A tentative agreement to sell about 22 acres of land adjoining Los Alamitos Race Course to a Newport Beach development partnership for $11.5 million cash was announced Monday by Hollywood Park Realty Enterprises.
It was the second such land sale agreement reported in the last three months by Hollywood Park Realty, which is planning a 180-acre business, hotel, restaurant and retail complex to be built next to the Cypress race track. About 300 acres, including the track, were purchased by Hollywood Park Realty in 1984 for $58 million.
The latest sale agreement is with Resco Development, a group of three independent investors--Ron Soderling, Michael Todd and Richard Boureston. Like the previous agreement with Irvine-based Bay Development, which proposes to buy 26 acres for $15.8 million, Resco's deal is contingent upon the City of Cypress approving Hollywood Park Realty's development plans for the area.
Boureston, Resco's general partner, said his group--in a joint venture with an unnamed financial institution--hopes to build a $38-million project, including 430,000 square feet of low-rise office and research and development buildings, on the 22-acre parcel that fronts on Katella Boulevard just west of the main entrance to Los Alamitos Race Course.
The property Resco has marked for purchase encompasses a house and thoroughbred breeding farm owned by Mildred Vessels, whose family previously owned and founded the race track. The stallions at the farm--which is being dismantled--are being moved to San Luis Rey Downs in San Diego County, according to members of the Vessels' staff.
Boureston said he and his partners were intrigued by the chance to buy into one of the largest pieces of undeveloped land remaining in northwest Orange County, which, he said, has the additional advantages of access to affordable housing and a pool of skilled workers. He said he and his partners want to construct industrial and commercial buildings to hold as investments.
110 Acres Left to Sell
Other developers also have shown interest in buying land near the race track, according to Noel Hatch, a lawyer for Hollywood Park Realty. Hatch said the company has about 110 acres left to sell.
Exactly how much of the property ultimately will be sold, Hatch added, depends in part on how much land is necessary to provide sufficient parking for the racecourse, which Hollywood Park has promised to maintain and refurbish.
"The race track is the one fixed item that will not change," said Dell De Revere of the De Revere partnership, a Newport Beach architectural company hired by Hollywood Park Realty to plan development of the Los Alamitos property. De Revere, in turn, has hired the Planning Center in Newport Beach to draft the master plan.
Tom Swarner, who is working on the project at the Planning Center, said he expects the overall plan will be submitted to Cypress city officials within the next four weeks.