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THE RESERVE AT RANCHO BELAGO PHASE II WILL BE AN APARTMENT COMMUNITY FOR EVERYBODY

Attendees applaud after one supporter called community outreach meeting part of a "transparent process" on behalf of the planned development

Architect Daniel Gehman, AIA, LEED AP addresses attendees at community outreach meeting.

The Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II will be an apartment community for everybody from Millennials to families to baby boomers, architect Daniel Gehman, AIA, LEED AP, a Studio Director with Humphreys & Partners Architects, told nearly 100 local residents and city officials at the Jan. 27 community meeting hosted by Bridge Investment Group, developer of the apartment community.   Bridge Investment is also overseeing the renovation of the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course and Clubhouse.

 

"There will be a very special sense of community," said Gehman, who is the lead designer of the golf-oriented apartment project.  "Residents who choose to live at Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II will feel like they are living on a golf course because they will in fact be living on a golf course.  The community will be surrounded by two fairways, the clubhouse, the golf practice area and an event lawn for special occasions such as hosting golf tournaments."

 

Eric Heffner, director of real estate development for Bridge Investment Group, which is the manager of ROC III CA Belago LLC, developer of the apartment community and owner of the golf course, told the attendees that final plans for the apartment community have been submitted to the Moreno Valley city staff and the plans will hopefully start the approval review process with the Planning Commission public hearing in the next several weeks.

 

"Our goal is to have 18 holes of the golf course that are in the Mountain and Valley courses open for play by the end of this year, but for us to meet that schedule the renovation work will have to start as soon as possible for the course to be ready," Heffner explained.

 

"We have made a commitment to begin work by repairing and upgrading the tee boxes, greens and irrigation lines.  However, since this represents a significant financial commitment, we will have no choice but to cease all work on our project if we have not secured final entitlement from the city by late spring," he concluded.

 

A Unique Place To Live

To be built on land contiguous to the existing Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course clubhouse, the Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II apartment community will be a unique place to live, Gehman said.  The 417-unit upscale apartment community that complements the Mediterranean architectural influences of surrounding neighborhoods will encompass 18 two- to four-story buildings served by garages.

 

"It's an Italian hillside village tucked into a golf course," Gehman noted.  "Since the community will be on a gently sloping hillside, there will be outstanding view opportunities as well as a lot of open space and natural light." He pointed out that stylish apartments designed for a diversity of residents will range in size from studios to 3-bedroom units of up to approximately 1,320 square feet that are referred to as the "big house."

 

In addition to the golf course orientation, the new community will also feature a wide variety of recreation and socializing opportunities, Gehman said. The community will include a completely new clubhouse for apartment residents that will offer a place to socialize, entertain, and to find a quiet area to think or read.

 

Adjacent to the clubhouse is a private swimming enclave with pool, spa, barbecue/picnic and relaxation areas, cabanas and chaise lounges. The enclave will also feature an outdoor dining area, a fire pit for evening get-togethers, an exercise pod, and distinctive shade sails for cover from the noonday sun.

 

Children will be able to play in the protected tot lot with overhead shading while parents can watch from benches near the playground apparatus.  An enclosed dog park with shaded areas and water fountain will give pets a place to play in safety.

 

"There will be lots and lots of places to walk, jog and bike along trails that are connected to other community trails and recreation facilities," Gehman said.  "It will be an ideal place for people of all ages who are seeking an active lifestyle."

 

Recreation Park and Exercise Trail

 

Heffner noted that until such time that the 270-acre golf course can economically support a full 27 holes, the nine-hole Lakes Course is planned to be a Recreation Park and Exercise Trail community feature owned and operated by Diamond Golf International, a worldwide golf course construction company that is affiliated with Nicklaus Design headed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Under Diamond's ownership, the 9th hole, called Lakes 9, will be transformed into a golf practice facility with chipping and bunker areas, and a practice green.

 

The Recreation Park and Exercise Trail will activate the Lake Course open areas and will be an exceptional community amenity providing area residents with the opportunity to not only improve their golf game, but also improve their health and fitness within a unique exercise environment.  Heffner said the Recreation Park and Exercise Trail will be fully secured with access gained via an entrance fee paid at the golf course facility.

MORE THAN 100 RESIDENTS ATTEND COMMUNITY MEETING TO HEAR UPDATE ON GOLF COURSE RENOVATION AND PLANS FOR NEW APARTMENT COMMUNITY

More than 100 residents who live around the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course, as well as city officials and local golf enthusiasts, attended a meeting on Saturday, December 2, to hear an update on the golf course revitalization program and plans to develop a new apartment community overlooking the golf course.

 

Eric Heffner, director of real estate development for Bridge Investment Group, which is the manager of ROC III CA Belago LLC, owner of the 27-hole golf course and developer of the apartment community, told attendees that plans for the apartment project have been submitted to the city staff for review with the first public hearings for resident input expected early next year.

"For the golf course to be open for play by the end of next year, the renovation work will have to start in January," Heffner explained.  "With that schedule in mind, we have made a commitment to begin work by repairing and upgrading the tee boxes, greens and irrigation lines.  However, since this represents a significant financial commitment, we will have no choice but to cease all work on our project if we have not secured final entitlement from the city by late spring."

The Renovated Clubhouse

One of the highlights of the presentation was a series of renderings illustrating the vision for renovating the golf course clubhouse into one of Moreno Valley's go-to restaurants and gathering places.

 

The renovations will improve the clubhouse's style and functionality as a full-service restaurant coupled with plans for an expanded outdoor event lawn space that will provide flexibility to accommodate separate outdoor events.   For golfers, the clubhouse renovations will include a new, large practice green as well as warm up stations near the golf cart staging area for golfers to hit shots before playing the course.

 

Until such time that the 270-acre golf course can economically support a full 27 holes, Heffner said the course will open with the 18 holes of the Mountain and Valley courses. The nine-hole Lakes Course is planned to be a Recreation Park and Exercise Trail community feature owned and operated by Diamond Golf International, a worldwide golf course construction company that is affiliated with Nicklaus Design headed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Under Diamond's ownership, the 9th hole, called Lakes 9, will be transformed into a golf practice facility with chipping and bunker areas, and a practice green.

Golf-Oriented Apartment Community

The updated plan for the apartment community reduces density on the 22.5-acre site by decreasing the number of apartments from the original 446 to 417 units, Heffner said.  One of the main refinements, he told the attendees, is the reconfiguration of the apartment community design to create more open space and view opportunities for apartment residents.

 

"Residents who choose to live at Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II will feel like they are living on a golf course because they will in fact be living on a golf course," he explained.  "The community will be surrounded by two fairways, the clubhouse, the golf practice area and an event lawn for special occasions such as hosting golf tournaments."

 

To be developed on land contiguous to the existing golf course clubhouse, the Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II Apartments community will encompass 18 two- to four-story buildings that complement the Mediterranean architectural influences of surrounding neighborhoods. Stylish apartments will range in size from studios to 3-bedroom units of up to approximately 1,320 square feet that are referred to as the "big house."  Along with abundant surface parking for visitors, apartments will have an enclosed garage and plentiful storage space.

 

In addition to the golf amenities, a completely new community clubhouse for apartment residents will offer a place to socialize, entertain, and to find a quiet area to think or read.  Adjacent to the clubhouse is a private swimming enclave with pool, spa, barbecue/picnic and relaxation areas, cabanas and chaise lounges. The enclave will also feature an outdoor dining area, a fire pit for evening get-togethers, an exercise pod, and distinctive shade sails for cover from the noonday sun.

BRIDGE INVESTMENT GROUP SUBMITS TO CITY OF MORENO VALLEY FINAL SITE PLAN FOR THE RESERVE AT RANCHO BELAGO PHASE II APARTMENT COMMUNITY.

After extensive input from the City of Moreno Valley, the site plan for the Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II apartment community that will overlook the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course has been submitted to the city to begin the entitlement process, according to Eric Heffner, director of real estate development for Bridge Investment Group, owner of the golf course and developer of the planned apartment community.

 

Heffner said the updated plan for the apartment community increases open space and reduces density on the 22.5-acre site, which is contiguous to the golf course and clubhouse.  One of the main refinements, Heffner noted, is the reconfiguration of the apartment community design to create more open space and view opportunities by decreasing the number of apartments from the original 446 to 417 units.

 

Click here to read an article on the apartment community and golf course published October 28, 2017 in the Riverside Press Enterprise.

 

The Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II Apartments community is planned to be built in two phases that will encompass 18 two- to four-story apartment buildings that complement the architectural expressions of surrounding neighborhoods. Stylish apartment homes will range in size from studios to 3-bedroom units of up to approximately 1,320 square feet.  Along with abundant surface parking for visitors, each apartment will have an enclosed garage and plentiful storage space.

Abundant Open Space & Amenities

Featuring more than 310,000 square feet of open space, the apartment community will feature a variety of recreational, entertainment and social amenities and will be accessed by way of a formal entry drive with focal palm trees.  Its golf course pedigree will be showcased by the One and Nine Mountain fairways that will stretch along the community's  northeast and southwest perimeters as well as direct access to the golf course's clubhouse, putting and practice greens, and event lawn.

 

"Residents who choose to live at Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II will feel like they are living on a golf course because they will in fact be living on a golf course," said Heffner.  "The community will be surrounded by two fairways, the clubhouse, the golf practice area and an event lawn for special occasions such as hosting golf tournaments."

In addition to the golf amenities, a completely new community clubhouse for apartment residents will offer a place to socialize, entertain, and to find a quiet area to think or read.  Adjacent to the clubhouse is a private swimming enclave with pool, spa, barbecue/picnic and relaxation areas, cabanas and chaise lounges.  The enclave will also feature an outdoor dining area, a fire pit for evening get-togethers, an exercise pod, and distinctive shade sails for cover from the noonday sun.

The Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II will also include other popular amenities to enhance the lives of its resident from Millennials to growing families to seniors.  Children will be able to play in the protected tot lot with overhead shading while parents can watch from benches near the playground apparatus.  An enclosed dog park with shaded areas and water fountain will give pets a place to play in safety.   Next to the dog park is an area christened Overlook where residents can sit on a bench or relax at tables under shade sails and take in the invigorating panorama of the golf course scenery and activities.

Golf Course Update

"The vision for the golf course is to sell it to a premier golf course operator," Heffner said.  Negotiations are currently ongoing with two major golf course operators to purchase and reestablish the course as well as renovate the clubhouse.

 

Heffner said that as soon as the city approves the apartment community plans and Bridge exercises an agreement with the new golf course owner/operator, work will begin on renovating and opening the golf course with the 18 holes of the Mountain and Valley courses.  "As soon as we receive rezoning approval from the city to develop the apartment community, the new golf course owner can begin grading, grassing, and irrigation replacement planning for the golf course," he explained.

 

Until such time that the golf course can economically support a full 27 holes, the nine-hole Lakes Course is planned to be a Recreation Park and Exercise Trail.  The 9th hole, called Lakes 9, will be transformed into a golf practice facility with chipping and bunker areas, and a practice green.

 

 The Recreation Park and Exercise Trail will activate these open areas and will be an exceptional community amenity providing area residents with the opportunity to not only improve their golf game, but also improve their health and fitness within a unique exercise environment, Heffner said

 "In the meantime, we will continue to maintain the 270-acre grounds," he noted.

DONNA WOODS SHARES THOUGHTS ON RENOVATION OF MORENO VALLEY RANCH GOLF COURSE

"It's going to be wonderful."

Donna and Scott Woods are long-time Moreno Valley residents who have lived on Championship Drive overlooking the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course for more than 15 years.  An educator and community supporter, Donna shares her thoughts about Bridge Investment Group's plans to renovate the idle golf course and to assist with the establishment of a new, larger facility for the Redlands/Riverside Boys and Girls Clubs that would be adjacent to the golf course.  "As an educator in Moreno Valley, having a Boys and Girls Club, investing in a Boys and Girls Club, and providing outreach for our youth is critically important," Donna states.  To see more of her interview, click here.

Playing Moreno Valley Ranch

Golf Course Yesterday

The Greening of Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course Today

AFTER EXTENSIVE STAKEHOLDER INPUT, BRIDGE INVESTMENT GROUP  SUBMITS NEW PLAN FOR THE RESERVE AT RANCHO BELAGO PHASE II APARTMENT COMMUNITY TO CITY OF MORENO VALLEY

With reduced density and increased open space,  the new plan kicks off the city's approval process

The plan for a new apartment community that will overlook the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course has been revised by reducing density and significantly increasing open space, according to Eric Heffner, director of real estate development for Bridge Investment Group, owner of the golf course and developer of the planned apartment community.

 

Heffner said the new plan for the Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II apartment community was submitted to the city in mid-July as the first step in securing entitlement approval for the 22.5-acre property, which is contiguous to the golf course and clubhouse.

 

"The revised plan responds to extensive input from residents and recommendations from city officials," Heffner said. One of the main refinements, he noted, is the reconfiguration of the apartment community design to create more open space and view opportunities by decreasing the number of apartments from the original 446 to 416 units.

 

"By making these revisions to the community plan, we achieve two things," Heffner explained.

"First, we create more open space and view opportunities for homeowners who overlook the golf course and also for the residents who will be living in the apartment community. Secondly, by reducing the number of apartments units, we have significantly reduced density and thus are able to reconfigure the placement of the apartment buildings to optimize green space within and around the apartment community."

 

Heffner said the timing for development of the Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II apartments is on target with increasing market demand and underscores Bridge Investment Group's commitment to see the community completed.

 

He pointed to new market research that emphasizes the robust nature of the Riverside County housing market, including multi-family housing. Michelle Weedon, Senior Vice President of Advisory for Meyers Research, a leading real estate market research firm, stated in a recent report that, "The Riverside market is hot."

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS CEO P.T. McEWAN DISCUSSES PLANS FOR EXPANDING IN MORENO VALLEY WITH NEW FACILITY AT MORENO VALLEY RANCH GOLF COURSE

P.T. McEwan, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside, recently discussed plans for expanding the Boys & Girls Clubs in Moreno Valley by joining with Bridge Investment Group to open a new club facility at the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course.  A leading supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs and the planned expansion, Bridge owns the golf course and is in the process of gaining City of Moreno Valley approval to revitalize the long-closed course as well as to develop a new apartment community adjacent to the existing golf clubhouse site.   The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside currently provides a host of youth services in 11 communities throughout Riverside County.

Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course and Planned Market-Rate Apartment Community Continue to Evolve with Input from Local Residents and City Staff

Plans for the renovation of the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course and development of the market-rate apartment community that will overlook the golf course were discussed at length Thursday with 40 homeowners who live along the Lakes portion of the golf course.

 

"It was encouraging to see many of the homeowners in attendance and I believe the response to our updated plans was positive, although certainly there were some questions," said Eric Heffner, director of real estate development for Bridge Investment Group, owner of the golf course and developer of the planned apartment community. "But at the end of the evening, I think everyone understood about the development timing and priorities that were primarily in response to the city's recommendations and the realities of golf course economics."

 

Heffner pointed out to attendees that as the plans continue to evolve with input from both local residents and city planners, one of the main refinements is the reconfiguration of the Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II apartment community design to create more open space and view opportunities by reducing the number of luxury apartments from 424 units to 414.

 

He said the reduction in the number of units was achieved by removing one of the apartment buildings that was planned along Championship Drive and relocating the property's dog park onto the apartment site.

Expanding Open Space

 

"By making these revisions to the community plan, we achieve two things," Heffner explained.  "First, we created more open space for local residents who surround the golf course and for the residents who will be living in the apartment community.  Secondly, reducing the number of apartments units gave us more latitude to reconfigure the placement of other apartment buildings to optimize view opportunities, which addressed a major concern of residents who live along Championship Drive."

 

To gather community input, Heffner and his team held numerous outreach meetings including the one Thursday night with neighbors and neighborhood groups since last summer. Based on neighbors' input coupled with city staff recommendations, Heffner said a new land plan for the apartment community is now being presented to the area homeowners.

 

"Eric and his staff solicited the opinions of the community on the project," said Rose and Graham Baldwin, whose home on Championship Drive overlooks the site of the planned apartment community. "They hosted open meetings at which they displayed prospective architectural plans for the proposed apartment community which were not only freely discussed, but resulted in tangible modifications in response to the community's suggestions."

Golf Course Redevelopment

 

Heffner pointed out that part of the plan to redevelop the 27-hole golf course is to open the course with 18 holes within the Mountain and Valley portions of the course and dedicate the nine holes in the Lake portion to be a Recreation Park and Exercise Trail until such time that golf course can economically support 27 holes. The 9th hole, called Lakes 9, will be transformed into a golf practice facility with chipping and bunker areas, and a practice green.

 

"This practice area will be connected to a Youth Services Center planned directly across John F. Kennedy Drive, creating an exceptional golf training and practice area for Moreno Valley's young golf enthusiasts and all other golfers," Heffner explained. The necklace of the other holes will be reconfigured into a health training and exercise facility connected by exercise trails and will encompass a lake, numerous green areas, exercise stations, restrooms and water station. The exercise trail will be marked off in increments from 1K to 5K distances for those runners preparing for competition.

 

"The Recreation Park and Exercise Trail will activate these open areas and will be an exceptional community amenity providing area residents with the opportunity to not only improve their golf game, but also improve their health and fitness within a unique exercise environment," Heffner noted.

 

Heffner said the long-term vision for the golf course is to sell it to a premier golf course operator. "Negotiations are ongoing with two major golf course operators to purchase and reestablish the long dormant, 27-hole course as well as the clubhouse. As soon as we receive rezoning approval from the city to develop the apartment community on what is now the golf course driving range, we can begin grading, grassing, and irrigation replacement planning for the golf course. We will continue to maintain the 270-acre grounds during this period."

BIG MOWERS CUT DOWN EXCESSIVE GROWTH OF GOLF COURSE LANDSCAPE

A team of four industrial sized mowers is now on the job to keep the fast-growing golf course landscape under control.  With the more than 12 inches of rain falling on Moreno Valley during the past two months - more rain than is what considered a normal rainfall for the entire rainy season - the once finely trimmed golf course fairways and greens became overgrown due to nature's wet and wild storms.

 

"We are committed to keeping the golf course in the best possible condition and we are proud of the landscape and redevelopment work we have completed on the course over the past several months," said Eric Heffner, Bridge Investment Group's Director of Real Estate Development.   "We now have a lot more work to do to return the course to where it was before the storms came.  Although we needed the rain, we hope this will be it for the season, but in any case we will continue to keep the course growth trimmed."

 

Heffner also noted that negotiations are ongoing with two major golf course operators to purchase and reestablish the long dormant, 27-hole course as well as the clubhouse.  "As soon as we receive rezoning approval of the driving range from the city, we can begin grading, grassing, and irrigation replacement planning for the golf course," he said.

REZONING OF MORENO VALLEY RANCH GOLF COURSE DRIVING RANGE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF NEW APARTMENT COMMUNITY IS REQUIRED BY BRIDGE TO REOPEN THE GOLF COURSE AND REACH FINAL AGREEMENT WITH A NATIONALLY KNOWN YOUTH SERVICES PROVIDER

Reopening of the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club golf course and a final agreement with a youth services provider to establish a facility in the golf course clubhouse are contingent on the City of Moreno Valley’s approval to rezone the golf course driving range to accommodate the development of a planned 425+-unit apartment community, according to Eric Heffner, Bridge Investment Group’s Director of Real Estate Development.

 

“We fully realize and appreciate the importance of the golf course to the City of Moreno Valley and the residents who surround the course,” Heffner said.  “Based on the course’s importance to the community, we have stipulated with the City of Moreno Valley  construction of the apartments will not begin until the revitalization of the golf course is completed and open for play.”

 

“As owner of the adjacent Reserve at Rancho Belago apartment community, the reopening of the golf course is important to us and to our residents as well.”

 

However, Heffner added, “Because of the significant financial investment we have already made and will continue to make toward the refurbishment of the course, for us to move further it is imperative we receive the City of Moreno Valley’s approval to rezone the driving range portion of the golf course for the 425+ units.  We will not move forward until we have received the zone change.”

Heffner further said, “Negotiations are ongoing with two major golf course operators to purchase and reestablish the long dormant, 27-hole course as well as the clubhouse.  As soon as we receive rezoning approval of the driving range, we can begin grading, grassing, and irrigation replacement planning for the golf course.”

 

“The growing season for the new fairways, greens and tee boxes is typically between May and October, so if we don’t begin grading by April of this year, we will need to push the start date of refurbishment of the golf course to early 2018 for play to begin later in the fall,” Heffner said.    “We will continue to maintain the 270-acre grounds during this period.”

 

“We also submitted our preliminary application to the city several weeks ago in January 2017 (please see adjacent site plan), and we are looking forward to a March 8th meeting with the various city departments to address any concerns. This is a crucial step in the process as we prepare for our public hearings with the Planning Commission and City Council.”

WITH EXCESSIVE RAIN COMES EXCESSIVE GROWTH OF GOLF COURSE LANDSCAPE

On another note, Heffner said with more than 12 inches of rain falling on Moreno Valley during the past several weeks – more rain than is what considered a normal rainfall for the entire rainy season – the once finely trimmed golf course fairways and greens have become overgrown due to nature’s wet and wild storms.   Heffner said he is arranging for additional landscape crews to cut, trim and maintain the course as long as the heavy rains continue to drench the area.

 

We are committed to keeping the golf course in the best possible condition and we are proud of the landscape and redevelopment work we had completed on the course over the past several months,” Heffner said.  “While we aren’t starting from scratch, we now have a lot more work to do to return the course to where it was before the storms came.  Although we needed the rain, we hope this will be it for the season.”

RESIDENTS SPEAK OUT ON BEHALF OF GOLF COURSE, APARTMENT COMMUNITY

While there is strong support among the neighborhoods that surround the golf course for Bridge’s development proposal including the apartment community, there were some issues expressed by neighbors.

 

"The original site plan was met with concern from some of the neighbors whose homes directly overlook the planned apartment community," Heffner explained. "We fully realized with the first iteration of the plan there would be changes after our presentation, which of course was the case.”

 

To gather community input, Heffner and his team held numerous outreach meetings with neighbors and neighborhood groups over since last summer. Based on neighbor’s input, Heffner said a new land plan for the apartment community was created and presented to the homeowners.

As now planned, the number of apartment units at Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II has been reduced at this point from 446 to 425+, allowing for relocation of one of the apartment buildings and a neighborhood dog park to top of the hillside along Championship Drive.  Heffner pointed out this design change creates more usable green space on the property perimeters and enhances views for the residents overlooking the planned apartment community and city panorama.

 

Voicing the positive opinions of many of the local residents, Graham and Rose Baldwin, whose home overlooks the golf course, are especially appreciative of the outreach and response to their input.

 

“Eric and his staff solicited the opinions of the community on the project,” the Baldwins explained.  “They hosted open meetings at which they displayed prospective architectural plans for the proposed apartment community which were not only freely discussed, but resulted in tangible modifications in response to the community’s suggestions.”

 

“We are enthusiastic about this project,” they continued.  “Bridge made the outreach feel more like a partnership between property owners than the unilateral decision of a single corporation.  We have hopes that this will move forward with community support with all due haste, thereby re-establishing the beauty and popularity of a community icon for the benefit of all.”

 

Also giving a thumbs up to the neighborhood outreach are Scott and Donna Woods. “As homeowners adjacent to the Moreno Valley Golf Club and the site for the planned apartment community, we are extremely appreciative of the exemplary effort and commitment made by Eric Heffner and the team at Bridge Investment Group,” they state.

 

“In their collaborative efforts with the homeowners, they have listened intently to our concerns and issues.  Addressing each professionally with the utmost consideration to property values while intending to provide additional benefits to the community.  Throughout their endeavors, Eric and his team kept the residents and community members informed of their decisions and plan of action.”

 

“In their efforts, they continually adjusted, modified, and made appropriate changes to the original plans and designs to accommodate the desire and concerns of residents and community members. We are grateful for the investment of time, finances, and valued collaboration as we desire to see our property values restored and more importantly, see the golf course and the facilities reclaimed as a vibrant community center for outreach, education, and enjoyment.”

HEFFNER’S COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT PRAISED BY RETIRED ANAHEIM PLANNING DIRECTOR

Eric Heffner’s commitment to community involvement and outreach was also lauded by retired City of Anaheim Planning Director Sheri Tulley Vander Dussen, AICP.  Vander Dussen worked with Heffner in 2004-2006 when he was the lead project manager for the Stadium Lofts multifamily development in the city’s Platinum Triangle, now one of Southern California’s most advanced, mixed-use urban villages.

 

       Vander Dussen pointed out that Stadium Lofts was watched extremely closely by the city council and staff because it was the first project to break ground in what was then the newly created Platinum Triangle overlay district.

 

       “Eric was professional in every way and was mindful of how important the Stadium Lofts project was to the city council and city staff since it was the inaugural development in the Platinum Triangle,” said Vander Dussen, who is now with Kimley-Horn planning and design.

 

        “Eric worked hand in glove with my department and with me personally and was responsive to all of our requests as well as those of the Anaheim community and our stakeholders.  While there were of course challenges, Eric handled each issue with directness and expediency and always had a smile regardless of the situation.”

THE COMMUNITY PLAN FOR THE ADDITION TO THE RESERVE AT RANCHO BELAGO LUXURY APARTMENTS

IS RECONFIGURED TO CREATE MORE GREEN SPACE AND VIEW OPPORTUNITIES

Based on comprehensive input from neighbors who live along Championship Drive, the land plan for the addition of new apartment homes to the existing Reserve at Rancho Belago apartment community will increase the amount of green space and enhance views for neighboring residents, according to Eric Heffner, Bridge Investment Group's Director of Real Estate Development.

 

Bridge Investment Group Partners owns and manages the existing Reserve at Rancho Belago, one of Moreno Valley's finest apartment communities, as well as the contiguous Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club.

 

The neighborhood input was provided by Championship Drive residents during five community meetings that concluded with the final site plan presented by Heffner at a holiday gathering Dec. 8 hosted by Bridge and attended by more than 60 residents including newly elected Councilmember David Marquez and former Councilmember LaDonna Jempson.

The greening of Fairway 5_ Par 4_ 473 Yards.

The final plan inspired extensive discussion ending with consensus of attendees that the new concept addressed most of the residents' issues. It did so by relocating one of the apartment buildings and a neighborhood dog park to top of the hillside along Championship Drive, which creates more green space on the property perimeters and enhanced views for the residents overlooking the planned apartment community.

 

"The original site plan was met with concern from some of the neighbors whose homes directly overlooked the planned apartment community," Heffner explained. "We fully realized that with the first iteration of the plan there would most likely be changes after we presented the plan to the residents, which of course was the case. The input process was kicked off with a street-side meeting mid-September, and the site plan evolved from there with four more meetings, culminating with a consensus in support of the plan at the holiday gathering. I believe we are now ready to present this plan to the City of Moreno Valley for review."

 

Planned to be developed onto the closed driving range area of the adjacent Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club, the Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II Apartments will feature a variety of recreational, entertainment and social amenities.  An elegant, completely new community clubhouse for apartment residents will offer a place to socialize, entertain, and to find a quiet area to think or read.  Adjacent to the clubhouse is a luxurious swimming enclave with pool, spa, barbecue/picnic and relaxation areas, cabanas and chaise lounges, an outdoor dining area, a fire pit for evening get-togethers, an exercise pod, and distinctive shade sails for cover from the noonday sun.

 

Along with its plans to develop the new apartment community, Bridge Investment Group Partners is undertaking an extensive refurbishment of the 27-hole Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Course that has been closed and overgrown since mid-2015.  Heffner has pledged that construction of the apartment community will not start until the first 18-holes of the golf course are ready for play, expected mid to late 2017.

PROGRESS MADE IN RENOVATION OF MORENO VALLEY RANCH GOLF COURSE

A high level of golf course craftsmanship coupled with nature's gift of rain have combined to make significant progress in the ongoing revitalization of the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club golf course as fairways turn green and water elements fill.

 

Eric Heffner, Bridge Investment Group's Director of Real Estate Development, reports that workers for Diamond Golf International have made great headway in eliminating the overgrowth of weeds and plants, redistributing silt, and reclaiming the course's signature fairway profile originally designed by world famous golf course architect Pete Dye.

 

In business for more than 35 years, Diamond Golf is a worldwide golf course construction company that is affiliated with Nicklaus Design headed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

 

"We are pleased with the progress to date, especially considering the importance of the golf course to the City of Moreno Valley and the residents who surround the course," Heffner said.

 

"Diamond Golf International has done an excellent job of ridding the course of unwanted growth and bringing it back to life.  Today's course is worlds apart from what it was when we took ownership earlier this year."

 

Based on its importance to the community, Heffner stated that Bridge Investment Group has stipulated with the City of Moreno Valley that the planned expansion of the contiguous Reserve at Rancho Belago apartment community, also owned by Bridge, will not begin until the revitalization of the golf course is completed and is open for play, expected mid to late 2017.

 

Opening in October 1988, the 240-acre Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club was in its day considered one of Southern California's premier public golf facilities with 27-holes of championship golf course.  Before being closed in the summer of 2015, the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club was impacted by the changing economics of the U.S. golf course industry compounded by the Great Recession.  Many golf courses closed or were downsized and the industry is still recovering from that difficult time.

 

As the golf course is being revitalized, Heffner said Bridge is committed to securing an experienced 3rd party owner/operator to purchase the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club who is equally committed to reopening the course as soon as possible beginning with regulation 18 holes.  "Then, when economically feasible, the remaining nine holes will be open," Heffner said.  "Until that time, those nine holes and the land associated with them will be maintained by the new golf course owner."

 

CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVE RESIDENTS MEET TO ORGANIZE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

More than 50 residents who live along Championship Drive attended an evening meeting Friday, Oct. 14, hosted by Bridge Investment Group at the golf course club house to discuss the organization of a Neighborhood Watch to counter night time parking and other bothersome activities along the “lookout” segment of Championship Drive.  Presided over by Officer Diana Moreno of the Moreno Valley Police Department that is part of the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, the meeting focused on ways in which the Police Department can assist the residents in protecting their property and neighborhood. Residents applauded the Police Department after several attendees pointed out that they are seeing an increase in police surveillance along Championship Drive and around the golf course as the department responds to requests for more police presence in the surrounding neighborhoods.  Officer Moreno handed out an information package on how to organize a Neighborhood Watch program that will be discussed further at a second meeting Nov. 16 starting at 7 p.m. at the club house.  Officer Moreno, who is a member of the Police Department’s Community Services Unit, told attendees that an effective Neighborhood Watch is built on a strong organization of residents who are actively participating in the program by keeping a watchful eye on their neighborhood and neighbors’ properties.  “Once your Neighborhood Watch is organized, it’s important for members to socialize and get to know one another better,” she noted.  “You should also be friends with the people who live behind you since more often than not a burglar tries to enter a home from the rear and your neighbor directly behind you probably has the best view of your backyard.”  Officer Moreno also informed attendees that they can request a home security assessment by a police officer who will walk a property to determine the level of security provided by doors, windows and surrounding landscape.

ERIC HEFFNER REITERATES COMMITMENT THAT DEVELOPMENT OF NEW APARTMENT COMMUNITY WILL
NOT START UNTIL GOLF COURSE IS READY FOR PLAY

Eric Heffner, Bridge Investment Group’s Director of Real Estate Development, told attendees at the Neighborhood Watch meeting that development of the Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II apartment community that is planned adjacent to the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club will not begin until the golf course is open for play.  Heffner, who is responsible for both renovation of the 27-hole golf course and development of the upscale apartment community, said the open-for-play stipulation is a key part of the development plans submitted to the City of Moreno Valley.  A major program is now underway to repair and revitalize the golf course, starting with the mowing of all weeds on the long dormant course and filling of the course lakes.  “My family and I are very encouraged today after being able to view the fairway behind our house for the first time in several hundreds of days,” a resident whose home overlooks the golf course just communicated to Heffner.  “We appreciate what's being done . . . Thank you.”  Heffner said that if all goes as planned, the first 18 holes of the golf course should be ready to go by fall 2017 and a concerted effort will be made to attract local youngsters to learn golf and to play the course.

By IMRAN GHORI / STAFF WRITER

Published: Sept. 23, 2016 Updated: 5:47 p.m.

 

Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club moves toward reopening course

Its 27 holes should be ready before apartments are built, the new owner promises.

The shuttered Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club is starting to get a makeover and the owner promises it will reopen the course before an apartment construction project begins.

 

Bridge Investment Group, which bought the 27-hole course in February, announced this week that it gave a $250,000 contract to Diamond Golf International to repair and revitalize the course.

 

Crews have begun clearing overgrown weeds and brush that had been a source of complaints from residents since the course closed in August 2015. Other planned work includes removing silt in the flood channel of one fairway and restoring two wells that haven’t been used for two years.

 

Bridge has applied with the city to build a 446-unit apartment complex on 18 acres near the clubhouse. It plans to sell the rest of the golf course to an operator committed to keeping it open, said Eric Heffner, Bridge’s director of real estate development.

 

Heffner said the firm is in talks with potential buyers, and said the improvements should make it easier for the new owner to reopen sooner.

 

“The big commitment we’re making to the community is we are not going to begin construction on the apartment project until the golf course is open and operating,” Heffner said. “We’re doing that to assure the community we’re serious about getting that golf course open.”

 

The company held a community meeting about the project last month at which some residents were skeptical about the apartments proposal. Heffner said the company is continuing to meet with the community about the project and planned amenities will include a youth facility at the golf course.

 

He hopes the application will go before the Planning Commission in January and that the project will have all approvals by mid-2017.

 

City Councilman George Price, whose district includes the course, said he’s excited to see work on the links. He said he’s heard many complaints from residents about weeds and the overall state of the course since it closed.

 

“They’re following through on their promise to get the course cleaned up,” he said.

WORKS BEGINS ON REVITALING MORENO VALLEY RANCH GOLF COURSE WITH AWARD OF $250,000 CONTRACT TO CUT WEEDS, REACTIVATE WELLS AND REPAIR IRRIGATION SYSTEM

MORENO VALLEY, CA – Bridge Investment Group Holdings has awarded a $250,000 contract to Diamond Golf International to repair and revitalize the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club golf course, it has been announced by Eric Heffner, Bridge’s director of real estate development.  In business for more than 35 years, Diamond Golf is a worldwide golf course construction company that is affiliated with Nicklaus Design headed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

 

Heffner, who is heading the golf course project as well as the planned expansion of the contiguous Reserve at Rancho Belago apartment community also owned by Bridge, said the work has already started with the mowing of all weeds on the long dormant, 27-hole golf course.

 

This work will be followed by the removal of silt in the flood channel of the Valley 9 fairway and the silt will be distributed throughout the golf course to repair the damage caused primarily by gophers since the golf course closed in summer of 2015.

 

“We fully realize and appreciate the importance of the golf course to the City of Moreno Valley and the residents who surround the course,” Heffner said.  “Based on its importance to the community, we have stipulated with the City of Moreno Valley that construction on the second phase of the Reserve at Rancho Belago apartments will not begin until the revitalization of the golf course is completed and is open for play.”

 

Heffner said that once the weeds are cut and the silt is redistributed, Diamond Golf will begin to repair the long ignored irrigation system.   “We will start with the renovation of the irrigation system on the Lake 9 fairway and then move onto the Valley 9 fairway and finally the Mountain 9 fairway,” he said.

 

Along with the renovation of the irrigation system is the reactivation of the course’s two dedicated wells that have also been inoperative for nearly two years.  Heffner explained that with the completion of repairing the golf course’s offsite well, the first order of business will be to fill course’s lakes.  Concurrent with the filling of the lakes, the second well that is located at Hole #2 will be repaired to provide a continual flow of water for the course.

 

“We are in the process of diagnosing and repairing the irrigation systems in order to move the water as quickly as possible from the lakes on to the golf course,” he noted.  “Diamond Golf’s contract is for 60 days, which underscores the urgency of getting the golf course’s watering system up and operating.  We all realize that the faster we have irrigation, the sooner the course’s fairways and greens will recover from the nearly two years of neglect.”

 

Opening in October 1988, the 240-acre Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club was in its day considered one of Southern California’s premier public golf facilities with 27-holes of championship golf course designed by world famous golf course designer Pete Dye.

 

Before being closed in the summer of 2015, the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club was impacted by the changing economics of the U.S. golf course industry compounded by the Great Recession.  Many golf courses closed or were downsized and the industry is still recovering from that difficult time.

 

As the golf course is being revitalized, Heffner said Bridge is committed to securing an experienced 3rd party owner/operator to purchase the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club who is equally committed to reopening the course as soon as possible beginning with regulation 18 holes.  “Then, when economically feasible, the remaining nine holes will be open,” Heffner said.  “Until that time, those nine holes and the land associated with them will be maintained by the new golf course owner.”

REPORT ON OUR NEIGHBORHOOD GATHERING

We heard a lot of input about the golf course and new apartment community at our recent neighborhood gathering where more than 400 of our neighbors joined us for lunch and talk.  Because of that input, we are making adjustments to the apartment site plan to create more open space in some areas and will have the revised plan ready to review by residents in the near future.

 

We also look forward to meeting with residents on a face-to-face basis to personally discuss our plans.  If you are interested in meeting with our team, please let us know by sending a message from the Comments page of our web site.

 

Finally, we are pleased to announce that with our dedicated wells now operative, the golf course lakes are full and over the next few weeks we are inspecting the irrigation systems so we can begin watering the golf course.  Next week we will also bring on additional landscape crews to begin mowing the entire course.

 

As we announced at the neighborhood gathering, we are doing everything as quickly as we can to restore the golf course vegetation to make the course attractive open space for all residents.

UPDATE ON COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Eric Heffner, director of real estate development for Bridge Investment Group Holdings, recently participated in two community outreach activities to report on the progress of revitalizing the Moreno Valley Golf Club golf course and the Phase II development of The Reserve at Rancho Belago.

A RESIDENTS’ STREETSIDE MEETING ON CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVE

Eric attended a streetside meeting of about 50 residents who live on Championship Drive that was convened September 19th by the City of Moreno Valley Traffic Department to discuss residents’ concerns over non-residents parking at night time along a stretch of Championship Drive known as the overlook, creating a nuisance for homeowners.  It was agreed that closer cooperation between the Championship Drive residents and police, along with organizing a Neighborhood Watch, could be deterrants to the night time parking problem.   Eric reported to the residents on the golf course revitalization project now underway to remove weeds, reactivate the course’s two dedicated wells, and repair the irrigation system.  He also offered the use of the clubhouse for the residents’ next meeting to discuss organizing a Neighborhood Watch and other matters related to the parking situation.

 

A division of the National Sheriffs’ Association, Neighborhood Watch has grown from an "extra eyes and ears" approach to crime prevention to a much more proactive, community-oriented endeavor providing a unique infrastructure that brings together local officials, law enforcement, and citizens for the protection of their communities. Today's Watch Group programs incorporate activities that not only address crime prevention issues, but also promote pride and unity in a neighborhood. It is not uncommon to see members of Neighborhood Watch groups participating in community cleanups and other activities that strive to improve the quality of life for community residents.

MORENO VALLEY CULTURAL ARTS FOUNDATION EVENT

Bridge Investment Group was a sponsor of the Moreno Valley Cultural Arts Foundation event on September 17th. Above are Eric along with his wife, Dianna, and Dr. Denise Fleming, a candidate for Moreno Valley mayor, who stopped by to chat about The Reserve at Rancho Belago Phase II apartment community and the revitalization of the Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club golf course.  Also stopping by were city council members George Price and D. LaDonna Jempson, also mayoral candidates, as well as a number of local residents.  The Moreno Valley Cultural Arts Foundation is committed to fostering opportunities for a broad-range of arts and artists.  The Foundation examines local education and how the arts play an essential component in shaping the lives of the next generation. It also is eager to forge a strong bridge between local artists and local commerce. To this end, the Foundation is pursuing several initiatives including a college scholarship program, local arts projects, fund raising and grants efforts, as well as other endeavors.  For more information on the Foundation, visit www.mvcaf.org.

MORENO VALLEY ANIMAL SHELTER RESPONDS TO CONCERNS ABOUT COYOTES

We asked the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter (http://www.moreno-valley.ca.us/resident_services/animal/index_animal.shtml) what can be done about coyotes in and around the golf course.  The staff says it’s fully aware of the concerns and encourages residents to contact the Animal Shelter at (951) 413-3790 and press 1 for Dispatch.  The shelter staff will gladly assist residents in any way they can and will also arrange to have a shelter officer meet with residents and provide helpful education on coyote behavior and the effectiveness of coyote “hazing” as a way of discouraging coyotes and scare them away from homes and neighborhoods.

 

Hazing is a common deterrent to move coyotes out of an area and/or to discourage an undesirable behavior or activity.   Hazing helps maintain a coyote’s fear of humans and deters them from neighborhood spaces such as backyards.   Methods of hazing include yelling and waving arms upon approach of a coyote, noisemakers, throwing projectiles such as sticks, small rocks, tennis balls, and rubber balls, as well as using garden hoses, water guns with vinegar water, and pepper spray.

 

The Animal Shelter points out that it responds to coyote calls on a case by case basis.  The staff explains that coyotes are reclusive animals that usually avoid human contact.  But sometimes coyotes become adaptive to a human environment where they might not feel threatened and feel safe when stalking around homes and yards.   This is especially true when they are hungry and know there is a readily available source of food in neighborhoods for them and their young.

 

“We strongly encourage residents who reside in areas where the presence of coyotes is higher to keep their pets and any other small animals in at nights,” the animal shelter stresses.   “These type of bold coyotes or any coyote should not be tolerated and this is when the hazing method needs to be used.”

 

Anyone who has contacted our golf course management about the coyote situation should immediately call the Animal Shelter for assistance in dealing coyotes.  They have assured us they will respond quickly and help in any way they can including meeting with residents and providing educational material.

 

Also visit the Fish & Wildlife website at www.wildlife.ca.gov or contact the Inland Desert Region (local Fish & Wildlife office) for this area at 909-484-0167.

 WE REACH OUT TO LOCAL YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS

We are in the process of extending our involvement in the local community.  We are now in discussions with several local non-profit youth groups with the goal of providing support for their organizations and activities.  The organizations we have met with so far are:

Boys and Girls Club – The vision is to create the opportunity to build and support a Boys & Girls Club in Moreno Valley.  The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (http://www.bgca.org) is to enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens by providing a diversity of meaningful, after-school programs including education support, sports, cultural activities and mentoring.  The nearest Boys & Girls Club is in Perris.

The First Tee – The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org) is a nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to positively impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in elementary schools and at other youth-serving locations.  In 2015, The First Tee brought character education through the game of golf to more than 4.7 million young people. The First Tee’s Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA.

Rising Stars Business Academy – Rising Stars Business Academy is designed to motivate, educate and inspire young adults to become leaders and entrepreneurs by bridging the gap between youth and their community. Rising Stars Business Academy's vision is to be a model in the Moreno Valley community, offering educational programs that are broad, yet challenging, and that can empower students from diverse backgrounds. “We work towards building a future where our youth are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be respectful and responsible citizens, who care not only for themselves, but also for their families and their communities,” states the non-profit organization. For more information on the Academy, visit http://www.rsbacademy.org.

Salvation Army – The Salvation Army is known worldwide for its charity work and humanitarian support that includes operating charity shops and homelessfacilities, helping people overcome addictions, and disaster relief and humanitarian aid.

For more information on the Moreno Valley Salvation Army, visit http://morenovalley.salvationarmy.org/

 

We will receive proposals from these and other community organizations by mid-September to provide support for their activities.

Plans to build a 446-unit apartment complex at the closed Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club are moving ahead.

 

Bridge Investment Group, which bought the golf course months ago, is talking to several potential buyers who would reopen and run the 27-hole golf course that has been shut for a year, said Eric Heffner, Bridge’s director of real estate development.

 

The 112-acre course’s chances of reopening depend on whether the company wins approval of its apartment project and finds a suitable buyer that is committed to keeping it open, he said.

 

“It’s in our best interest as well as the community interest that we sell the golf course to an operator who will be successful there,” Heffner said. “Once we sell the golf course we don’t want to see it close again.”

 

Since buying the course in February, Bridge has been improving it. Crews have been restoring the greens, trimming trees, removing dead trees and replacing a well, he said.

 

The company applied last week to rezone the area for apartments. An open house at the golf course clubhouse, set for Saturday, Aug. 13, from noon to 4 p.m. will give neighbors a preview of its plans.

 

Bridge is proposing to build the apartments on 18 acres of open land near the clubhouse. The Reserve at Rancho Belago project would have studio and one-,two- and three-bedroom apartments up to 1,320-square-feet in size. They would be built in two- to four-story buildings. The complex would include a new community clubhouse, a swimming pool and other amenities.

 

The company is proposing a youth facility at the existing clubhouse in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club and First Tee/Pro-Kids, which offers youth educational programs with an emphasis on golf.

 

Heffner said the goal is begin construction in spring 2017 and to have the apartment complex completed in two years.

 

City Councilman George Price, whose council district includes the golf course, said he’s looking forward to seeing the proposal. The course’s fate is the biggest issue he hears about from constituents, he said.

 

Residents, especially homeowners with properties facing the course, have worried that, with its closure, the golf course would deteriorate and their property values would go down. Price said he’s been happy with the upkeep that Bridge has done in response to neighbors’ concerns.