RANCON GROUP

DEVELOPMENT
WE ENVISION THE RIGHT PROJECT FOR THE RIGHT PLACE
ASSET MANAGEMENT
determining the best way to manage your portfolio of assets
INVESTEMENTS
raised OVER $800,000,000 from more than 15,000 partners

FOR MORE THAN FOUR DECADES

HISTORY

the name Rancon has been synonymous with

REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

In fact, the history of Rancon parallels that of development in this most dynamic area of Southern California.

When Dan Stephenson first came to the Temecula Valley in 1968, there were few houses, fewer businesses, and no traffic signals. State Highway 395 meandered from San Diego through Rainbow Canyon spilling down into a spacious valley that was once dominated by the 97,500 acre Vail Ranch.

Stephenson was impressed by the area. There was a freeway (Interstate 15) planned for the valley and one of the nation’s largest developers (Kaiser) had purchased the old Vail Ranch. He also knew that someday the metropolitan centers of Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego would grow together. The Temecula Valley was inevitably in the path of growth.

We’ve Been Doing Things Right for Nearly 50 Years

We know the geography, we know the County’s development program and we know the people that make the market happen.         

Our Experience is Reflected in Our Proven Success.

 
 

Master Planning For Success

Stephenson returned to the valley frequently

Over the next few years keeping an eye on development and a new concept called “master planning” that was being applied to the community they christened Rancho California. 

Investing in the Future

Stephenson organized a group of investors and started buying up land.

He started by acquiring land in the hills above Temecula, and then later along the not-so-main thoroughfare of Jefferson Avenue. His first partnerships focused on avocado groves, a cash crop that could help sustain a parcel until higher use came along. As the valley matured and more people moved in, Stephenson migrated to land and estate sales. One of the first major developments was a subdivision above Murrieta called La Cresta , a 6,000 acre estate ranch community. Today these mature communities are considered the premier ranch estate properties in the Temecula Valley.

THROUGH THE YEARS

  • 1970's
    In the 1970s most of Rancon’s development was focused in two areas. First we bought thousands of acres in large plots of land at wholesale prices, subdivided them into smaller parcels and then sold them at retail prices. Secondly we formed our first California only public program in 1973 to acquire avocado Groves from the Kaiser/Aetna Development Corporation. For the next three years we acquired an additional 5000 acres which made Rancon and his partnerships the largest avocado grower in the world.
  • 1980's
    Temecula exploded in the 1980s, as did the opportunity for more traditional real estate development. In 1981 Rancon created it’s first real estate public development partnership called “Rancon Reality Fund”. Over the next eight years Rancon formed sever public partnerships and raised raised over $500,000,000 in equity that acquired large parcels of land to be developed and as a result we became the largest land syndicator in the United States.
  • 1990's
    The recession that started in 1989 and lasted for approximately six years which put Rancon in a holding pattern for several years. The one partnership we did form during this six year period was to acquire the $330,000,000 Great American S & L loan portfolio from the Resolution Trust Company ( RTC). This portfolio consisted of 39 projects located primarily in San Diego and Riverside County. This partnership turned an $11,000,000 investment into a $126,000,000 total return.
  • 2000's
    The amazing growth it took place in the seven years of this new century made our region one of the fastest growing areas in America. Rancon made a major play by buying and developing over 2000 residential lots lots in Winchester Valley as well as acquiring the 330 acres now known as Europa Village and Europa Vineyard Estates.
  • 2010
    During this time, Rancon concentrated on buying properties that had been foreclosed on by various banks and institutions. We looked for properties in our market area that we could purchase for pennies-on-the-dollar. In addition to developing Europa Village Rancon made a major play in developing its self-storage division.
  • 2020
    After nearly 50 years in business and in Southern Riverside County, Rancon is proud of our contributions, developments and investment opportunities we have brought to Temecula Valley.
6,000 ACRES

La Cresta

Acquired 570 acres in 1982 for $15,000

Entitled and Master Planned for 2,000 lots

Sold in 1987 for $54,000 an acre

As the valley matured and more people moved in, Stephenson migrated to land and estate sales. One of the first major developments was a subdivision above Murrieta called La Cresta, a 10,000 acre estate ranch community. Stephenson’s group master-planned La Cresta to include estate properties linked by riding and walking trails. The venture was a success and set the tone for future area development. La Cresta’s success was followed by La Cresta Highlands, a 1,500 acre estate ranch community. Other projects followed including Santa Rosa West, a 700 acre estate-ranch community.

Rancho Consultants sold new homes, estate ranches, grove properties and commercial real estate to people moving to the area. In the latter part of the 1970s, a national sales campaign was launched for Rancho California. Businesses started moving to the area’s Rancho California Business Park. Hudson Oxygen and Borg Warner opened plants in the area. Still, the real boom was years away.

When 1980 rolled around, the once sleepy town of Temecula was about to wake up. Grading for the new six-lane interstate was underway. New subdivisions and condominium projects were popping up all over. New business was moving to town. The Californian, a local weekly newspaper was introduced.

Rancho Consultants was growing as a real estate brokerage and expanding as a development company through private syndications. About this time, Dan Stephenson decided to shorten the company’s name from Rancho Consultants to Rancon.

He built Rancon Plaza in Old Town Temecula and established it as the new Rancon Headquarters. The newly-named company became the largest real estate brokerage and developer of commercial centers in the Temecula Valley. The Rancon horse logo became the most well know sign in town. To maximize his efforts, Stephenson started forming land and development syndications with a few close friends.

570 Acres

ALTA MURRIETA

Acquired 570 acres in 1982 for $15,000

Entitled and Master Planned for 2,000 lots

Sold in 1987 for $54,000 an acre

In the 1980s Rancon syndications grew in size and eventually evolved into large publically-traded limited partnerships. These partnerships built one of Temecula’s first shopping centers, Winchester Square, plus numerous business and office buildings along Jefferson Avenue. Rancon funds also financed a major industrial park in Temecula and developed Alta Murrieta, the area’s first master-planned community.

In the early 1990s, the real estate market took a sharp downturn. The recession caused a well-documented crisis in the nation’s savings and loan industry. The federal government formed the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to help liquidate many assets, including large property portfolios, of failed S&Ls. Stephenson saw the opportunity and formed several small partnerships to bid on some Southern California portfolios. One of the portfolios acquired, contained a 600 acre residential property in Murrieta. The result of that acquisition was a highly successful project known as Copper Canyon.

In the early 1990s, the real estate market took a sharp downturn. The recession caused a well-documented crisis in the nation’s savings and loan industry. The federal government formed the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to help liquidate many assets, including large property portfolios, of failed S&Ls. Stephenson saw the opportunity and formed several small partnerships to bid on some Southern California portfolios. One of the portfolios acquired, contained a 600 acre residential property in Murrieta. The result of that acquisition was a highly successful project known as Copper Canyon.

 

the vision

EUROPA VILLAGE

Acquired 570 acres in 1982 for $15,000

Entitled and Master Planned for 2,000 lots

Sold in 1987 for $54,000 an acre

The Europa vision features three components. The first will be Europa Village, a beautifully designed wine-country attraction consisting of three European-style wineries, and a 60-unit destination resort with world class spa facilities. The second component is Europa Vineyard Estates, which will be a private-gated luxury estate community overlooking the Village and other wine country properties. The third component is a 10-unit bed-and breakfast style country inn (acquired in 2011) located adjacent to the Village.

BEGAN PLANTING

The Rancon Group began planting premium grapes in 2006, and had a cash crop of premium grapes in 2008. In the following two years several varietals were bottled and sold under the Europa winery labels.

In 2011, the Prelude to Europa was opened. Prelude is a 3,000 square-foot tasting-room, bistro and event facility located on the French portion of the village.

During the severe economic downturn that started in 2008, the Rancon Group slimmed down operations, but remained active on the land acquisition and entitlement fronts. In addition, the Development team made significant strides in getting Europa Vineyard Estates and Europa Village closer to final development.

As the market remains flat, the Rancon Group is actively seeking joint venture partnerships with land owners and making all cash purchases of selected properties in Wine Country and throughout Southwest Riverside County.

Today, driving over and through the Rainbow Gap from San Diego County to the Temecula Valley is a much different experience than from the days when Dan Stephenson first came to town. Interstate-15 cuts through the center of the valley providing convenient access to the thriving cities that comprise Temecula and Murrieta. The population of the valley has gone from less than 20,000 in 1970 to more than 200,000 in 2011. Rancon has grown from a real estate brokerage located in a trailer in a soon-to-be retail center, to the area’s most successful real estate company and the Inland Empire’s leading developer. The Rancon Group continues to build relationships, build communities, and build a legacy in Southern California’s dynamic real estate market.

ACQURIING LAND IN TEMECULA

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

Stephenson thought both the area and the master plan were destined for success