A 554-acre ranch in California’s Santa Ynez Valley once owned by McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc is coming on the market for $29 million. Mr. Kroc and his then-wife Jane Kroc bought the bulk of the ranch around 1965, shortly after the hamburger giant went public on the stock market and made Mr. Kroc an overnight multimillionaire, according to the listing agents.
The businessman spotted an advertisement for the ranch while on vacation with Ms. Kroc at Alisal ranch, a luxurious hideaway that attracted celebrities like Clark Gable and Doris Day, according to the book “Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and The Woman Who Gave it All Away” by Lisa Napoli. Even though Alisal ranch is nearby, Mr. Kroc decided to offer the full $600,000 asking price for the property without visiting it, according to Ms. Napoli’s book.
Mr. Kroc named the property “the J & R Double Arch Ranch,” a reference to the McDonald’s arches, and used it as a cross between a personal playground, corporate executive retreat and test kitchen. It also served as a headquarters for his charitable foundation. His brother, Bob Kroc, oversaw the foundation, which convened scientists around important research on diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and multiple sclerosis, Ms. Napoli said.
The ranch was purchased in 1990 by Gerald Kessler of NaturesPlus, a vitamin and supplements company, according to the listing agents. Following his death in 2015, his widow Meadow Williams and his children and grandchildren battled in court over control of his estate, according to court records and published reports. Ms. Williams is the sole seller of the property, the agents said.
Located in the Happy Valley region of the Santa Ynez Valley, the ranch is still largely as Mr. Kroc left it, though in very good condition, according to the listing agents. The “Round House” has a main circular living room with high ceilings, two levels of windows, a central fireplace surrounded by circular sofas, elaborate woodwork, Native American-style carvings and a library gallery overlooking the space.
Article source: Mansion Global