Big GOP donor Buck Johns lists his 3.5-acre Newport Beach estate for $25 million – Orange County Register

For the first time in 47 years, a gated Newport Beach mid-century ranch-style home where Republican VIPs gathered for political fundraisers is on the market.

The asking price is $25 million.

Spanning 6,895 square feet, the house — originally built on a 3.5-acre-plus lot that rolls down into the Back Bay wetland in1951 — has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Records show Buck Johns, a prominent GOP donor, bought the home in August 1977 for $550,000.

“It’s not often that a trophy legacy property like this comes along,” said co-listing agent Brian Sperry of Coldwell Banker Realty, several days before the property hit the market. “Already, we’ve had a few agents come through and say they have buyers — one potentially from L.A. They know they want to be in Newport Beach, and they want land, but land like this is rare.”

Themultiple listing serviceshows it’s the largest residential lot for sale in Newport Beach.

Johns, 82, is only the second person to own the property. Since the 1980s, he has held events for Sen. Pete Wilson, Vice President Dan Quayle, Mike Huckabee, Larry Elder and other politicians on the tennis court.

“He has had presidents and vice presidents and governors and anybody and everybody here for fundraisers and celebrations,” said Bill Coté of Coté Realty Group, the co-listing agent whose been among the supporters at gatherings hosted by the developer and longtime political power broker.

A glass and wood house off a circular motor court at the end of a long tree-lined driveway anchors the natural surroundings and makes the most of 381 feet of Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve frontage. A chain-link fence separates the lot from the protected estuary, popular with rowers, birdwatchers, and trailgoers via horse, bike, or foot.

Floor-to-ceiling windows frame that view from the main living areas.

Bi-fold windows stack to opposite sides, opening up the waterfront primary bedroom with a natural flagstone fireplace to the enclosed lawn-covered backyard.

The listing details are sparse, but MLS images show a dated but well-maintained home with a large kitchen, a gym, a wine cellar and a pool house. A guest wing addition at the opposite end of the house matches the original structure’s mid-century architecture.

Lush grounds give way to a sunken tennis court, gated swimming pool and pavilion, with land to spare. The property allows for up to six horses.

Back Bay is picturesque and alive with birdsong, but the peace is often interrupted by the noise of departing flights from John Wayne Airport. Despite this, wealthy buyers continue to show interest in the area.

In June 2023, the neighboring property known asDuck Farm fetched $15 million for multi-parcels totaling 2.5 acres, according to the deeds viewed atPropertyShark.com . Many older homes on smaller lots have been replaced by new construction, but larger properties are still available, includinga 2.7-acre estate aiming for $32 million two doors down from its larger neighbor.

As Sperry put it, “There’s nowhere else you’re going to find this amount of land on the waterfront, and after this sells, there will never be for quite some time again.”

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