03/30/2016 3:36PM

Part of Los Alamitos property to be developed into retail space, senior housing


Los Alamitos track owner Ed Allred said Tuesday that plans are under way to develop property adjacent to the racetrack for retail and senior housing, but that a long-term commitment to live racing remains in place at the Orange County, Calif., racetrack.

Allred said in a phone interview that as much as 70 acres can be developed without disrupting racing. He said property values make operating a racetrack in Southern California economically unfeasible, but that he plans to do so for the sake of the game.

“There’s no practical justification for their being any racetrack in Southern California,” he said. “The people that own the property have to love what they’re doing and love the sport.”

On Tuesday evening, a Los Alamitos track executive spoke with residents of the city of Cypress, where the track is located, at a public hearing to discuss long-term use of the racetrack property and adjacent property once used as a golf course, should racing cease. In advance of that meeting, a letter was sent to residents stating that the meeting was the first of several to discuss the development of the property for retail, office, and housing projects.

The letter, signed by Los Alamitos executive Frank Sherren, said the track was not on the verge of closing.

“This is not an announcement that the Los Alamitos Race Course is closing its doors anytime in the near future,” the one-page letter read. “There are no immediate plans to close the track; however, we must be ready for that eventuality, and when the time comes, a comprehensive succession plan for these facilities is needed.”

Allred said he has postponed launching the discussion with the city. Residents must vote on potential development plans and could do so as early as November’s election. Allred said that any potential development would take several years to implement.

“I delayed doing this because I knew there would be some reaction,” he said.

Allred, who turns 80 in May, is the nation’s leading Quarter Horse breeder and has a small number of Thoroughbreds racing in Southern California.

“I want to physically be able to use the racetrack as long as I’m able,” Allred said.

Los Alamitos has taken an expanded role in Southern California racing in the last two years, following the closure of Hollywood Park in Inglewood for development at the end of 2013.

Since early 2014, Los Alamitos has been the base of year-round training for as many as 800 Thoroughbreds competing on the Southern California circuit. In addition, Los Alamitos has hosted three brief Thoroughbred meetings each year. The first meeting of 2016 runs April 14 to May 1.

Los Alamitos has a year-round program of night races for lower-level Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. Allred said he does not plan any changes to that program.

“I raise 130 colts a year, and I need a place to race them and sell them,” he said.

The forthcoming development for retail and senior housing follows a trend of developing sections of the property not used for racing. Allred said further development could occur.

“There’s actually at least 70 acres that is expendable as such and can be sold from the golf course or racetrack without having anything to do with the [racing] operation,” he said. “We’ll be a racetrack. I know there will be some controversy. We don’t need as much land as we have.”

Ivona Lenk More than 1 year ago
I am not Ivona Lenk.  She did not sign out and although I tried to sign her out, my comment went into her photo.  Please get in touch with Corinne at Corinnesells@yahoo.com if interested. Thank youl
Ivona Lenk More than 1 year ago
Hello Mr. Allred:  I drove by the proposed Senior Condo Project today.  I will be 79 this month, and I have more energy than  and intellect than a 40 year old.  Probably just like you.  Why do people write things about us going to another place, when we can offer so much right here and probably live until we are in the late 90's.  I am a realtor with over 38 years experience but I am being run out of my business because I am old.  If you saw me you would not think I am old!
I am actively looking for work and don't let anyone tell you there is no discrimination.  There is!
If you know someone looking for a reliable, intelligent lady with lots of business experience, my e is: corinnesells@yahoo.com. Thank you.  Corinne  P.S.  I love to bet the horses and have been to Los Al many times.
Rod More than 1 year ago
Well this is the first time we're seeing something put in writing about the long term prospects for Los Al. Allred hit the nail on the head - with pricey So Cal real estate, it's questionable whether its best use is as a racetrack. At 80 years old, the clock is ticking. Once Allred goes, Los Al can't be too far behind. What Craig Mathews said below is true - same plan as Hollywood, when you think about how big Hollywood Park was, in terms of acreage back in the Everett days. Once Hubbard took over, they started selling parcels off, one by one, till eventually, in came Churchill (the beginning of the end), and then ultimately Bay Meadows Land Co. I grew up going to Los Al, but know it's likely to go the way of Hollywood Park before too long. Meanwhile, across town, Frank Stronach isn't a spring chicken himself, so I'd be just as concerned for Santa Anita and Golden Gate. If Pimlico didn't also host the Preakness, I'd have thrown that into the mix. Laurel? Who knows.
Marty Brink More than 1 year ago
Seriously, how much longer can Los Al hang on given the current shape of California racing. Just a matter of time before it's gone.
Craig Mathews More than 1 year ago
There goes any hope ever for a turf course.  Same plan as Hollywood .  Develop property around it.  Eventually it will all fall into wrong hands.  Doc better keep taking those anti aging pills.
ZiziHowell More than 1 year ago
 I got very emotional reading it.  I love Los Al.   May Ed Allred live to be 150!  Too many race tracks disappearing--don't let it happen to Los Al, please!!!

Tom Fleming More than 1 year ago
Beginning of the end for Los Al.. Les Onaka better update his resume. 
racetrackandy More than 1 year ago
What a bunch of B.S.  Los Al was never a long term solution without a turf course and with Doc's Age.  Pegram/Brackpool screw up again by not pushing for Pomona