McDonald's Think Tank Ranch

Ray Kroc’s former California retreat and think tank ranch for McDonald’s is for sale at $29 million. Also for sale,  Leonard Bernstein’s Park Avenue penthouse that was the site of a famous 1970 party when many of New York’s wealthiest citizens met with top leaders of the Black Panther Party.

“Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s Fast Food Ranch

In the mid 1950s, Ray Kroc was a struggling milkshake mixer salesman who came up with the golden formula to make fast food businesses successful. His involvement in and eventual ownership of McDonald’s is to this day the model for setting up, managing and controlling a restaurant brand’s multi-location and franchise system. His huge success evolved into massive personal wealth, fame and philanthropy. In 1966, soon after McDonald’s went public, Kroc purchased a California ranch as a retreat and think tank where McDonald’s menu items McRib and the ever-popular Egg McMuffin were conceived. Now on the market, Kroc’s former J & R Double Arch Ranch is priced at $29 million.

Located in the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara, the 554-acre ranch has a smorgasbord of residences, recreational amenities, barns, a spacious and versatile conference hall and spaces for entertaining large groups of guests. The main lodge measures over 17,000 square feet with an excess of 20 bedroom suites, a commercial kitchen and a dining room that will seat up to 100 guests. The lodge living room, which measures 3,000 square feet, has a massive fireplace for gathering on chilly winter evenings. The Founder’s Building consists of a library, two bedroom suites, offices and a full gym. Also on the property are five single residences, two bunkhouses, barns, corrals and paddocks. Water is provided through two lakes, five wells and three cisterns which store 90,000 gallons of water.

Kroc set the standard by which today’s successful fast food chains are designed to operate. His formula was simple: design a tasty menu without filler ingredients, train employees thoroughly including public relations, then cast it all in stone with absolutely no deviations. Franchise only one store at a time with no territories given. A franchisee can only open the next store when it is established and proven that all of the McDonald’s standards are met. Kroc knew the importance of consistency in his product whether it be in San Diego, Stockholm or Japan. That was his golden formula. Ray died in 1984.

Ray Kroc’s ranch he developed into a multi-use facility as a family or corporate retreat or a working ranch is on the market. Priced at $29 million, the listing agent is Maurie McGuire with Coldwell Banker, Montecito.

“Leonard Bernstein’s “Radical-Chic” New York Penthouse”

Fifty years ago, Leonard Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre, were the owners of one of Park Avenue’s best apartments. Their home was also the site of one of the famous and controversial social-political happenings of the 1970s. When some of New York’s wealthiest citizens met with top leaders of the anti-police Black Panther Party. Or as Tom Wolfe described it in his New York magazine article, “Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s.” Big names from the entertainment world including Jason Robards, Jerome Robbins, Otto Preminger, Barbara Walters and Mike Nichols were there. So were Harold Taylor, Lillian Hellman, Cynthia Phipps and several dozen other members of New York City’s cultural and intellectual elite. Wolfe described it as a “a penthouse duplex full of stars, a Manhattan tower full of stars, with marvelous people drifting through the heavens.” Although Bernstein is long gone, the Park Avenue home is still one of New York’s heavenly apartments and is for sale at $29.5 million.

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The 14-room penthouse sits atop one of the most elegant prewar Art Deco full-service cooperative buildings on the Upper East Side, built in1930. Spread across two floors of the 21-story building, the duplex measures approximately 6,300 square feet with an additional 700 square feet of outdoor space between two private landings. A private elevator landing opens to a 34-foot grand gallery that continues to the formal living room, dining room and library. There are six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, multiple wood-burning fireplaces, wood plank floors and a sunny enclosed solarium. There are good views across Midtown Manhattan and the cityscape surrounding Central Park. The building amenities include doormen, health club, squash court, basketball court and even an elevator attendant.

The former Park Avenue penthouse of famed composer and cultural icon Leonard Bernstein, where he hosted some of the world’s most illustrious celebrities and politicians of the 1970s, is now on the market. Priced at $29.5 million, it is listed with Bonnie Chajet, Allison Chiaramonte and Tania Isacoff Friedland of Warburg Realty, Manhattan.

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