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
"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
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
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.
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.