Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Times Staff Writer

Kenny Chesney must have gotten word about the Malibu dress code: It’s baseball caps, dude, not cowboy hats.

What other possible explanation is there for the country music legend to have bought a house in the Carbon Canyon neighborhood for $7.4 million in February and then promptly re-listed it for sale at $7.95 million?

The home, which was listed at $7.5 million when Chesney bought it a nanosecond ago, has expansive ocean views. There’s a large farmhouse kitchen and oversized open living areas, surrounded by outdoor verandas. The property includes an outdoor Italian oven and barbecue and a vineyard -- all the better to keep the large temperature-controlled wine cellar filled.


Lush gardens and lawns surround the mosaic-tiled infinity pool, and there are two guesthouses.

According to the Multiple Listing Service, the home has five bedrooms and five bathrooms in 3,723 square feet -- plenty of room for Chesney’s signature blue armchair, had he wanted to move it in.

Just a few days before closing escrow in late February on the Malibu place, Chesney listed one of his properties on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John at $14 million. Built in 1979, the Stoneridge House includes a 10,657-square-foot masonry main house with oversized windows providing sweeping views of Caneel Bay and the island’s north shore.

It has seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms and sits on 1.7 acres. There is a pool, hot tub and a 9,157-square-foot deck.

While on the island, Chesney is known to hang out at Woody’s Seafood Saloon, a rollicking Cruz Bay bar that features an outside pickup window for drink orders on the go. (Frommer’s calls Woody’s a “dive,” but perhaps the aesthetics of the establishment are simply elusive to some.)

Presumably Chesney picked a better site than Woody’s for the reception when he married actress Renee Zellweger in May 2005 on a St. John beach. Then again, the marriage was over by the end of that year.


Chesney, a three-time Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year, filled stadiums and arenas on his 2007 “Flip-Flop Summer Tour.” His music blends country with rock and has enough of the laid-back Caribbean influence to recall Jimmy Buffett. Chesney’s hits include “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” “Back Where I Come From,” and “When the Sun Goes Down.”

He will be performing at Staples Center on May 28. And it is, in fact, because of his busy touring schedule that he decided to sell the Malibu house, said Kathleen Doyle of Keller Williams, Beverly Hills, who is the listing agent. “He realized he’s just too busy to be spending much time here.”

Emily Bourassa of Islandia Real Estate in St. John is the listing agent of Stoneridge.

Pop music muse plans her move

Chicago’s “Just You ‘N’ Me” probably has been played at as many weddings as “Hallelujah” has been sung by church choirs. The love song was written for Karen Pankow, the wife (OK, now ex-wife) of Chicago trombone player James Pankow, who still plays with the band.

She just listed her 6,400-square-foot contemporary Mediterranean home, which sits on about 1 1/2 acres in Malibu, for $4.5 million. She’s lived in the home known as Castillo del Mar for almost 10 years and, now that her children are in their 20s, plans to buy something smaller in Malibu. The property has a lap pool, 180-degree ocean views and has been the site of parties with upward of 115 guests.

“It’s an amazing place to entertain,” Pankow said. She had 30-plus people at her Super Bowl party this year -- all no doubt vying for one of the seven plush suede theater seats in front of the high-definition screen in the home theater. The first-floor living spaces are open and spacious with soaring two-story ceilings.

Entertaining extends outdoors with a patio area that includes a built-in tiled barbecue and kitchen area. The hand-tiled fish mural and mirror that hangs above it were done by a local artist. Surround-sound speakers are placed throughout the house.

All the exterior doors are copper -- both inside and out -- and an elevator makes “going to Costco a piece of cake,” Pankow said.

The 600-square-foot circular master bedroom has its own wet bar, fireplace and the ubiquitous ocean and canyon views. A wall of glass stone blocks allows in diffused light without compromising privacy. The estate is gated.

The driveway is lined with olive trees, bougainvillea abounds, and there’s plenty of respectable hiking right out the front door.

The 770-square-foot guesthouse has high ceilings, drop-dead gorgeous views of the ocean and plenty of natural light.

Karen Pankow admits that she’ll miss this home. There are just some things -- like homes and songs -- that will always evoke a fond memory.

“Yes,” she said, anticipating the question. “When I hear ‘Just You ‘N’ Me’ come on the radio, I still turn it up.”

Madison Hildebrand of Coldwell Banker Previews, Malibu West, has the listing.

For the gov, a matter of estate

How’s this for adding some cachet to a housing project: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, have bought a 25-acre tract in the Rancho Monte Alegre project in Santa Barbara County -- spending about $4.7 million for the land, public records show.

The Carpinteria project is transforming a historical 19th century California ranch that had several thousand acres of lush canyons, waterfalls and ocean views into an enclave of 25 privately owned estates. About 2,800 acres of the original ranch land were dedicated to the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County for preservation and will remain untouched.

Only 25 home sites have been designated in land parcels ranging from 20 to 720 acres.

This clearly isn’t a development for the faint-of-wallet, even here in Grey Poupon country.

The Governator’s homesite permits a house of up to a relatively modest 8,500 square feet; nothing smaller than 4,500 square feet is allowed in the development, and only one homesite permits a 12,000-square-footer. The 99 pages of project design guidelines determine in what style a home may be built (in general, a Mediterranean), what kind of plants may be used in landscaping (think native) and pretty much every other detail of construction -- including the style and color of the construction trailers that may be used.

(Memo to governor: Did you catch the part about no floodlights on the tennis court before you inked the deal? Harsh.)

The listing agent was Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty, Santa Barbara, sources said.

Don’t Google it: Here’s the answer

Well, no more searching for the identity of the person who bought Ellen DeGeneres’ Montecito estate for about $20 million.

Area real estate sources say the new man hiding behind the gates is Google’s board chairman and chief executive, Eric Schmidt.

DeGeneres refurbished the 1926 estate, which has a four-bedroom, Spanish Colonial-style main house, a detached guest cottage, a wine cellar, a pool and a tennis court.

Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty in Santa Barbara had the listing.



To see previous columns on celebrity realty transactions, go to