The first residential parcel at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe has been sold. JMI Realty sold the 1.88-acre property with three casitas on La Gracia to Rancho Santa Fe resident Ladonna Monsees for $4.5 million.
Monsees has lived in Rancho Santa Fe for 17 years and has a vested interest in the community, serving as the chair of the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s Village Revitalization Task Force. She aims to develop the casitas into step-down housing.
“She’s the perfect buyer,” realtor Janet Lawless Christ said about her client. “Several entities made offers to JMI Realty but I kept reiterating as a realtor and as an active resident in the community that there is no one better to steward this project through than Ladonna. No one. It’s not someone from the outside coming in, we know who she is and she knows who we are.”
Lawless Christ said that Monsees also has extensive development background, including 17 golf courses and playing a big hand in the growth of the communities of University Town Center and 4S Ranch.
The Inn owns a total of 35 buildings in the Rancho Santa Fe village, collectively known as The Residences at The Inn, and the residences in the various pods have historically been available for rent. Monsees purchased the pod known as The Grove, located on the southwest edge of The Inn property, consisting of two buildings representing three dwelling units.
JMI Realty developed potential projects for each of the residential pods they own, including an initial design for the Grove to build five step-down residences on the property. As she is a neighbor to the Grove, Monsees was vocal about The Inn’s project from the beginning — she said she moved to Rancho Santa Fe seeking the rural ambiance and did not want to see an overbuilt development that would change the character of the village.
“She’s taking on this project to do what’s right for the community, to enhance property values and bring something green and fresh and low density,” Lawless Christ said.
Monsees plans to completely remodel one of the units and tear down the other two, rebuilding fresh new 3,600-square-foot homes. She also plans to expand the walking path on La Gracia and underground two unsightly power poles on the street.
While the sale closed just before 5 p.m. on Aug. 14, Monsees has already lined up Beach City Builders as the contractor and Stephen Ray Development as the designer of the project, according to Lawless Christ.
“They have a great relationship with the Covenant Design Review Committee and have done extensive work in the Rancho Santa Fe area,” Lawless Christ said. ”It’s such a good situation all around.”
Future homebuyers in the new development will be able to access hotel services and amenities as if they were Inn guests. Lawless Christ said it will be “concierge-style living” on a smaller lot size, perfect for step-down housing needs.
“I anticipate the interest list to purchase these well before we even break ground because there is a need and desirability to stay within the Covenant and not have the maintenance associated with a large property,” Lawless Christ said, joking that with the bonus of Inn room service and spa treatments she might add her name to that interest list.