By Roger Grody

In Santa Barbara, the idyllic community that anchors the portion of the California coast known as the “American Riviera,” is Estancia, a development of 72 distinctive residences  that celebrated its grand opening in July. Prominent local builder Franciscan Developments collaborated with Cearnal Collective, a premier Santa Barbara-based architectural and interior design firm, on the project, to present a modern interpretation of the coastal community’s quintessential Spanish Colonial architecture.

John Schuck, president of Franciscan Developments, reports, “The vision for Estancia was born out of a desire to take what is most loved and cherished about Santa Barbara and create a residential experience that takes full advantage of the city’s healthful and active lifestyle.” Emphasizing Estancia’s Old World charm, communal outdoor spaces and semi-custom interiors that showcase views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the developer adds, “I’m very proud of this project.”

Inside Estancia’s residences, traditional aesthetics fade into clean-lined modern living environments. Ten-foot ceilings, solid 8-foot doors and open floor plans are designed for contemporary lifestyles, and expansive terraces create a true indoor-outdoor experience that capitalizes on Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean climate. High-end finishes are standard, and a Carrara marble option transforms bathrooms into luxury spas. Generous breezeways with mountain views give common areas a resort feel and private garages are provided. Two story townhomes feature two bedrooms and two full baths in floor plans of 1,495 to 1,539 square feet, with gourmet kitchens, fireplace-warmed living rooms, and an additional powder room in select residences.

Three-story townhomes (1,923 to 2,063 square feet) provide those exceptional amenities with a second floor primarily dedicated to family life or entertaining. Representing a third option are convenient single-story residences, the first luxury flats to be constructed in Santa Barbara in 30 years. Ranging from 1,459 to 1,696 square feet — their high ceilings, abundant natural light and generous patio space make them live much larger — these units are popular with downsizing couples.

A lush landscaping concept provides a park-like setting for Estancia, with palm-lined European-inspired inlaid stone drives, flowering vines and open spaces that preserve views of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The excitement of Los Angeles is just 90 miles away yet a world apart.

Approximately 28 units of the two-phase project were completed at the end of June and complete buildout will occur in spring 2019. Prices start at $1.125 million for the single-story residences, $965,000 for the two-story townhomes and $1.125 million for the three-story townhomes. Estancia is represented by The Agency Development Group, headquartered in Beverly Hills