Escrow expected to close soon on The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

By Joe Tash

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, a local icon that has been owned by the same family for more than 50 years, is about to get a new owner.

Jed Stirnkorb, of the CBRE hotels group, the listing agent, said Tuesday the property is in escrow, but declined to name the purchaser or purchase price, citing a request from the sellers. He said the sale is expected to close in one to two months, following “due diligence” by the prospective new owners.

The Royce family has owned the historic inn since 1958, and put it up for sale last fall.

On Tuesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that JMI Realty, the development company founded by Padres owner John Moores, is partnering with the New York-based investment firm Siguler Guff & Company, to buy the property.

However, John Kratzer, president and CEO of JMI Realty, declined to confirm his company’s involvement in an email response to this newspaper.

“... the family that owns The Inn has requested that we not speak with the press. So for now, we have no comment,” Kratzer wrote.

Kerman Beriker, The Inn’s general manager, also declined to comment.

“The people are interested, it’s confidential, that’s the only thing I can tell you,” Beriker said.

The Inn sits on a 21-acre property along Linea Del Cielo at the entrance to the Rancho Santa Fe village. It includes 107 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, swimming pool, spa, fitness center, tennis courts, business center and meeting space.

At the time The Inn was listed for sale, an asking price was not revealed. Agents for the Royce family said the owners wanted to encourage all serious offers on the property.

The Inn opened in 1922 with 12 guestrooms, and was originally called “La Morada,” or house of many rooms. It has been expanded over the years under series of owners, and was once the site of a midnight marriage ceremony for famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

It has long played a central role in Rancho Santa Fe’s civic, cultural and social life.

According to JMI’s website, the company served as master developer of downtown San Diego’s ballpark district, and is active in development of hotel, multifamily and office projects. The company currently manages a real estate investment portfolio valued at some $600 million.