Escrow has closed on Fallbrook Golf Club, meaning longtime Fallbrook residents Jade and Julie Work (Gird Valley, Inc.) now own the 116-acre property that formerly served as an 18-hole golf course.
“It just closed, it’s a done deal,” said Jade Work late this afternoon. “A formal payoff demand that was acceptable to everybody was sent by Mr. Richards (Ronald Richards) and I received that Friday (Nov. 11). The entire payoff amount of the funds was wired Monday (Nov. 14) and all final papers were signed. The escrow company confirmed this morning that they received all documents and the money, and sent it to the title company for recording.”
It took the Works months and multiple visits to court to complete the purchase of Fallbrook Golf Club from Jack Lamberson, who was in default on his payments to Beverly Hills attorney Richards, whose D-Day Capital, LLC, owned the notes on the 116-acre property.
“I’ve never seen a deal where it was this hard to pay somebody money,” said Work. “Mr. Richards…they made a tremendous amount of money in profit, and, honestly, I say, whatever. I just wanted to close the deal and try to do a good thing. I’m glad it finally is over.”
Richards has a history of working with developers who purchase troubled golf courses and then work to develop them. One of those courses is Escondido Country Club, where residents have been battling development plans for several years.
“A tremendous profit could be made if somebody was willing to fight that fight (for development) with the community,” said Work. “There’s tremendous potential profit – many, many, many millions of dollars in profit to be made there. That’s exactly why we wanted to step in, to keep that from happening.”
The Works are both Fallbrook High School graduates who have fond memories of enjoying the Gird Valley as youngsters. They want to make sure future generations of Fallbrookians have the chance to enjoy it as well and thus are placing conservation easements on the property.
Jade Work owns and operates the golf course construction company Integrity Golf. However, he will not be putting his golf construction knowledge to use at Fallbrook Golf Club.
“Nothing would be easier for me, as a guy who builds golf courses, than to rebuild the golf course,” said Work. “That would be the easiest thing of all, and that would be the first thing I would do if even there was a hope of it being profitable. But the reality is, it’s a not a possibility, especially now that all the grass is dead.”
The golf course has been shut down since July 26 when a pending deal fell through, and other than some neighbors watering a few greens, the only water to hit the property has been provided by Mother Nature.
“I’m itching to go to work,” said Work. “I’ve got a whole bunch of guys standing by. We’re ready to start cleaning up the place. It’s a tremendous amount of work we need to do.”
The Works have a clear vision for the property.
“We intend to put vineyards out there, and redo the clubhouse and restaurant,” said Work. “We want to do a winery and have a wine barrel room. Obviously, all those things have to be designed and submitted to the planning commission and to the county and all of that. I think it’s going to be a really cool thing for the community. I really do. I believe in my heart people are going to be really, really happy with it.”
The lengthy purchase process gave the Works plenty of time to think about plans for the property.
“I’ve been very busy behind the scenes,” said Work. “I’ve been consulting with viticulturists and wine makers. We’re researching how to do it, and we want to do it in an excellent way so it will be a beautiful view for the home owners. Hopefully, we’ll do something everybody can be proud of.”