Oprah Winfrey Sells Spare Montecito Ranch Weeks After Facing Backlash for Buying a Big Chunk of Land In Maui
Real EstateWealth & Investing
Posted byBy Ann Brown | Published on:
Billionaire Oprah Winfrey has been busy on the real estate front. Hot on the heels of buying more than 800 acres of land in Maui, she has sold one of her California properties for $14.3 million.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 26: Oprah Winfrey attends the Los Angeles Red Carpet Premiere Event for Hulu’s “The 1619 Project” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on January 26, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)/Photo: Google Maps
Bye, Bye Montecito Ranch
Among the many residences the media titan owned was a ranch in Montecito, California. She has just sold the property, which is not her main residence, to a film director.
According to Siteline Santa Barbara, the ranch sell was an off-market transaction for about $14.3 million. Film producer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Red Notice,” “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “We’re the Millers”) reportedly purchased the property.
Because the transfer was conducted off-market, there are few public details about or photos of the property. What is known is that Winfrey acquired the property in 2005 for $7 million, according to tax records, Dirt reported. It does not seem she has ever lived on the 5.6-acre ranch.
The land features a small ranch house, which is just over 3,000 square feet. The house has four bedrooms and four baths. On the land, there is also a swimming pool and even a full-size tennis court, and, of course, a vast ranch area.
The neighborhood includes other Hollywood notables like TV host Ellen DeGeneres, singer Ariana Grande and TV star Larry David.
As Finurah previously reported, in 2022, Winfrey flipped a 4,320-square-foot property in Montecito for an impressive profit.
She acquired the property for $10.5 million in 2021. She then divided the property up and sold the halves to two different buyers, fitness guru Bob Greene and actress Jennifer Aniston.
Greene acquired his piece of the property for $2.3 million in August. A week later, Winfrey sold the main house to the “Friends” actress for a whopping $14.8 million.
Her primary residence is a 70-acre ranch on Montecity nicknamed “Promised Land” ranch. Winfrey still owns several homes, including several others in the Montecito area. She also has property in Colorado, Tennessee, Washington state and Hawaii.
Earlier this month, Winfrey reportedly bought 870 acres in Maui for $6.6 million. It was for four large parcels of Hawaiian land. Winfrey has lived part-time in Maui for 15 years.
The four parcels total 870 acres in Kula, Maui, reported Maui Now. Two were sold by Ulupalakua Ranch; one 520-acre plot for $3.89 million and another 330 acres for $2.47 million, Architectural Digest reported. Last year, Winfrey purchased an additional two 10-acre swaths of land, each for $100,000.
Winfrey, whose net worth reportedly is $2.6 billion, already owned over 100 acres of Maui land and her latest purchase bring her Maui land holdings to roughly 1,000 acres.
This massive land buy sparked mixed reaction from local Hawaiians. Some were concerned that the purchase would contribute to the displacement of native Hawaiians. Native Hawaiians now make up just 10 percent of the state’s population, according to the U.S Census Bureau.
Oprah Winfrey’s Creek Construction Makes Downstream Neighbors Nervous
|by Erik Torkells
••• “A boulder wall installed along San Ysidro Creek to protect media mogul and Montecito resident Oprah Winfrey’s estate from flooding and creek erosion is now at the center of a controversy over whether it was properly permitted,” reports Noozhawk. “Once Fish & Wildlife obtains more information about how the wall was installed […] the agency will decide how to proceed and whether any remedial action is needed.” The photo is courtesy of the Montecito Association—if you live in Montecito and haven’t joined, you should—which has its own write-up on the situation in a local paper.
••• “The County Board of Supervisors followed the City of Santa Barbara’s lead and passed an emergency ordinance tightening up the eviction code and making it much tougher for landlords to displace tenants.” —Independent
••• “The Santa Barbara Planning Commission gave little support this week to a proposed 250-room hotel at 101 Garden St. because it did not include housing. […] The city approved a Cabrillo Plaza Specific Plan in 1983, which allowed for both hotel and housing uses. […] The project’s architect, Brian Cearnal of the Cearnal Collective, displayed a rare moment of public frustration with the commissioners over their lack of support for the hotel project. ‘If an applicant can’t rely on a specific plan, then what the hell are we asking specific plans for?’ said Cearnal, one of Santa Barbara’s most prominent architects.” —Noozhawk
••• “The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to let the exclusive ambulance services contract with American Medical Response expire and enter into a nonexclusive, multiprovider ambulance arrangement for the county. That likely means both AMR and the County Fire Department will provide ambulance services for the county.” —Noozhawk
••• An update on improvements at Elings Park. —Santa Barbara News-Press
••• The 10,000-square-foot plaza outside the Santa Barbara Public Library should be done by October 21. —Noozhawk
••• “A proposal to create fish farms in the Santa Barbara Channel meets some local opposition.” —KCLU
••• “The Carpinteria Planning Commission unanimously approved a 72-room hotel project slated for 4110 Via Real [just west of the Sandyland Reef Inn and Motel 6] during Monday’s meeting, a project that has been in development for 10 years. The hotel will be built on the site of a single-story church, a parking lot, a vegetable garden and storage buildings.” —Noozhawk
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Tags: 101 Garden Street, 4110 Via Real, Elings Park, Oprah Winfrey, Santa Barbara Public Library
Oprah Winfrey gave Meghan Markle and Harry advice on whether they should go to the coronation
Charles III will be crowned on May 6th. Oprah Winfrey spoke about whether Meghan Markle and Prince Harry should take part in the ceremony.
The Royal Family
America’s premier television personality became close to the Dukes of Sussex before they stepped down as royals and moved to the US. Oprah attended the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in 2018.
After Megzit, the couple settled in the exclusive area of Montecito, next door to Winfrey. In 2021, they gave the TV presenter a scandalous interview – they talked about the difficulties they encountered during their life at the palace. So, the couple admitted that they were shocked by the manifestation of racism when one of Harry’s relatives expressed concern about the skin color of their first child.
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The screen star spoke about whether the couple should attend the coronation of Charles III in May in London. “I think they should do what they think is best for them and their families. This is what I think,” said Oprah.
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Meghan Markle and other stars who hide their real names
In Suits, Megan Markle’s character is called Rachel Zane. Interestingly, the future wife of Prince Harry did not have to get used to the new name, because her first name sounds exactly the same. Yes, yes, at birth, the girl was named Rachel Meghan Markle, and with age, she preferred the second name.
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The CBS morning show host asked what would be the right decision for the Dukes of Sussex. “They didn’t ask my opinion,” Winfrey answered modestly.
The former American actress and disgraced prince, despite her attacks on the royal family, still received an invitation to Harry’s father’s coronation. The spouses have not yet declassified their plans. However, experts are confident that the Dukes of Sussex will go to the UK. They are actively developing their personal brand in Hollywood and will not miss the opportunity to attend an important event that will be covered around the world.
Meanwhile, palace insiders have reported that family members are privately telling friends they will give Meghan and Harry a “cold welcome”. Moreover, the couple’s children, 3-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet, were not invited to the ceremony. Palace officials believe they are too small to attend a crowded event at Westminster Abbey, according to the Daily Mail.
However, the dukes will certainly take Archie and Lily with them to London. On May 6, on the day of the coronation, the son of the spouses will turn four years old, and they will probably celebrate this event privately after the ceremony.
Recently, Charles III nevertheless gave the titles of prince and princess to his grandchildren from the youngest son, but this happened only after the dukes explicitly stated that Archie and Lilibet had a birthright to them.
The conflict between Oprah Winfrey and the Sussexes is gaining momentum
The famous neighbors of the American TV presenter are under threat due to dubious construction on the Winfrey site.
The Royal Family
At the end of April, the American media became aware that a huge boulder wall was being built on Oprah Winfrey’s estate in Montecito, which is supposed to protect its site from flooding and bank erosion along the San Isidro Creek. The decision to isolate the TV presenter’s property was made after a rainstorm on January 9, which flooded part of Santa Barbara, leading to landslides and the complete evacuation of the Montecito community. After the rampage of the elements, the ground around Oprah’s house was covered with a thick layer of liquid mud. The TV presenter shared a video on social networks, which shows how she walks through the yard in rubber boots, almost knee-deep in mud.
Montecito is famous for being right on the line of floods and wildfires. It is one of the most difficult places to get property insurance in the United States. In 2018, the region was hit by heavy rains and landslides that destroyed millions of dollars of property and resulted in the death of 23 residents.
Everything seems to be official – permission to install a boulder fence was issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers on February 1. However, according to the Atlanta Black Star, there is no confirmation that Oprah Winfrey knows and has given her consent to the estate’s lockdown. In addition, according to California news outlet SFGATE, the TV presenter’s neighbors are concerned that the wall could redirect flood waters to their property. There is a possibility that they can gain strength when the trajectory of movement changes, and then the consequences of the flood will be even more devastating.
A Montecito resident (name withheld) is known to have already filed a complaint with the Santa Barbara County Department of Planning and Development regarding construction on the Oprah site, prompting the department to open an official investigation. Among Oprah’s neighbors are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (they live in close proximity to each other) and American TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres, but whether they are involved in this is not yet clear.
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The US Army Corps of Engineers, along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, handled numerous requests for building and reconstruction permits following the region’s deadly January floods.