10 acres of landscaped land.

Entrance to the Halle compound

It was here, at their Paradise Valley estate, where the Halles were infamously robbed at gunpoint — but thankfully unharmed — nearly a decade ago.

Listing agents: Suzanne Perkins & Ron Brand, Compass

CategoriesPower Players
  1. NiNi_CaTiNi says:

    The exterior looks better now— that said, I can’t imagine how in reality they spent the sum of money they claim when nothing but gutting the interior has been done.

  2. Darren says:

    I quite like the “villa”. It was a rather rustic esthetic when it was purchased but it is a great location with the potential to be a beautiful home. The outdoor terrace on the back looks to have been extended, it’s easy to see where some of the considerable cash was spent.
    Clearly, it was a home purchased for it’s a location and not for the building that had been recently built in advance of its purchase. For a change, it’s not some over the top mega-mansion trying to be something its not. It could be a very quiet tailored home reminiscent of Trousdale Estates, that doesn’t need to scream money to get attention, like so many others.

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