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San Diego Company Buying La Jolla’s La Valencia, Sister Resort

The historic La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla and its sister property, Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, are under contract for sale to San Diego-based American Property Management Corp.

Robb MacMillan, an adviser to the buyer, declined to cite the cost of the deal, which includes an 18,000-square-foot parking lot across the street from La Valencia, pending the close of escrow, which could take up to three months.

Industry sources have placed the value of La Valencia at $100 million and Rancho Valencia at $40 million.

The two hotels are being sold by a partnership consisting of the Collins Cos. of La Jolla, and the Getty Family Trust. The Collins Cos. could not be reached for comment Feb. 19.

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American Property Management President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Gallegos was en route to Mexico and could not be reached. MacMillan, president of National Properties, said Feb. 19 that terms of an agreement and letters of intent were executed on the two properties two weeks ago.

“We don’t have a lender in place as yet and the capital markets are a mess,” MacMillan said, referring to the fallout in the subprime lending market that has affected lending institutions nationwide. “So it’s more difficult than ever. But we have a few different lenders right now that have interest.”

Built on Prospect Street in La Jolla in 1926, the 115-room La Valencia houses the Whaling Bar and Grill as well as the Sky Room, Mediterranean Room and Tropical Patio restaurants and overlooks La Jolla Cove and the Pacific Ocean. It is one of three hotels in the county considered grande dames. The others are the iconic Hotel del Coronado in Coronado and the US Grant Hotel downtown.

Rancho Valencia, which was built in stages beginning in 1989, has 54 suites on 40 acres in the tony suburb of Rancho Santa Fe.

MacMillan said APMC expects to invest $18 million making renovations on La Valencia. Rancho Valencia, he said, is in pristine condition.

The San Diego Business Journal broke the news that the two properties were being put up for bid in mid-August.

MacMillan said that hotel companies in the running, aside from APMC, included Starwood Capital Group and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

APMC currently counts 45 hotels with a total of 13,600 rooms in the United States and Mexico. The company’s assets are valued at $2 billion.

, Connie Lewis

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