The proposed motel would be on a field just off Murieta Drive and Lone Pine Drive, down the street from the Murieta Equestrian Center.
The purchase of 53 acres of commercial property south of Jackson Road, and plans to build a 100-room motel there, were announced Thursday by a Rancho Murieta investment group.
The property was purchased by Cosumnes River Land LLC, which is affiliated with the Murieta Equestrian Center and owner Carol Anderson Ward. The land was sold by a subsidiary of Regency Centers, a national developer, owner and operator of shopping centers. The terms weren’t disclosed.
The land has been the subject of several announced development plans in the last decade -- in 2002, 2004 and 2009, each with a planned mix of commercial and residential construction.
According to Thursday’s announcement by Murietan John Sullivan, who represents the local investors, building a motel at Lone Pine and Murieta drives is the immediate priority.
“The Equestrian Center needs hotel rooms to complement our horse shows and Rancho Murieta’s special events business,” the announcement quoted Ward as saying. She is the daughter of the late Sacramento businessman Fred Anderson. It also quoted Arnie Billingsley, the Country Club’s general manager, as saying the community has needed rooms since the Villas were converted from lodging to condos years ago.
“We’ve been trying to figure out the location for the hotel for over a year and the most logical place was over there on the commercial piece,” Sullivan said in a phone interview. “...The primary focus for the next few months is going to be trying to get a timeline and a game plan on how to get it done as quickly as possible.”
He said the Murieta Inn, as it’s being called, would have 100 rooms and perhaps 3,000 square feet of meeting space in a structure with a maximum height of 42 feet.
“It’s good for the airport, it’s good for the Country Club, it’s good for the Equestrian Center,” Sullivan said. “Down the road it will seem like we always had one, I hope. ... It was really hard for the Equestrian Center when the lodge got converted. ... The Country Club and Equestrian Center booked rooms there. ... (It) threw a monkey wrench ... into events where people came from a long way. Events want to know where the nearest hotel is. The Country Club wants to attract bigger tournaments, also the air show, ETC, relatives of residents.”
The first development plans for the land, a decade ago, called for more than 200 homes in a development called Murieta Gardens. The latest version of the project, approved by the county last year, called for 95 homes.
The 53 acres are flat, almost treeless land between the Country Store and Rancho Murieta Airport, across the street from the Murieta Plaza shopping center. Part of the land is being used as a sports field.
Since 2010, Sullivan, a longtime Murietan, has headed an effort to purchase 700 acres of undeveloped Rancho Murieta land and the Country Club property from the Pension Trust Fund of Operating Engineers. He has refused questions about those negotiations.
See a copy of Thursday’s announcement.