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New to Market: Big Piece of California

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Given the fight over undeveloped land outside of Los Angeles (most recently seen in the "Sim City" coming to the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch near Bakersfield), it's sort of jaw dropping to see something like this. On the market: The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon, located two hours north of Los Angeles in the Santa Ynez Valley. A total of five properties are available--they range from 187 to 1,176 acres. List price for these five properties: $6 million-$24.5 million. Various architects have offered to design the homes/ranches and the land can be used for equestrian use. Yes, it's hard to take this all in, isn't it?



Four Award-Winning Architects Present Conceptual Ranches’ Site Designs;

Plans Complement The Ranches’ Vast Santa Ynez Valley Acreage

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, CA – The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon, the largest available collection of ranches to descend from the original royal ranchos of California’s Santa Ynez Valley, announced its Preferred Architects program today. Four of the country’s leading architects are designing conceptual main house and ranch site plans, each tailored to specific ranch properties.

The Preferred Architects for The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon include some of the most significant names in custom home design: Howard Backen of Backen Gillam Architects based in Sausalito and St. Helena, California; Barry Berkus of B3 Architects and Berkus Design Studio in Santa Barbara, California and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jonathan Foote, Architect in Tucson, Arizona and Livingston, Montana; and David Leavengood of Leavengood Architects in Seattle, Washington.

“The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon are exceptionally rare and private properties, with breathtaking views and authentic natural beauty in an area already well known for its special wine country and equestrian aura,” said Phil Taylor, co-managing member of ARC-Fonterra. “Buyers will benefit from the Preferred Architects’ comprehensive knowledge of The Ranches’ untouched terrain as well as their expertise in high-end ranch and vineyard properties, scenic/rural settings and environmentally conscious design.”

Each architect will provide a conceptual design for one of the ranch properties including the main ranch house as well as an overall site plan for any ancillary buildings such as a ranch manager’s residence, guest house, barns, entry or pool. Buyers may opt to work with the architect who provided the conceptual plans for their ranch, choose one of the other Preferred Architects or select an architect outside of the Preferred Architects Program.

The Preferred Architects

Howard J. Backen, FAIA of Backen Gillam Architects leads an award-winning architecture and interior design firm that specializes in the design and project management for projects that include high end residential, resorts, wineries, and restaurants. Perhaps Howard is best known for Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in Utah which he designed while one of the principals of BAR, Esperanza and The Napa Valley Reserve along with numerous projects throughout the country and abroad. Backen’s designs express a style that blends with the natural surroundings and are often set in spectacular scenic locations. The firm has extensive experience in designing wineries, recently Howard was featured in Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Designers and the exclusive Robb Report magazine lists Howard as one of the top 10 residential architects in the U.S.

In 1991, Architectural Digest named Barry Berkus “one of the world’s top 100 architects” and in 1999, Berkus was selected as one of the 100 most influential individuals in the past century of American housing by Builder magazine. In 2007, he was inducted into the California Building Industry Foundation’s Hall of Fame. While his firms, B3 Architects and Berkus Design Studio, are international in scope, they are headquartered in Santa Barbara, and Berkus lives locally in Santa Ynez. B3 Architects and Berkus Design Studio design a broad range of projects including rural and ranch residential homes and specialize in winery properties. Berkus is renowned for his vineyard and winery designs and is currently designing a new winery for Star Lane Vineyards located adjacent to the Ranches’ property.

Jonathan Foote is one of the top, award-winning residential/ranch architects in the U.S. His designs are innovative, luxurious and modern while still preserving the classic ranch style of residences that blend in with and enhance rural settings. Jonathan’s work has been featured in many national publications including Architectural Digest, Big Sky Journal, Cowboys & Indians, Veranda, and Western Interiors and Design. Foote founded JLF & Associates in Montana in 1979 which received awards from local, regional and national chapters of the American Institute of Architects and Historic Preservation Associates. He currently works as an independent architect and advisor to the firm that he established. “The site is the starting point of design and the initial instigation of the form that I’ll eventually evolve,” said Foote. “The Ranches’ abundant acreage and unspoiled beauty inspires infinite creative possibilities.”

David Leavengood is recognized as one of the West’s most highly regarded architects. His practice has a particular focus on rural and ranch residential properties as well as heritage and preservation projects. Widely recognized for its sensitivity to environmental and preservation issues, his firm has been featured in many publications including Architectural Digest, Sunset magazine, Cowboys & Indians, and Travel & Leisure. David has received many awards for the creative use of sustainable and green design principles in ranch settings. Leavengood Architects initiates its design process through careful land planning to optimize the aesthetic placement of structures. This results in a sequence of movement through the landscape that creates the strong sense of place which has characterized his designs for the last four decades. “The lighting at The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon produces magnificent effects as it moves across the diverse terrain,” said Leavengood. “My designs are greatly influenced by natural elements such as sunlight, climate and rolling landscapes, and provide optimum views of the dramatic light reflections throughout the day.”

The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon

In a region prized for its natural beauty, The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon are among the most scenic and topographically dramatic properties to come on the market in over 25 years. Recently released for sale by ARC-Fonterra, the five properties comprising The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon range from 187 to 1,176 acres and exemplify the classic California ranch landscape, with mature oak and sycamore trees, terrain both rugged and rolling, and beautiful vistas. Each ranch has its own unique defining characteristics, each has one or more legal parcels, and each will be served by water and utilities. Traditionally used for cattle ranching, these properties also hold great potential for vineyards and equestrian facilities, as well as a private residence.

The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon extend below the San Rafael Mountains and the Los Padres National Forest, overlooking the internationally known Happy Canyon area. Happy Canyon has several vineyards which produce award-winning Bordeaux wines with an application pending to become an American Viticulture Area (AVA). In addition, this region is recognized for equestrian activities ranging from polo to cutting, and is home to one of the finest thoroughbred facilities in California. The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon are just 10 minutes from Los Olivios, two hours north of Los Angeles and only 30 miles from Santa Barbara, recognized internationally as the “American Riviera.”

"In terms of their scale and immediate availability, The Ranches at Figueroa Canyon are a unique collection of authentic California ranches," says Brian Prinn, co-managing member of ARC-Fonterra. "Usually properties this spacious are found only in remote areas of the country. The ability to own and enjoy ranch property so private yet so close to a cultural destination as renowned as Santa Barbara makes these ranches even more exceptional."

The five ranches – College Ranch, Ranger Peak Ranch, Vista Largo Ranch,

Corrales Creek Ranch and Lost Trail Ranch – range from $6 million to $24.5


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