A Los Angeles company’s extensive real-estate portfolio in Copperopolis was recently acquired by Copper Valley, LLC, which is hoping to build upon the former owner’s long-stalled development plans.
The acquisition from Castle & Cooke includes the partially completed Copperopolis Town Square at Highway 4 and Little John Road, the 247-acre Sawmill Lake parcel south of the square, Saddle Creek Golf Resort, the 1,770 undeveloped acres of Copper Valley Ranch, and other various single parcels in the community.
“As I spent time up there, I realized that there was tremendous opportunities taking Castle & Cooke’s vision forward,” said Mike Fletcher, a partner in CV Development Partners, LLC, the development manager for Copper Valley, LLC.
Fletcher declined to comment on the price of the sale, but there were seven deeds totaling $18 million transferred in November by Castle & Cooke, according to the Calaveras County Recorder’s Office.
Most of the grantees of the deeds were limited liability companies that began with the initials “CV.”
Castle & Cooke, a massive landowner primarily within California and Hawaii, spent years on development plans for its holdings in Copperopolis.
The golf course at Saddle Creek opened in 1996, followed by Copperopolis Town Square in 2006. According to a 2012 article in the Union Democrat, the company estimated it had spent more than $100 million on projects in the area.
Homes planned for around the resort and town center never materialized after multiple proposals from Castle & Cooke were denied by Calaveras County officials over the years.
Part of the blame has been placed on the county’s outdated General Plan, which hasn’t been revised since 1996.
Fletcher said he and his partners aren’t dwelling on the past.
“It’s our understanding the General Plan has been updated and should be complete by the first quarter of next year,” he said. “I just look forward to working with the county staff and leadership in making it everything that it can be.”
Fletcher comes from a pioneering San Diego family and is a fourth-generation developer. He said that he’s developed or built close to $1 billion in real estate since the early 1980s, including homes, apartments, condominiums, and commercial buildings.
He also flies helicopters, which is how he plans to get back and forth from Copperopolis and his home in Carmel-by-the-Sea while working on the projects.
Fellow developer Tom Hix introduced Fletcher to the Copperopolis area and Castle & Cooke’s portfolio and plans about a year ago.
“I fell in love with the area,” Fletcher said. “I love the people, love Saddle Creek, and I think the town center is just uniquely set to become something really incredible for the community.”
Fletcher said that Hix will be one of the members managing CV Management Partners, LLC.
Plans for the future are still being worked out, though Fletcher said the first phase will be to build residences on a portion of 100 existing and finished lots in Saddle Creek.
He’s also excited about some ideas he has for Copperopolis Town Square, but wasn’t ready to announce the details yet.
“I do believe there are some neat things that can happen with the town center that would much better meet the needs of the community,” he said.
The square was proposed to house up to 90 businesses, but there are 22 occupying the spaces there currently.
Troon, a leader in golf course management, development and marketing that’s based in Scottsdale, Arizona, was selected by CV Development Partners to take over operation of Saddle Creek’s golf course, rental, bungalows, restaurant, and club facilities.
Darrell Morgan, vice president of operations for Troon, said in a statement that the company was excited to be working with its new partners at Saddle Creek.
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