Thursday, January 28, 2010
Unlike Lady Gaga, Del Rey Oaks is trying to not get caught in a “Bad Romance.” After a seven-year relationship, the city recently broke up with Federal Development after the developer missed a Jan. 15 deadline to pay $900,000 in consultant and legal fees for a proposed golf resort.
“We basically cut all of our ties with Federal,” City Manager Daniel Dawson says. “They didn’t come through with a phone call or e-mail, so [it’s] just as well.”
Federal CEO John Infantino says his Washing-ton, D.C. company has spent $15 million on the development and only stopped investing money into The Resort at Del Rey Oaks after the city didn’t follow through on helping to secure enough water to build the 691-home project.
Federal has had trouble attracting investors for the development because of the decline in housing and hotel markets, Infantino says, but an investment fund is now willing to throw down $50 million to complete the hotel and golf course. “We’ve requested that we sit down with the city and new investment partners and see if we can move forward,” he says.
Another developer is already courting DRO for the city’s 360-acre slice of Fort Ord. On Thursday, Jan. 28, Dawson plans to meet with San Jose-based Brandenburg Properties, which developed San Juan Oaks Golf Club in San Juan Bautista and Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose. “They have their own money and they don’t have to get a financial partner,” Dawson says. “That was a big problem with Federal.”
But Infantino says the city can’t just cut and run. Dawson says the city could turn to other developers who have expressed interest in replacing Federal, but the company has the right of first refusal. The City Council may decide to put out a request for proposals to see what other suitors are in the market.