Harbor Freight CEO sells Beverly Park home for $39.9 million

Eric Smidt, chairman and chief executive of Harbor Freight Tools, has sold an estate in the desirable Beverly Park area of Beverly Hills for $39.9 million.

The property, part of which was built on land once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky, originally debuted on the market in March at $45 million.

Completed in 1998, the Italianate compound includes a main house of more than 11,000 square feet, a pair of guest homes, a swimming pool, a pool house, a tennis court, formal gardens and parking for as many as 30 vehicles on slightly more than five acres.


Groin vault ceilings, arched doorways, pillars and detailed wood finishes lend an Old World ambience to the two-story residence, which counts 10 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms. Among features is a movie theater, a coiffure salon, a gym, a wine cellar and an observation deck.

A two-story library/study boasts a sitting room, a fireplace and custom built-ins. The formal living room, with vaulted ceilings and an oversized limestone fireplace, opens onto a loggia with a sitting area and an additional fireplace.

Gretzky and his wife, actress Janet Jones, had intended to develop what was originally about two acres, but opted to build a home at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks instead. Gretzky sold the property to Smidt during the summer of 1995, with the tool magnate paying “close to its asking price of slightly more than $2 million,” according to The Times.

Smidt acquired an additional parcel in 1999 for a little more than $3 million to expand the estate to its current standing of 5.06 acres.

Smidt founded Harbor Freight Tools, then called Harbor Freight & Salvage Co., with his father in North Hollywood in the late 1970s. Originally a mail-order business, Harbor Freight now operates 500 retail stores in 46 states.

Linda May and Steve Frankel of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage were the listing agents. Mauricio Umansky of the Agency represented the buyer in the sale.

Smidt owns other property in Malibu as well as the Knoll, the landmark Beverly Hills home formerly owned by billionaire Marvin Davis, singer Kenny Rogers and film producer Dino De Laurentiis.

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