Oceanfront properties near Montecito’s scenic Miramar Beach rarely trade hands, so it’s almost always a newsworthy event when they do — and so it is with the transfer of a half-acre estate on coveted Fernald Point.
Built way back in 1900, the senescent compound was dramatically overhauled in the mid-2000s, then redone again following its May 2009 purchase by Seattle-based telecom billionaire Craig McCaw. Records show that McCaw — a bonafide real estate baller with a jealousy-inducing collection of lavish personal residences — forked out $8.3 million for the premises prior to renovations.
After exactly one decade of McCaw ownership, the sandy property has sold again — for a hefty $12.23 million. This time, the buyers are a Hollywood power couple: bigshot entertainment attorney Jeanne Newman and her longtime hubby Gary Newman, the former co-CEO of Fox Television Group.
With his longtime counterpart Dana Walden, Newman was widely credited for having transformed Fox into arguably the most successful studio in television. And on the heels of Disney’s 2017 gamechanging acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Newman was expected to remain at the so-called “New Fox” — and to continue building on his long success streak. But in a surprise move last October, he officially stepped away from the network, his abrupt exit reportedly the result of a contract length dispute.
Anyway, the new Newman spread features three separate structures — a 3-bed/2.5-bath, 3,300 sq. ft. main house, a wee guesthouse with two ensuite bedrooms, and a detached two-car garage just off the road out front.
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The gated driveway runs parallel to a long hedgerow of manicured oleanders and a stately grassy lawn. The main house and guesthouse are set far back on the narrow, deep lot.
An enormous great room encompasses the upgraded kitchen, a formal dining area, and a fireplace-equipped family space all in one. Glass sliders lead directly to an al fresco dining deck and the sandy beach beyond. Elsewhere, the living room sports another fireplace and more glass sliders leading to other patios. The Moroccan-influenced decor is briefly interrupted by a sizable “Life’s a beach” sign on the mantle.
At least two of the main home’s bedrooms include fireplaces, and the upstairs master has a palm-shaded balcony with sea views. The backyard boasts 75 feet of ocean frontage and a wooden jacuzzi, plus a giant iron firepot with surround seating for six. A charming flowerbed border — daisies? — separates the private yard from the public beach beyond. Best of all, the property is just a short stroll down the coastline from Montecito’s ritzy Four Seasons and the brand-new Rosewood Miramar Hotel.
Now in their 60s, the Newmans also maintain a bucolic retreat up in the wine-friendly Santa Ynez County community of Solvang. Purchased for $3.45 million in 2005, that 20-acre estate is currently on the market with a $3.65 million ask — noteworthy features include a vineyard, barn, and a main house with southern plantation-style architecture. The couple’s main residence, however, is a Hollywood-pedigreed Art Deco-influenced estate they bought in 2011 for about $9 million.
Though the Montecito transaction closed off-market, the property had been listed last year by Riskin Partners of Village Properties. Kathleen Winter of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices repped the Newmans.