After first popping up for sale back in 2013 for nearly $60 million, and then undergoing several price chops through the years, a 14,100-acre Central California ranch long owned by Apple cofounder and former CEO Mike Markkula and his wife Linda has finally been snapped up by The Wildlife Conservancy.
One of the largest historic landholdings in Monterey County—stretching a lengthy eight miles through the Upper Carmel Valley—the massive spread was acquired by the San Bernardino County-based nonprofit in late July for a still hefty $35 million. Funding was provided via a mix of public and private financing, with the largest $24 million chunk coming from the California Wildlife Conservation Board.
The traditional homeland of the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County, the conservancy plans to partner with the tribe to help steward the land, restore its fish and wildlife, and provide free recreational opportunities to the public. The group currently operates more than 20 other nature preserves on the West Coast.
The Markkulas purchased the original 9,000-acre ranch back in early 1982 for just over $8 million, and subsequently tacked on numerous adjoining properties to expand the acreage. Nestled between the Salinas Valley and Santa Lucia Range, the working cattle ranch/owner’s retreat is showcased by a 5,413-square-foot, one-bedroom main house with a Western-themed bar and swimming pool, plus an attached two-bedroom guest wing accessible via a covered walkway.
Additional buildings include a separate two-bedroom guesthouse with its own four-car garage, multiple offices and staff quarters, and a two-story conference center. There’s also a private lake, riding arena, two barns, a 2,900-foot airstrip and helipad.
In the late 1970s, after retiring from Intel, Markkula gave then-unknown computer programmers Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak $250,000 to help form Apple. He became the third employee, served as chairman and CEO, and at one time owned 26 percent of the company. Markkula, who has an estimated net worth of around $1.2 billion, also owns homes in Woodside, Calif., and Hawaii.
Bill McDavid of Hall and Hall repped both sides of the deal.
Click here for more photos of Rana Creek Ranch.