‘BEST OF BOTH WORLDS’
Nestled in the 200-acre open space located in the foothills between Santa Barbara and Goleta is the area’s newest custom estates community, San Marcos Preserve.
A total of 14 luxury estates will eventually be located throughout the open space frequented by hikers, bird watchers and dog walkers. Three estates are currently under construction.
Each of the homes will feature unique architectural styles that are uncommon for the area —— Modern Farmhouse, California Ranch and Spanish Hacienda. The estates all have customizable features and designer finishes within the natural, private preserve that features breathtaking views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands.
The development is broken into two sections: The Meadows on the lower preserve (six homes) and Terrace on the upper end (eight homes).
“What’s so unique about this property is you’re going to have home sites within this natural preserve,” said Lorie Bartron, founder of The Bartron Real Estate Group. “So we’re kind of marrying two things that don’t always go together.”
Ms. Bartron’s group has partnered with Chadmar Group and the homes are designed by renowned architect Mark Scheurer.
Each estate is surrounded by split rail fences that indicate what part of the land is “buildable” and what needs to remain preserved.
“There’s no location like this in town,” Ms. Bartron explained. “You’re in the foothills with beautiful views and yet you are literally minutes to downtown.”
The parcels range from three to 27 acres and the size of the preserved land varies depending on the parcel. The home sizes range from 4,000 to 4,500 square feet
“You can have your home, your pool, your deck and all of that, but the rest of the acreage has to remain basically untouched in its natural habitat,” said Ms. Bartron. “If you have a five-acre parcel, you’re really only maintaining two acres of that.
“It’s the best of both worlds.”
The preserve itself offers resting locations for dozens of native bird species and a connecting corridor for wildlife of the Los Padres National Forest and Goleta Slough. It is maintained by the Channel Islands Restoration, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to its stewardship. The maintenance includes sheep grazing to help prevent the growth of non-native and invasive plants.
The space where the homes are being built has undergone several different iterations over the years and was once expected to be developed for massive homes as large as 10,000 square feet. The Chadmar Group got involved in the past few years and scaled the estates down to their current sizes.
“It’s a labor of love doing developments like this,” Ms. Bartron said. “The city and the county don’t always love these projects and they make it very difficult, but they don’t always get to see the outcome.
The News-Press got a tour of three estates — one of each of the architectural styles — during a recent trip to the area. Several hikers were seen nearby enjoying the cool, overcast afternoon.
The estates are strategically located to maximize the views while still displaying the intimacy and exclusivity one would feel in areas like Hope Ranch or Montecito.
“When you’re inside the homes you aren’t affected by the other homes,” Ms. Bartron said. “Most people don’t even know that option exists. They come to town and then they think about spending this much money on a home … this is now a great third option for them.”
The estates range in price from $3.5 to $4.5 million. Sales are underway and the first estate, No. 7, is slated to be complete at the end of July. Two others will be completed by the fall and foundations will be laid for the others by the end of the year.