Billionaire Riley Bechtel recently acquired a sizable slice of Montecito. The businessman purchased the 238-acre estate called Rancho San Carlos for $63 million. The property had been listed at $75 million prior to the sale, but during its most recent and lengthy run on the market it had seen an asking price as high as $125 million. Before Bechtel’s purchase, the estate had been in the family since it was built.
The property begins with a gated entrance and a long, tree-lined drive. It is crowned by a weathered whitewashed brick mansion in the Monterey Colonial style that features almost 30,000 sq. ft. of interior living space. Details include wood walls and paneling, custom millwork, ornamental ceilings, and crystal chandeliers. There are 14 fireplaces throughout the house.
There are fourteen bedrooms in the main house. Amenities include an underground badminton court and an underground English-style pub that was once a speakeasy—the property dates to the early 1930s—and features slate tile floors, a Tudor-style fireplace, and exposed timber. Other specialty spaces include a library; the kitchen is commercial grade, with a walk-in refrigerator and abundant space to accommodate larger affairs.
But the 30,000 sq. ft. main house isn’t the end of the story. There are eleven residences on the estate in all, as well as a small business building. The acreage is otherwise occupied by avocado and citrus orchards and equestrian facilities.
Bechtel’s net worth is north of $5 billion. A few years ago, he retired from the chairman and CEO positions at Bechtel Corporation. Founded by his great-grandfather, Bechtel Corp. is the largest construction company in the U.S. Bechtel’s son Brendan is currently at the helm.