A pandemic-driven real estate market has found a buyer for fashion designer Tom Ford’s 20,662-acre Cerro Pelon Ranch near Galisteo, which had been for sale since 2016.
The sale on the property closed in late December for an undisclosed amount after a four-month transaction, said broker Neil Lyon, who heads the Neil Lyon Group at Sotheby’s International Realty Santa Fe. Lyon represented the buyer.
Ford, who attended St. Michael’s High School and graduated from Santa Fe Prep, originally listed the property for $75 million but cut the asking price to $48 million in 2019.
It is believed to be the highest known property sale in Santa Fe County, according to the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.
Lyon did not identify the buyer but said it was a family that has homes on both coasts. A New York broker contacted Lyon four months ago, informing him the family was interested in Cerro Pelon, which Ford acquired in 2001. Broker Kevin Bobolsky represented Ford but declined comment.
“The new owner loved it and was very decisive about their desire to purchase,” Lyon said.
The refrain for the purchase of the ranch property is similar to almost everything else in the Santa Fe real estate market, even those in much more modest price ranges: homes are going fast and for a lot of money.
“They wanted space, safety and the beauty of New Mexico,” Lyon said of the buyers. “This transaction was most definitely driven by the pandemic. People who have the ability to move want to be where there isn’t density. Working remotely is a game-changer for many.”
Cerro Pelon has a contemporary main residence that appears to float on a body of water that was designed by the renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The property has two guest houses, four staff residences, an eight-stall horse barn and an office building.
Cerro Pelon was a backdrop in many movies, as onetime owners Bill and Marian Cook in 1984 built a Wild West set for Silverado. Other notable movies shot at the site include Lonesome Dove, All the Pretty Horses, Cowboys and Aliens, Wild Wild West, 3:10 to Yuma, The Missing and Thor. The set was completely rebuilt after a pyrotechnical accident during the filming of Wild Wild West in 1999.
At the heart of the ranch is Cerro Pelon, a butte locally known as the Galisteo Wave. Petroglyphs, pictographs, pottery shards and pueblo ruins can be found on the land, and the Galisteo River runs through the northern portion.
Top-priced Santa Fe real estate pops up a couple times a year. The 3,250-acre Saddleback Ranch, also in Galisteo, closed on Friday on a $8.5 million sale to an undisclosed buyer, who excluded 648 acres from the purchase. The ranch last sold in 2008 for $17.45 million, according to Platinum Luxury Auctions.
In 2019, the 11-acre Casa Alegre residential estate in the foothills north of downtown sold for more than $6.1 million. The sale came minutes before an auction; the property was considered the highest-priced home sale in Santa Fe County in the previous two years and the seventh-highest home sale since January 2000, according to Platinum Luxury Auctions.
A seven-bedroom, 12-bath property on 36 acres at 5200 Old Santa Fe Trail near Zia Road sold in June for $7 million. It was considered one of Santa Fe’s top four highest homes sales in the 21s century, according to the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.