"A prominent Laguna Beach real estate investor is on the brink of foreclosure on a $195.5-million loan backed by a portfolio of 19 properties, including the Hive complex, Royal Hawaiian restaurant, and Holiday Inn on South Coast Highway.
"4G Ventures CEO Mohammad Honarkar was supposed to pay the approximately $133 million remaining on the loan, held by Delaware-based LCC Warehouse, by Dec. 9, but he did not do so, according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court against Honarkar’s companies earlier this month.
"The lawsuit, along with a report filed in a separate case by an attorney who acted as a court-appointed receiver in Honarkar’s divorce proceedings, detail an empire of assets that’s mired by debt, lags behind on many months of bills and is close to financial collapse."
Drive Shack Inc., the owner of Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course, announced on Monday, October 19th that they have sold the RSJ golf course to a private investment group for $34.5 million.
American Golf, a subsidiary of Drive Shack, will continue to operate the RSJ golf course under a management agreement for now.
The Coalition to Protect Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course will continue to monitor the situation and we will share updates with the Irvine community on this sale once it becomes known and is verified by the coalition.
But the Coalition welcomes the new owner of RSJ golf course to our Irvine community!
The Save RCI group is asking the community to attend this coming Irvine City Council meeting, which is on Tuesday, August 13th. Those attending should plan to arrive by 5pm.
The Council will consider a resolution to affirm that "it has not intent to change the General Plan and/or Zoning Ordinance designations applicable to the RCI property."
City Councilmember Mike Carroll, along with Mayor Christina Shea announced at their July 11th town hall meeting on their plans to introduce this resolution at the CC meeting. And the Save RCI group hopes that Councilmembers Anthony Kuo, Farrah Khan and Melissa Fox will also vote in favor of the resolution.
Read the City of Irvine memo on this proposed RCI resolution.
The Save RCI group reported that the RCI property owners, the Spearman family and KB Home withdrew their application to build 123 condos/homes on the property, but have since been talking to City Council members and others about building 49 homes.
But the Save RCI group states that they "do not believe that this attempt to coopt the [RCI] resolution has affected the resolve of any of the City Council members."
The Save RCI group further states that those who plan to attend the August 13th CC meeting should wear a yellow neon shirt to show solidarity.
And if any attendees plan to speak, to keep it respectful and short. The group will pass out yellow-colored flyers saying "Save RCI!" to hold up in the audience.
For more information on the RCI zoning resolution and the August 13th CC meeting, visit the SaveRCI.com website.
According to the Save RCI group, Irvine City Councilmember Mike Carroll, along with Mayor Christina Shea, announced that they will place a resolution on the agenda for the August 13th City Council meeting to "1) confirm there is no intent to change the General Plan or Zoning Code and 2) reaffirm that the [Racquet Club of Irvine] site shall remain designated for recreation."
Below is Councilmember Carroll's full statement that was published on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IrvineMikeCarroll:
"Last night, I held my first Town Hall meeting, joined by Mayor Christina Shea and over 200 residents. The topic was the proposed re-zoning of the Racquet Club of Irvine (RCI) site from commercial recreation to residential housing. We were moved by amount of citizen participation and thank everyone for attending. The path forward is clear. Today, we are placing a Resolution on August 13, 2019 City Council meeting agenda to (1) confirm there is no intent to change the General Plan or Zoning Code and (2) reaffirm that the site shall remain designated for recreation."
A memo dated July 12th detailing this decision has been issued by Councilmember Carroll and Mayor Shea, which is addressed to City Manager John Russo. The memo instructs the City Manager to place the resolution on the August 13th City Council meeting agenda. Read the memo
For more information on Carroll's and Shea's announcement regarding the RCI property, visit the SaveRCI.com website.
Members of our Protect RSJ Golf Course Coalition have recently learned that the developer KB Homes has submitted an application to the City of Irvine to change our city's General Plan to build 123 homes on the Racquet Club of Irvine (RCI) property.
The RCI property is about 11 acres near the intersection of Culver and Michelson, and is currently the home to a popular tennis club in south Irvine. In January, the owner of RCI wrote a letter stating that he is exploring a zone change for the property for possible sale to a developer.
Satellite map of RCI property near Michelson & Culver
Based on the size of the property (11 acres) and KB Homes' intent to build 123 homes, we believe the development may consist of a combination of 3-story attached townhomes with some attached single-family and/or duplex homes, all offered at market-rate prices.
A change in our city's General Plan to build more homes that go beyond the current General Plan will:
What Can I Do To Help?
The Irvine City Council and the City of Irvine Planning Commission wants to hear from YOU, the community, on KB Homes' proposed General Plan change, as well as their wish to build 123 homes on the RCI property.
Here's how you can help:
Your voice will make a difference! Especially when it comes to our city's master planned community which is guided by our city's General Plan.
Tips on Speaking at a Meeting
Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you at either the Planning Commission meeting or the City Council meeting!
Questions? Contact us
Each year, the City of Irvine Mayor presents a "State of the City" address to the public at Irvine City Hall. This year's address took place at the February 12th city council meeting.
During Mayor Don Wagner's speech, he mentioned the City Council protecting the Rancho San Joaquin golf course from unwanted development as being one of the key highlights from this past year. Observers thought this got the loudest applause from the mayor's speech! Watch the short video clip below.
A few members of our Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course Coalition met recently with a representative from KB Homes on their interest in potentially purchasing the RCI property for a proposed residential development.
Part of the meeting was spent discussing the expected community opposition to any application to change the city’s General Plan and zoning to allow residential development on the RCI property.
Toward the end of the meeting, as part of KB Homes' due diligence they indicated that they found it unsuitable to move forward with the acquisition of the RCI property.
Based on monitoring the title record for the Rancho San Joaquin golf course property, our RSJ golf course coalition confirms that the RSJ golf course, so far, continues to be owned by Drive Shack Inc.
A developer from 4G Ventures was in escrow to purchase RSJ golf course since about July. But agreement could not be reached for purchase. Currently there appears to be no activity on the sale of the RSJ golf course.
Also, we reported earlier that Drive Shack replaced its executive staff late last year. Their new CEO is Ken May who was previously CEO of Topgolf, a direct competitor to Drive Shack. And their new CFO is David Hammarley.
And we also reported this past fall that the Irvine City Council adopted a legal resolution which reaffirms the current General Plan and zoning for the RSJ golf course in order to protect the property from redevelopment
Our coalition will continue to monitor the sale and provide an update should the status change.
Questions? Contact us through our Contact Us form on our website.
A letter written by the owner of Racquet Club of Irvine (RCI), a tennis club near the corner of Culver and Michelson, was recently posted by a resident on Nextdoor.com. Read the RCI letter
The letter, written and signed by Cecil Spearman, CEO of Spearman Clubs states that RCI "will continue to operate as a club for at least 18 months." But he has a consultant who is studying to see if a "change of entitlement" could be approved for the RCI property (which is about 11 acres) for another purpose other than a tennis club.
Mr. Spearman states that since the deed restriction on the property has expired several years ago, several developers have approached him and "would make a significant offer [to purchase RCI] if I would change the entitlements." He also states "If the change to the highest and best use [zoning] is made and a significant offer is made, I MIGHT CONSIDER SELLING THE LAND."
RCI has been in existence for 45 years and is currently zoned by the City of Irvine for "Commercial Recreation" use.
Consisting of 28 tennis courts including 6 clay courts, RCI is known as one of the most affordable tennis clubs in Orange County. RCI has approximately 500-600 members and is also home to a tennis academy which attracts young players from around the world as well as an afterschool children's tennis program and a swim school.
The letter does not state a developer's intent for the property. But it's reasonable to assume that if the Irvine City Council were to approve a General Plan amendment and zoning change for RCI for medium- or high-density residential development, the RCI property could fetch a much higher sale price.
But Irvine residents who drive on Culver and/or Michelson may question whether these streets can handle more traffic from a new residential development at RCI, especially during peak traffic times.
What Can I Do?
Though it's unknown if a developer will buy RCI and develop the property, it's not too early to voice your opinion. If you would like to voice your opinion on the possible zoning change for the RCI property, below are the email addresses for our Mayor and Irvine City Council:
Our RSJ golf course coalition now confirms that negotiations has stalled between the owner, Drive Shack Inc., and the current buyer, a developer from 4G Ventures in Laguna Beach, on the sale of the Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course.
Negotiations on the sale have been ongoing since approximately July but the two parties have not yet reached final agreement.
Our RSJ golf course coalition have, and will continue, to closely monitor the sale and will provide an update to the Irvine and wider Orange County communities on when the sales status changes. Be sure to sign up on our email list or join our Facebook group to keep posted on future updates.
Questions? Contact us on our Contact Us form.
Drive Shack Shakes Up Its Executive Management
The corporate owner of the RSJ golf course, Drive Shack Inc., recently announced it replaced its CEO by hiring Ken May who was previously the CEO of Topgolf, a direct competitor to Drive Shack. Drive Shack also replaced its CFO with a new outside hire, David Hammarley.
Both May and Hammarley started work at Drive Shack on November 12. Sarah Watterson who was previously CEO of Drive Shack, will transition to Drive Shack's board of directors.
Read the Drive Shack press release annoucing the management change