CBRE’s Golf & Resort Group has been authorized by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to market Warner Springs Ranch for sale on behalf of the debtor, which will have a say in who buys the property.
The Warner Springs Ranchowners Association has the option of using what is known as a “stalking horse” bid. Under such a provision, the entity in bankruptcy gets to decide who will make the initial bid on the property.
Warner Springs Ranch, currently in a Chapter 11, is a historic resort property covering approximately 2,380 acres in northeast San Diego County. The ranch includes a 27,000-square-foot main lodge, 250 furnished bungalows and cottages, an equestrian center, an aquatics and tennis center with hot and cold swimming pools, a family camp with dormitories and recreational facilities, a 35-acre private airfield, a 144-acre golf course with clubhouse, multiple residential homes, gas station/mini-market and post office.
According to Jeff Woolson, CBRE’s Golf & Resort Group managing director, the offering is a one-of-a-kind opportunity in San Diego County.
“Warner Springs Ranch is an iconic resort property with historical significance and substantial land at 2,380 acres,” Woolson said in a statement. “The resort’s abundant water and natural mineral springs make it a very unique property to acquire.”
Originally known as Rancho San Jose de Valle, the ranch sits at an elevation of slightly higher than 3,000 feet. John Warner took over the ranch in 1844, developing a successful cattle operation and trading post. The ranch became a resort when approximately 100 cabins were built in the 1920s and 1930s. The golf course was added in 1965 and approximately 150 guest cottages were built in the 1980s.
The Warner Springs Ranchowners Association filed for Chapter 11 last March after a lawsuit blocked the sale of the resort to the Pala Band of Mission Indians for $20.5 million.
Prior to that proposed sale, the owners tried to sell fractionalized ownerships, which court papers stated could not be given away.
Warner Springs Ranch's golf course and resort components closed in January 2012. The post office and airfield are still in operation.
CBRE, which is marketing the fee simple land and associated water rights through the bankruptcy process, reports the property is ideal for resort redevelopment or mitigation/conservation land.