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2.7-acre Back Bay oasis in Newport Beach lists for $32 million



A Newport Beach mid-century house, built on 2.7 acres of horse property that looks out over 2 miles of scenic Back Bay to the Newport Dunes, has hit the market for $32 million.

The 5,872-square-foot house sits at the end of a gravel driveway with five bedrooms, six bathrooms and an open floor plan with floor-to-ceiling windows. Modernist architect Philmer J. Ellerbroek designed it as the family residence of late real estate developer and philanthropist Harry Rinker.

Since its completion in 1966, the house has remained in the Rinker family, who have maintained it. There’s a formal sitting room, a game room with a half-vaulted exposed beam ceiling and a multipurpose space with conversation areas, a pool table and a bar that opens to the outside.

The primary suite occupies an entire wing of the house, with views of Back Bay and the grounds. There’s a pool and spa, meandering pathways, and an artificial lake that teems with bass, bluegills, crayfish, bullfrogs and different species of birds, including bald eagles, osprey and snowy egrets. Migratory Mandarin ducks first introduced by Harry Rinker 55 years ago flock to and from the property.

So said Rod Rinker, an Idaho-based developer and the oldest of two boys. Speaking by phone, he recalled how the yard enclosed by a 12-foot chain-link fence covered in climbing vines provided an idyllic backdrop for childhood adventures.

“We were allowed to just run around the yard barefoot all day long and investigate anything that caught our interest,” Rod Rinker said. “We built forts and played army. We fished and were taught to swim at a very young age so we wouldn’t drown when we fell into the lake, which happened all the time when we were chasing frogs.”

It also suited his father.

Near the home’s entry gate, a stable converted into a garage recollects why Harry Rinker, who his son described as “a country boy at heart,” snapped up the lot that once held only an old adobe house and remnant orange trees. He wanted horses and room to roam.

“The whole family would get on horses and drop off the property right into the Back Bay,” Rod Rinker said. “With the horses and lake and all the wildlife that flies into the property, it was like a wildlife haven.”

Although the horses are gone, the property remains relatively unchanged. But the family has decided to sell the property because Diane Rinker, who still lives in the house, wants to downsize.

“I know you can’t choose who your buyer is, but I really hope it’s a family with young children,” Rod Rinker said. “Anyone who spends their life growing up in this atmosphere will recognize how special it is.”

John Stanaland of Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the listing agent.

Harry Rinker, who died in August 2021 at 100, moved to Orange County after World War II. At the time, orange groves blanketed the land. But the ambitious young developer who grew up in a small cabin in the woods outside of Toronto would go on to build housing and commercial developments, including gas stations and shopping centers.

As the money rolled in, he and his wife settled in Newport Beach and later helped grow Chapman University with a $15 million donation to the health sciences campus named after the couple.

Source: Orange County Register

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