SF Examiner owner sells Sea Cliff house for $14.5M, keeps home next door

Clint Reilly’s portfolio includes Merchant Exchange and SF office buildings

SF Examiner Owner Sells One of Two Sea Cliff Homes
SF Examiner's Clint Reilly and 870 El Camino Del Mar (Google Maps, Clint Reilly)

SF Examiner owner Clint Reilly has sold one of his two Sea Cliff homes for $14.5 million, according to public records. 

The four-bedroom, six-bath home with about 5,400 square feet that the publisher and Merchants Exchange Building owner parted with at 870 El Camino Del Mar is next door to his other Sea Cliff property, which is not on the market. It originally listed for $19 million in September last year, but quickly dropped its price to $16.5 million in early November and was in contract later that month. It sold on Jan. 18.

The price works out to about $2,685 per square foot.

Ted Bartlett and Tina Bartlett Hinckley of Compass represented the seller while Neill Bassi of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer, SLBAL Trust. All the agents declined comment. The trustee is listed in public records as Justyn Volesko, who heads the Cerity Partners Family Office in New York. 

Reilly and his wife Janet have owned 870 El Camino Del Mar since 2015, when they bought it for $8.5 million. In 2019, they received approval for an addition and renovation to the 1918 Spanish Revival home, adding about 1,600 square feet to the third floor and excavating the crawl space, according to city permit records. The renovation cost $2 million.

The lower level now has a media/game room and a guest bedroom with an attached bath, both with bay views since it is built into the cliffside overlooking the Pacific. All of the other bedrooms are on the top floor and are also en suite, including the primary bedroom which has a glass sliding door out to a deck with panoramic views. The main floor entertaining space has the same bay, bridge and Marin Headlands views, as well as another deck.

The Reillys have owned 880 El Camino Del Mar next door since at least the early 1990s, according to property records. They built out its lower level in the early 2000s. While the work was going on next door over the last four years, they also made some updates to the home they kept, including a new double-height “entry pavilion” and several remodeled bathrooms, according to city permits.

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The couple have also owned a vineyard property in Napa since 1999, according to public records.

In addition to his personal residences, Reilly has owned the iconic Merchants Exchange Club and Merchants Exchange Building, famed for its Julia Morgan Ballroom, since 1995. He added the office building at 358 Pine Street directly behind the Merchant’s Exchange for $5.15 million in 2006 and has several other Pine Street office buildings as well. His most recent office buy was 25-story 235 Pine Street for $129 million in 2018.

The Reillys have owned The Nob Hill Gazette since 2016 and added to their luxury lifestyle publications by buying Peninsula-focused Gentry Magazine in the summer of 2020. Just a few months later, Reilly also bought the San Francisco Examiner, which included the publication SF Weekly. 

Reilly is also a longtime political consultant who ran for mayor in 1999, in an unsuccessful bid to keep Mayor Willie Brown from winning a second term.

Sea Cliff is one of San Francisco’s most expensive enclaves, and previous residents have included Robin Williams, whose former home is currently on the market, and Sharon Stone — when she was married to former Chronicle and Examiner editor Phil Bronstein. Reilly and Bronstein actually tussled, both physically and legally, in the early 1990s when the former sued the Examiner, alleging Bronstein broke his ankle during an argument over the paper’s coverage. It was settled out of court.

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