A palatial Los Angeles home that had waffled on and off the market for nearly two years has sold, in a deal that was finalized off-market. Billed as “one of the great estates of Beverly Hills,” and initially asking as much as $32.5 million, the hillside property transferred for a very discounted $24.5 million. That’s $500,000 less than what the sellers — Ohio-based greenhouse manufacturer Rich Reilly and his wife Christie — paid for the place in 2017, though it’s still a big number for the neighborhood.
Records indicate the buyers are New York-based businessman Ronald Kramer and his wife Stephanie Blau. Kramer is a veteran banker who left Wall Street in 2002 to become president and director of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd, a position he held until 2008 — when he took the reigns as CEO of the Griffon Corporation, a multibillion-dollar holding company with businesses arms specializing in the manufacture of garden tools, garage doors and electronic communications equipment. As for Blau, she’s a daughter of Henry Blau, the late owner and previous CEO of the Griffon Corp.
Originally built in 1934 but renovated and expanded beyond recognition by a former owner in the 2010s, the sprawling estate has some of the lushest landscaping in Beverly Hills, with 1,000 feet of towering hedges and exquisite gardens that surely must take a fortune to maintain. Notable former owners include Golden Age Hollywood producer George Sidney, Michael Jackson’s longtime manager Freddy DeMann, “The Terminator” producer Gale Anne Hurd and billionaire heiress Janet Crown.
Nestled into the hills above Benedict Canyon, in the far northern reaches of the city of Beverly Hills, the main house sits well over street level. There are no fewer than five gated entrances to the property, all of them connecting to various driveways and leading to either the main house, the guesthouse, the gardens or a service entrance with its hidden staff parking lot.