Located just south of the San Dieguito River Valley is a gated community of exclusive estates called Fairbanks Ranch. With over 75 acres of park-like grounds and pristine amenities which include a lake with a clubhouse nestled on its shore, equestrian Center, 5 tennis courts, a putting green, a park featuring a barbecue & picnic area along with a volleyball & basketball court.
Once part of a historic Spanish land grant, the ranch was purchased by Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920’s. Fairbanks was a famed silent film star in the early 1900’s who brought such roles as Zorro and Robin Hood to the big screen. He and his wife Mary Pickford, known as “America’s Sweetheart,” owned more than 3,000 acres of the area, which they called “Rancho Zorro,” taken from Fairbanks’ film “The Mark of Zorro.” It also means “Fox Ranch.”
In 1977, Ray Watt laid eyes on the fabled “Rancho Zorro.” At that time, the land belonged to many separate entities, and Ray was able to assemble land from eight of the entities to form the development that is Fairbanks Ranch (618 residential lots) and Fairbanks Rancho Country Club (341 homes) today.
With over 1240 acres developed, Fairbanks Ranch includes over 75 acres of park-like grounds, including a lake with a clubhouse, 5 tennis courts, 9-hole putting green, a park featuring a barbecue/ picnic area along with volleyball and basketball court. The setting is nothing short of beautiful–and many exquisite estates border the lake.
Sales began on Fairbanks Ranch lots began in the fall of 1979 and includes a 5,100-square foot clubhouse, Fairbanks Village Plaza, a 58,000 square foot office and retail center that is still partially owned by Watt. The center currently holds a beauty salon, deli, coffee shop, health club, florist and various other offices. The spaces range from 400 to 1,000 square feet and the current occupancy rate is 97.6%.
Fairbanks Ranch Country Club was also the site of a major marketing coup: the Equestrian Endurance Event of the 1984 Olympic Games. After Ray suggested FRCC to the commissioners for the Olympic Equestrian event, Prince Philip chose Fairbanks over the other 6 sites that had been selected. The event took place on August 1, 1984. A bronze sculpture was created to commemorate the Olympic event, and it permanently stands at the entrance gate of the Country Club.
Many of the stately homes in Fairbanks Ranch sit behind guarded gates. Fairbanks Ranch real estate is highly desired and homes here have an average price of around $2.5 million.
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