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2 Firms Buy Control of Rancho San Carlos

From Bloomberg News

Westbrook Partners and Olympus Real Estate Corp. said they bought control of Rancho San Carlos, a development twice the size of Manhattan bordering Carmel and Pebble Beach in California.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Westbrook and Olympus have a majority stake in Rancho San Carlos Partnership, the partnership developing the 20,000-acre site, from the U.S. unit of Japan’s Daishinpan.

The partnership recently secured approval from Monterey County to create a conservancy protecting 18,000 acres of the site as a wildlife preserve. The developers plan to build 350 homes on the remaining 2,000 acres.

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“The entire partnership is committed to developing Rancho San Carlos in a manner that is highly sensitive to the environment and that preserves forever the natural beauty and resources of the land,” Olympus Chief Executive David Deniger said.

The deal is part of a buying spree by New York-based Westbrook, a private real estate investment firm formed by former officials of investment bank Morgan Stanley & Co.

Last year, Westbrook bought Mobil Corp.'s community real estate development business for $324 million. Seven months earlier, it was part of a group of investors that bought 17,000 acres of land from Chevron Corp. for about $400 million.

Dallas-based Olympus has invested more than $1 billion in real estate since it was formed by investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. in 1994.

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