Jade and Julie Work have purchased the 116-acre property, pledging not to develop it as housing. Though future plans for the site are unclear, it will have a conservation easement placed on it to prevent future residential development, and a vineyard and wine-making operation could be in the cards.
The sale of the 116-acre Fallbrook (Calif.) Golf Club was finalized this week, cementing the property’s purchase by a local couple who have pledged not to build houses on the abandoned fairways, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
After two months of legal wrangling, Jade and Julie Work, longtime Fallbrook residents, received word Tuesday that escrow had closed on the defunct golf course, the Union-Tribune reported.
The couple could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but Jade Work said in an earlier interview that he and his Gird Valley Inc. will place conservation easements on the land guaranteeing that it won’t be used for residential development. He said exactly what will happen with the property is unclear, but that some sort of vineyard and wine making operation may be in the cards, the Union-Tribune reported.
“After I’m long gone it will still be open space for the public to enjoy,” he said.
Work owns a golf course development company, but has said the Fallbrook course is unlikely to reopen because it had been struggling financially for many years before being shut down for good this past summer, the Union-Tribune reported.
Fred Phister, an attorney representing former golf course owner Jack Lamberson, confirmed Wednesday that escrow closed and that D-Day Capital LLC, which had owned the debt on the property, is now out of the picture. The selling price was about $4 million, the Union-Tribune reported.
D-Day was controlled by Ronald Richards, a Beverly Hills attorney who has been purchasing struggling golf courses all over California and the west. Richards was working with developer Michael Schlesinger several years ago when Schlesinger bought the Escondido Country Club property, spurring a development battle that continues today. Residents who live near the Fallbrook course were worried that, should D-Day end up owning the land, Richards would pursue development rights, the Union-Tribune reported.
Richards appeared twice in court last month as he and Lamberson dickered over the selling price of the land and money that was owed. A lawsuit and counter lawsuit between Richards and Lamberson remains unresolved, Phister said.
The closing of escrow has thrilled residents of the area who formed a group called Save Fallbrook Golf Course earlier this year. Member Teresa Platt said the group is now thinking of changing its name to North County Napa, the Union-Tribune reported.
“Living on a vineyard is a beautiful thing and we really appreciate the chance to have that,” Platt said.
“In the process we lost the golf course, which is a shame. But we saved the property,” she said. “There will be conservation easements on it and this space will be open for the community to enjoy forever.
“It’s a wonderful thing,” Platt added. “Thanks to the Works for making that commitment.”