Massive polo estate near Montecito to hit the auction block

Patrick Nesbitt's Summerland estate
The 20-acre property lies in Summerland, an affluent Santa Barbara community near Montecito.

On the Santa Barbara coastline, the sprawling Summerland estate of hotel magnate Patrick Nesbitt is expected to go to the highest bidder at auction later this month.

Nesbitt, the chairman and chief executive of Windsor Capital Group, has scheduled the trophy estate for an online-exclusive auction without reserve or minimum bid on Nov. 16-19. Bidders are required to submit a deposit of $100,000, according to Concierge Auctions, which is handling the sale in collaboration with Rick Hilton and Rodrigo Iglesias of Hilton & Hyland.

It may surprise some to see an estate of such size and scale hit the auction block but Iglesias sees the benefits of the process.

This is not a foreclosure auction; this is more of a piece-of-art auction,” Iglesias said. “In these uncertain times, the auction approach brings certainty to the sale that nothing else does.”

The 20-acre property, nestled between the mountains and ocean, was originally purchased by Nesbitt in 1994. He and his wife, Ursula, began building the home in 1999, with work on the mansion completed five years later.

Inspired by Monticello, the Virginia landmark built for Thomas Jefferson, the 12,000-square-foot main house features many period details including wainscoting, ceiling medallions and parquet and herringbone-patterned wood floors. Custom draperies, crystal chandeliers and gilded accents keep the eyes moving throughout.

formal living room in patrick nesbitt's montecito estate

Wainscoting, ceiling medallions and custom draperies draw the eyes upward inside the house.

Including multiple structures and a finished entertainment level, there are 11 bedrooms, 14 full bathrooms, 8 half bathrooms, a movie theater, a ballroom, spa facilities and a sports bar. A hidden door near the entry provides passage to the rooftop deck.

At the heart of the estate is a 10-acre polo field and facilities for trainers and horses. Riding trails wind through the property, which features formal gardens, a butterfly habitat and a small golf course. A 128-foot-long infinity-edge swimming pool overlooks the polo field.

“I know the [California] coastline very well, and there is nothing that compares to the Nesbitt estate in size, volume, elegance and beauty,” Iglesias said.

Originally listed for as much as $65 million, the Nesbitt estate is poised to be the latest big sale in a spate of high-priced deals in the Santa Barbara area.

In nearby Montecito, a 240-acre estate known as Rancho San Carlos traded hands last month for $63.25 million, making it among the highest-priced sales in the area historically, real estate records show. Also closing in October was the custom-built Montecito home of actor Rob Lowe, which reportedly sold for $45.5 million.

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Neal is the Chief Content Officer at Forbes Global Properties. A content strategist with more than a decade of experience in the sports, entertainment and real estate spaces he previously launched a sports real estate column and chronicled L.A.’s biggest home sales for the Los Angeles Times' award-winning “Hot Property” section.

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