Montecito estate inspired by Spanish palace hits market for $35M

A little Alhambra palace in Montecito is up for sale
July 18, 2019 10:22AM

Kinka Usher and his Alhambra-inspired estate (Credit: The Agency)

Kinka Usher and his Alhambra-inspired estate (Credit: The Agency)

Always wanted to live in a palace on the Mediterranean, but never wanted to leave California? An estate in Montecito inspired by Spain’s historic Alhambra palace is hitting the market for $35 million.

The 2.4-acre estate is anchored by a 11,500-square-foot home inspired by the centuries-old Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. The estate incorporates many of the palace’s design elements, including Corinthian columns and Moorish mosaics, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The home was built by prominent French-born commercial director Kinka Usher, who was inspired by a childhood trip to the 35-acre palace. The Alhambra was built and expanded during the 14th and 15th centuries by Moorish rulers, then altered and expanded by Spain’s later rulers in the following centuries.

The palace has a unique mix of architectural styles, all of which Usher incorporated into the Montecito estate. Usher purchased the property about a decade ago and built the estate over two years. Most of the floors are imported from Europe.

The main house has an attached guest house and the grounds have a koi pond and Japanese-style pavilion, bocce and pickleball courts and an olive orchard. The Agency’s Billy Rose has the exclusive listing. Usher told the Journal he’s selling the home to spend more time at his real European estate on the Italian island of Capri, outside Naples.

It’s one of many properties to hit the market this year in the haute seaside town outside Santa Barbara.

In May, actor Jeff Bridges listed a more modest four-acre property for $8 million. An 8,000-square-foot mansion owned by late Discount Tire founder Bruce Halle is on the market for $12.5 million.

The massive 43,000-square-foot home of Embassy Suites CEO Patrick Nesbitt is asking $65 million. [WSJ] Dennis Lynch