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Dana Point Ritz-Carlton Up for Sale

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The popular Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dana Point is quietly being peddled by owner Prudential Insurance Co. of America, which is betting that this will be a good year for commercial real estate.

The asking price is “not public,” said Peter C. Krause, a New York investment banker who is handling the sale for Prudential. A spokesman for the insurance company Thursday would not comment on the property.

“The company has put this up for sale very quietly,” said Donald W. Wise, first vice president of CB Commercial Real Estate Group Inc. in Anaheim. He has long maintained that more than a dozen potential buyers from the United States and Pacific Rim countries would like to bid on the hotel.

The hotel is one of the most successful operations in the chain of 32 Ritz-Carltons, Wise said. It has a consistently high occupancy at rates averaging more than $225 a day, producing strong cash flow, he said.

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Its location overlooking the ocean in south Orange County makes it a favorite destination resort, he said. In addition, local residents often regard it almost as their own country club.

“It has been a place to hang out, to go to for lunch and for brunch on Sundays,” he said. “For Christmas, you’ve got to book months in advance to get in.”

In late 1995, Prudential decided to start selling some of its landmark U.S. properties--like the Chicago Hilton and Towers, NationsBank Tower in Dallas and the Prudential Center in Boston--and buying warehouses, manufacturing plants and apartments.


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