Although the secretive deal actually went down last September, it’s only now come to light that billionaire Ivanhoe Mines magnate Robert Friedland and his longtime wife Darlene have very quietly paid a hair under $47 million for an oceanfront estate in the seaside California town of Carpinteria. The deal was far and away the biggest residential real estate transaction recorded in Santa Barbara County in 2023.
The home’s lucky sellers were Darren Entwistle, the controversial and longtime CEO of Canadian telecommunications giant Telus, and his wife Fiona. The Entwistles had placed the house on the market in the summer of 2022, asking a whopping $55 million, but delisted the property several months later. The $47 million transfer was inked off-market. The Canada-based couple originally acquired the estate in 2012 as a vacation home, paying $17 million.
Originally designed in the early 1990s by noted architect Robert L. Earl, the East Coast-inspired residence was extensively renovated by architect Andy Neumann and original builder Paul Franz in 2012. The six-bedroom, eight-bath main house features nearly 10,000 square feet of living space. Additional structures include an 800-square-foot guesthouse with one bedroom and a full bath, plus a garage building with room for three cars, plus a gym with an infrared sauna.
Hidden away behind a long gated driveway flanked by manicured lawns dotted with reflecting ponds, on an almost 2-acre blufftop parcel sited just west of Loon Point, the white-shingled and gable-roof main house is shaded by magnolia trees and fronted by a cobblestone motorcourt. Inside, ornate interiors are studded with coffered ceilings, rich hardwood floors, Murano glass light fixtures and numerous sets of French doors that spill out to the gardens.
Other highlights include a double-height foyer anchored by a dazzling chandelier and curvy wrought-iron staircase, formal living and dining rooms, and a mahogany-paneled office with a fireplace surrounded by a jade green marble mantle. A cozy family room connects to an all-white gourmet kitchen outfitted with marble slab countertops, an eat-in island and high-end stainless appliances, as well as an accompanying butler’s pantry and breakfast nook.
Upstairs, the plush master retreat rests beneath an eye-catching recessed ceiling, and offers a fireside sitting area, covered balcony, and dual baths and walk-in closets. Five additional ensuite bedrooms are scattered throughout the house, including one with a private games room. Elsewhere are a wine cellar and an additional private office.
The posh amenities continue outdoors, where the exquisitely manicured and picturesque Sydney Baumgartner-landscaped grounds host several areas ideal for al fresco lounging and entertaining. An added bonus: direct beach access and a viewing platform accessible via a private stone pathway.
It’s also worth noting that the property is located on the most prestigious street in Carpinteria, where other neighboring homes are owned by the likes of Kevin Costner, Kourtney Kardashian, George Lucas, and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
The Friedlands own many other homes, including two side-by-side estates in prime Beverly Hills that they purchased for $26 million in 2021. In late 2020, they paid $16 million for Zsa Zsa Gabor’s longtime Bel Air mansion, which the couple has since demolished.
But nice as all those properties are, they rather pale in comparison to the Friedlands’ former home up in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area. In 2015, that historic hilltop property — known as Locksley Hall — was sold for a record-breaking $47.5 million to venture capitalist Matt Cohler, one of Facebook’s first five employees and an early investor in Instagram.
Internationally, the Friedlands also continue to maintain a dramatic blufftop villa in Phuket, Thailand, that has no fewer than three infinity pools, though their main residence remains a luxury flat in Singapore.