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Colorado firm buys Meadow Vista’s Winchester golf course development from Wells Fargo

New owner will take a serious look at re-privatizing golf course
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Winchester fast facts:

n 1,170 acres includes an 18-hole golf course

n Semi-public club membership now $495 a month for 12 months for members within a 25-mile radius of club

n It’s $295 a month for members outside the 25-mile radius   

n Clubhouse includes resort-style swim, fitness and tennis center

n Winding through the community is a network of hiking, biking and equestrian trails totaling 18 miles

n Developed for 409 homes

Source: Winchester Website, Real Capital Solutions

  

 

The upscale Winchester Country Club is out of receivership after being sold to a Colorado business.

The Meadow Vista development and its former owner C.C. Myers fell victim to the economic downturn five years ago, with the golf course, clubhouse and 136 vacant lots taken into receivership by Wells Fargo Bank.

Real Capital Solutions of Louisville, Colo. bought the bank-owned property this month, with plans to revitalize it and sell the remaining estate-sized lots in a more buoyant market.

Taylor Cox, a Real Capital Solutions associate, confirmed the sale Wednesday but declined to reveal the price paid in the transaction. Assessed values recorded with the county for some of the properties place the purchase in the multi-million-dollar range.  

Cox said that Real Capital Solutions, which is headed by founder Marcel Arsenault, shorted the red-hot housing market in the middle of the last decade and pulled his entire real-estate portfolio, predicting that it would nosedive.

“We started buying again in 2009 and have been increasing our acquisitions since then,” Cox said “California is a unique market – it crashes hard and then comes back quickly. We set our price (at Winchester) two years ago and the bank eventually ended up calling us back, saying ‘You guys are right.’”

Real Capital Solutions is very bullish on California as a whole and the Winchester community is positioned for a comeback “that will finally realize what it is meant to be,” Cox said.

Under Real Capital Solutions ownership, plans are for the property to be revitalized, the firm said in a statement released Wednesday. Under Arsenault’s direction, the company has purchased and managed more than 250 commercial and residential properties totaling more than $1.25 billion since 1998.

Arsenault stated in the release that success has come from combining good people with good projects and selecting experienced local partners to help breathe new life into a property.

“When we purchase a bank-owned property, it allows the bank to get out from under the property management role, allows the existing homeowners to see positive activity in their neighborhood along with capital funding toward preserving and enhancing amenities – and also allows new home buyers to buy at unbelievable values,” Arsenault said.

Rocklin’s Mandarich Developments was selected to partner with Real Capital Solutions on the development, including working on facility upgrades, construction and sales.

Founder Gary Mandarich said that the purchase was timely.

“The trend over the last 12 to 15 months has seen prices improving, with inventories decreasing,” Mandarich said. “With higher-end houses, a lot more Bay Area buyers are now re-entering the whole Sacramento region.”

Cox said that one of the potential changes to Winchester could be a move to return what is now a semi-private golf club and course to its former status as a members-only private club.

In a letter to Winchester Country Club members, Arsenault wrote that plans are to start work within 30 days to restore and improve the 9-year-old clubhouse by April, improve the golf course and “restore the vision of Winchester as one of the greatest golf communities in Northern California.”

Built out, the Winchester development will have 409 homes on 1,170 acres. Lots were being listed for sale Wednesday on the Winchester Website at $375,000 for a 1.12-acre home site and $499,000 for a 1.9-acre site on the 17th fairway of the golf course. Winchester properties range from one to six acres.

The golf course, designed by the famed father-son team of Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Sr., and its 32,000 square-foot clubhouse, are part of the transaction.  

 

Winchester fast facts:

n 1,170 acres includes an 18-hole golf course

n Semi-public club membership now $495 a month for 12 months for members within a 25-mile radius of club

n It’s $295 a month for members outside the 25-mile radius   

n Clubhouse includes resort-style swim, fitness and tennis center

n Winding through the community is a network of hiking, biking and equestrian trails totaling 18 miles

n Developed for 409 homes

Source: Winchester Website, Real Capital Solutions