Estate Visit

By Richard Mineards   |   June 18, 2024
Truman Davies, Xorin Balbes, and Steve Ortiz with “Yoshi” and “Konzo” (photo by Priscilla)

Montecito designer, developer, and author Xorin Balbes used his latest project in our rarefied enclave to raise monies for the local charity, United Way. 80 guests descended on Monte Arroyo, a most impressive Hot Springs Road estate, built in 1910.

Xorin and his floral curator husband Truman Davies live a tiara’s toss or two down the road in the former home of philanthropist Leslie Ridley-Tree, which she and her husband Paul purchased in 1980. After living there for 35 years Leslie gifted the property to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and moved to Birnam Wood.

Xorin acquired it from the museum and lost no time in completely renovating the property, where he threw another United Way fundraiser three years ago.

He tells me he spent a year working on Monte Arroyo – a 13,560 square foot, seven bedroom, ten bathroom home – with architect Paul Ashley and contractor Rick Ladavverog, There is also a one bed, one bath, 847 square foot guesthouse situated on four acres of landscaped gardens described as “a botanical wonderland” with a three car garage and further parking for 30-plus cars on the 450 foot driveway, as well as a lily pond and pickleball court.

Uber realtor Nancy Kogevinas is selling the historic estate for $52 million. Among those losing no time checking it out were Belle Hahn, Rebecca Anderson, Marni Blau, and Susan Josephson.


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