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  • Writer's picturePrinceton North

Ellen DeGeneres Sells Montecito’s Historic Rancho San Leandro & Sprouts CEO Bags Oceanfront Home

After capping off 2022 with the record $70 million purchase of an oceanfront compound, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are celebrating 2023’s advent by quietly disposing of a Montecito property — again. Yes, they already bought and sold this house once before.

As first reported by Siteline Santa Barbara, the former talk show host and actress have offloaded Rancho San Leandro, a historic hacienda right next door to Oprah Winfrey’s “Promised Land” estate, in an off-market deal for a cool $21 million. Records indicate the buyers are Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe and her Texas oil heir husband Michael Herd, who together have an estimated net worth topping $740 million.

DeGeneres and de Rossi first doled out $7 million for Rancho San Leandro back in fall 2017, giving the estate a quick renovation before flipping it less than a year later to Tinder cofounder Sean Rad for $11 million. In 2021, Rad resold the ranch back to DeGeneres for a substantially increased $14.3 million. Incredibly, the former talk show host’s $21 million flip means the historic property has tripled in value in less than five years.

In 2018, Rad and wife Lizzie Grove married at Rancho San Leandro. Wolfe’s acquisition of the property and venue is perhaps ironic, considering she co-founded Tinder alongside Rad, but departed the tech giant in 2014, later filing a lawsuit that accused Tinder executives of sexual harassment.

Tucked away down a lengthy gated driveway, on a 6-acre parcel resting in a private gated community in prime Montecito, the multi-building structure is showcased by an L-shaped adobe hacienda. Built way back in 1845, and encircling a cobblestone courtyard, the house offers just one bedroom and one bath in a little more than 3,100 square feet of single-level living space boasting tile floors, vaulted wood-beam ceilings and seamless indoor/outdoor environs, plus a detached bonus space.

Highlights include an open-concept great room sporting living/dining areas bookended by identical fireplaces, and a windowed kitchen outfitted with an apron-front sink, high-end stainless appliances and a breakfast nook. Sequestered off by itself, the spacious master suite is decked out with a fireside seating area, covered porch, dual walk-in closets and a bath.

In addition to the main structure, three ancillary buildings across the courtyard are linked by a covered veranda. Built in the early 2000s, they include a three-car garage, one housing an office and a fitness center, and another two-story affair with a duo of guest bedrooms, three baths, a living room with fireplace, kitchen and mosaic-tiled staircase.

Outdoors, the grounds are dotted with an olive grove and gardens, and host an al fresco lounging terrace with a fireplace. There’s also a wealth of equestrian facilities, including a riding ring, four-stall horse stable and large barn, along with a dressage area and tack room.

DeGeneres and de Rossi still own multiple other Santa Barbara-area properties, including the aforementioned oceanfront compound and a charming cottage in the Hedgerow District of Montecito that’s currently on the market for a little more than $5.8 million, as well as two other petite Montecito cottages. Last November, they also paid $29 million for Tom Ford’s former Bel Air estate. As for the Herd family, they reportedly still maintain a luxe primary residence in Austin, Texas.

Sprouts CEO Bags Oceanfront Carpinteria Beach House

Seasoned retail veteran Jack Sinclair has picked up pricey new guard-gated digs in Santa Barbara County’s exclusive Carpinteria enclave. Records show the CEO of Sprouts Farmers Market, a Phoenix-based specialty grocery chain, recently paid $12.5 million for an oceanfront home sporting prime ocean, island, mountain and bird sanctuary views from almost every room.

The attractive Cape Cod-style dwelling was built in 1981 and has since been given a “head-to-toe makeover,” per the listing. Sited at the end of a secluded lane, on over a quarter-acre parcel resting alongside 76 feet of beach frontage, the wood-shingled structure offers five bedrooms and four baths spread across a little more than 2,700 square feet of split-level living space highlighted by a mix of hardwood and travertine floors, high wood-paneled/beamed ceilings, skylights and expansive walls of glass.

Standing out on the main level is a spacious living/dining area spotlighted by a stone fireplace topped by a custom surfboard and flanked by built-in bookshelves, and glassy doors spilling out to a deck that has steps leading to an additional lounging platform with beach access. Back inside, the large kitchen boasts a butcher block-topped island, newer stainless appliances, a walk-in pantry and windowed breakfast nook.

Upstairs, the master retreat overlooks sweeping ocean views, and has a seating area, as well as a green-hued bath outfitted with dual vanities, a soaking tub and shower. Four additional bedrooms can be found in two separate wings on the bottom floor — including an ensuite bedroom on one side, and three others sharing a bath on the other — and elsewhere is a recreation room, plus an attached two-car garage.

Before he became CEO and a board member of Sprouts, Sinclair was chief merchandising officer and later CEO of California-based 99 Cents Only Stores. He currently serves on the boards of the Food Industry Association and Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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