A partnership between Meriwether Companies and Singerman Real Estate has landed a $46 million financing on the Griffin Club, a recently renovated, members-only club in Cheviot Hills.
Private lender ACORE Capital provided the financing, which replaces a previous $30 million loan and sets aside capital for future work on the property, including an expansion of the club’s kitchen services. The new mortgage carries a five-year term and closed last week, sources told The Real Deal. There were no brokers involved.
Meriwether, which specializes in resort and hospitality development, and Chicago-based investment firm Singer purchased the club at 3084 Motor Avenue in May 2015, using a $30 million loan for acquisition and renovation costs, property records show. It last traded hands in 1985, when Gene Axelrod of L.A. Partners — who also owns the Calabasas Country Club just outside of the city — bought the property and named it the Beverly Hills Country Club.
“Over the 30-year history, he made a big investment early, but the club began to deteriorate,” said Graham Culp, a partner at Meriwether. “We wanted to restore the luster of the club.”
The renovation cost $15 million and took just over two years, while remaining open the whole time. The four-acre site includes nine tennis courts, an activity lawn, a 25-meter lap pool, a toddler pool and an outdoor jacuzzi. The nearly 35,000-square-foot clubhouse, which was completed in September, has two restaurants, two locker-rooms with steam rooms and saunas and a fitness center with spin and pilates rooms.
Meriwether and Singerman also renamed the facility in honor of its founder, Merv Griffin’s uncle, Elmer Griffin. He opened it as the Westside Tennis Club in 1926, before L.A.’s celebrity and entertainment population was able to join the city’s more exclusive country clubs.
Meriwether and Singerman have retained the membership-only model, with fees ranging from $4,000 to $12,000, according to Culp. The club currently has roughly 1,500 members.
The Griffin Club is Meriwether’s first project in L.A., but the developer is looking at other opportunities in the city.