Compton Investor Purchases 580 Acres of Mobil Oil Property in Hills Near Brea

Times Staff Writer

Compton real estate investor Albert Levinson has purchased 580 acres in a hilly section of northern Orange County near Brea for more than $25 million, and a spokesman said Friday that Levinson will market the land to developers.

A Levinson company, Brea Canon Oil Co., bought the land from Mobil Oil Corp., which is now producing as many as 400 barrels of oil a day on the three parcels. The purchase was completed Jan. 8.

Brea Canon Oil, which already operates its own oil field in the area, will continue to produce oil on more than 80 acres of the Mobil land while selling the surface rights to the remaining 500 acres for development.

As the flat part of Brea has filled up with buildings, developers are eyeing the hills dividing northern Orange County from Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.


Under Brea’s Control

Most of the Levinson land is near Tonner Canyon road and the Orange Freeway, said a spokesman for Levinson.

Much of the land in that area--which is unincorporated county territory but under Brea’s planning control--is zoned for low-density, single-family homes, according to the Brea Planning Department.

J. M. Peters Co. Inc. has already started building houses in the area, and Levinson has been contacted by other builders interested in the Mobil land, said Levinson spokesman Bob Cannon.


Levinson also owns a steel company and large landholdings in California and other states, Cannon said.

In the 1970s, Levinson bought the Ellsworth Ranch in Chino--just over the hills from Brea in San Bernardino County--which bred, trained and raced thoroughbred horses.

Levinson sold the land in 1986 to Majestic Realty Co., a City of Industry developer which is now developing the 405-acre Majestic Spectrum, an office, industrial and retail park.