The following news article appeared in the September 23, 2004 edition of the Borrego Sun newspaper, Vol. 53, No. 20.   It is posted here by permission of Judy Meier, editor, Borrego Sun.

New Rams Hill owner 
plans to complete Di Giorgio's

By Tom Gorton

GH Capital of Sherman Oaks, a 6-year-old building and development company with real estate interests in 13 states, purchased Rams Hill Country Club Sept. 8 for an undisclosed cash sum.

"We made the acquisition on a pretty fast basis because we like the property and its growth prospects," said Greg Perlman, principal.

"We love this property," Perlman said. "Di Giorgio Corp. had a great vision for Rams Hill which never moved forward after Mr. (Robert) Di Giorgio died. We plan to move that vision ahead."

He said GH Capital conducted due diligence quickly and submitted a favorable bid to Western United Life Assurance Co.

Western United is a member of the Metropolitan Financial Group of Companies headquartered in Spokane, Wash., that acquired the note on Rams Hill in 2002 when Matthew Malouf of Salt Lake City de-faulted on a $9.7 million loan to buy the property.

Tim Pluma, an independent real estate agent in Los Angeles who works with Borrego Springs broker Rita Andersen, said he brought about a dozen interested parties to Western United, which narrowed the field to "best and final offers." GH Capital submitted the winning offer.

Andersen, who operates two dot com real estate agencies - Homes of the Desert and AllNetCommercial.com - is the broker of record on the deal.

GH Capital was so favorably impressed with Rams Hill that it paid cash and assumed no debt, according to Perlman.

"I don't think any previous owner has been this well capitalized and capable of bringing Rams Hill up to its potential," Perlman said. "We feel this property has been under-utilized and under-marketed and we would like to see it built out. It has allsorts of potential."

"This is going to be the guy who finishes Di Giorgio's original plan," Pluma remarked.

Perlman described his company as a family-owned and operated business worth more than $500  million.  He said it has long-term commercial and residential investments in the Coachella Valley and Indio, and owns more than 7,000 apartment units in13 states. Rams Hill is its only current golf-course community.

Although the company is primarily a real estate development and investment company, it also  operates its own management company.

"We have a long list of people who are interested in buying homes in Borrego Springs," Perlman said, noting that the company will be looking for builders to construct new houses.

But GH Capital's most pressing concerns are to renew tentative maps with San Diego County before  they expire, reseed the golf course and choose a management company to operate the golf course.

Several professional golf course management companies are being interviewed, among them Troon Golf, which managed operations from 1999 to 2002 when Larry Latham's Rams Hill LLC owned the  property.

"Our immediate goal is to get the golf course facilities into better condition and a higher class than ever be-fore," Perlman said. "We plan to open the restaurant by Nov. 1, but first we must decide  what kind of food and beverage we want to serve."

Until a professional golf company is put in place, a GH Capital management team headed by David Itzikman, Perlman's brother-in-law, will operate the country club.

"We love the small-town feeling of Borrego Springs and are not looking to make this another Palm  Springs," Perlman said. "We want to bring people here who appreciate the slower pace and quiet,  starry nights."

Copyright 2004 Borrego Sun

This news article appeared in the September 23, 2004 edition of the Borrego Sun newspaper, Vol. 53, No. 20.   It is posted here on this website by permission of Judy Meier, editor, Borrego Sun.