A group of investors have purchased the 18-hole Mare Island Golf Club in Vallejo for $2.1 million and are planning to spend $30 million to $40 million to build a 150 room hotel, restaurant and banquet facility on the site. The vision: a “mid-end” version of the Ritz-Carlton resort at Half Moon Bay, but on the way to wine country.

Built as a 9-hole course for the Navy in 1892, the Mare Island course is the oldest course west of the Mississippi and the current clubhouse, a former radio monitoring station which was constructed by W.P.A. Labor in 1936, was one of two buildings on the base to receive the first call of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

The course was expaned to 18-holes in 2000 after the base on the island was decommissioned.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by c_q

    Since when is vallejo, especially mare island, considered wine country?

  2. Posted by R+ (formerly known as R, until some johnny-come-lately stole it)

    Not ‘wine country’, ‘on the way to wine country.’

  3. Posted by shza

    Spending $40M+ to build a Ritz in Vallejo sounds like bubble activity to me. I can’t imagine this ends up being profitable.

  4. Posted by jeet

    You can buy that much real estate for just $2.1 million?

    • Posted by R+ (formerly known as R, until some johnny-come-lately stole it)

      Many golf courses have tight development controls – so the new owner may have to keep it as a golf course or other open space – they can’t pave and build houses.

  5. Posted by jlasf

    This is beyond crazy. Most of Mare Island is a deserted ghost town of ravaged warehouse buildings. Scary and desolate. It would take billions to clean up the rest of that island because it’s a hazardous waste site. And just across the canal is…Vallejo. One of the most depressing cities in the country with boarded up stores and abandoned buildings. Put a Ritz-Carlton there instead of near Napa? Someone is smoking something.

    • Posted by go and look

      If you go south of the “ravaged warehouse buildings”, which it sounds like you never have, you will find a very pretty community with a mix of new homes and historic navy homes and buildings. Go look at it on google earth. The golf course has views of the bay and marin, it’s very nice. Whether they will ever get a hotel approved there is a completely different story.

      • Posted by jlasf

        I have driven all around Mare Island. I have been to Touro a few times and know about the historic areas, as well as the pocket of nice, new suburban housing. That part is very attractive. But you can’t deny that a large part of the island is vacant and in a state of rather creepy decay. Any area that has miles and miles of abandoned buildings is rather off-putting… say the least.

        • Posted by emanon

          So you’re arguing that the area should not be developed because the area is not developed? Trying to follow the logic here.

          • Posted by jlasf

            If someone like Lennar can come in with a billion dollar plan to redevelop the whole island, more power to them. In fact, it’s a great piece of land with great potential. But, at the moment, I wouldn’t want to live there. It’s nice that you are an optimist, but you don’t seem to acknowledge how much of the island is a ghost town in a very depressing condition.

    • Posted by go and look

      And the remediation of the contaminated areas has been underway for years now, the south end where the golf course is didn’t have contamination, like the residential areas. The north end has areas, some of which are already cleaned up. It’s all in the public record.

    • Posted by valdovino

      Quite a negative and pessimistic view on progress? That’s how development begins one step moving forward. Be an optimist and see the opportunity.

  6. Posted by jlasf

    Re-reading the Vallejo news story, it’s not a Ritz-Carlton that is planned. “He said it would be akin to the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay — “but not as high-end.” In other words, some sort of mid-level resort hotel, maybe a DoubleTree. Still, a long shot.

  7. Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

    The investors will lose everything.

    • Posted by soccermom

      They are in for $2.1mm on an 18 hole golf course overlooking the San Francisco Bay. There are a lot of ways it could work out for them.

  8. Posted by mary_jane_jacobs

    The golf course sold for $2.95mm to the Nimitz Group this Summer, the billionaire-led team that has consolidated ownership of Mare Island from Lennar and the City of Vallejo. Previous buyers did not lose everything(!)

    The US government remains on the hook for environmental liability. The water table is quite high and most of the beautiful brick buildings along the waterfront facing Vallejo remain contaminated and are unrealistic for the housing conversion that would be sellable/rentable.

    There is a virtually infinite amound of PDR space here for the development. Ferry 1hr to San Francisco (and yes, a ferry terminal on the island).

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