Aside from the boutique hotels and hip art galleries, Ojai, California is virtually Los Angeles’ frontier—chock-full of ranches, horse trails, and arresting heroes ready to claim their stake in town. For its 7,500-plus residents, life here represents a change of pace, a great escape. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine might be next to ride into town, after visiting the newest $9.25 million off-market ranch estate listed.
Once an aging ranch in the Ojai foothills, the estate was transformed into a serene 4.3-acre wellness refuge—an expansive equestrian landscape with grazing horses, stables, and two fruit-bearing orchards. The 123 Fairview Road residence is listed by Ernie Carswell of Douglas Elliman.
The reinvented, unconventional architectural home mixes the charm of yesteryear with the convenience of a modern weekend spiritual retreat. The updated residence offers five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces, ideal for year-round entertaining amid lush natural surroundings and clear blue skies.
“Here in Ojai, there’s a feeling of retreat to the post-Western frontier of former California,” Carswell says of the ranch country town 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles. “Fairview Road looks like the farm James Bond would choose if he decided to take up ranching.”
The original structure dates back to 1980, when it was an unremarkable, low-slung ranch-style residence. Developer Gidi Cohen’s team at CGI Strategies (which typically works on multi-family developments and hotels) overhauled the home to its current sleek, functional design.
“The Ojai Ranch on Fairview Road is a perfect example of [developer] Gidi Cohen’s driving vision against the typical, forging ahead to capture the imagination of residents or owners seeking something remarkably different from the norm—even if that difference is a return to the past glory of a reconceived historic building (as he did in Hollywood at Villa Carlotta),” says Carswell.
Angled, natural white ceilings and walls, black deck doors, and natural lighting frame wide open contemporary interiors. A chef’s kitchen clad in rich woods, marble, and built-in cabinets (and appliances) flows into an expansive great room that overlooks a large, double-decked patio and sparkling pool.
The master suite features floor-to-ceiling glass walls, a private sitting room, a rock fireplace and vistas of the rear orchard. The master bath has double vanities, a double shower, and free-standing porcelain tub, all of which open to a tree-top terrace where a trunk naturally protrudes through the space.
Secluded exteriors are privatized by trees and abundant orchards. A quaint stone-perched mailbox by the gated entrance invites guests down a cobblestone driveway adjacent to a fenced-in horse paddock. Outdoors includes sleep-out teepee tent spaces, a wood-paneled pool deck with shade umbrellas and loungers, and a yard with big screen options for poolside movies. If Levine actually buys the ranch, it “will be loved.”
“Modernist in exterior design, it appears as a sleek, dark grey stealth residence, almost unseen by passersby unless they look for it on purpose,” says Carswell. “The interiors are high tech and contemporary comforts rolled into one package. Very private, the residence overlooks the ranch grounds and resort pool seeing only nature and no other neighbors or symbols of metropolitan life.”
Ojai is a celebrity-rich enclave, where pop stars, actors, directors, producers and business titans escape face-paced Los Angeles city living. The area has attracted the likes of Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and Academy Award winners Anthony Hopkins, Mary Steenburgen, and Green Book screenwriter Peter Farrelly (proving he’s not Dumb & Dumber but smart and smarter). Danson and wife Steenburgen recently sold their Ojai ranch.
Carswell says the home appeals to entertainers who desire ranch-lifestyle trappings without actual farming responsibilities. “Fairview Road ranch offers a perfect balance for these buyers because it isn’t hundreds of acres, but relatively modest in size (still large enough to qualify as ranch property),” he says.
“The overhead and liability of ranch ownership is a deterrent for many busy industry types, but Fairview Road operates easily and gives the full impression of ranch life with a contemporary twist—without overhead and extreme responsibilities,” he adds.