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Sunday, Oct 2, 2022

OC 50 Master Planners


Chief Executive, Chairman

Rancho Mission Viejo LLC

Rancho Mission Viejo

Born in West Los Angeles

Age: 79

Lives in Laguna Beach (Emerald Bay)

WHY: Heads development, leasing arm of Moiso, O’Neill, and Avery families; real estate development, leasing, cattle, agricultural operations; OC’s No. 2 landowner after Donald Bren (see separate entry, this page).

HOW: Family ties to land trace to 1882—ranch once covered 200,000 acres from El Toro Creek in Lake Forest to Oceanside, including all of Camp Pendleton. It now owns 23,000 acres in county’s southeastern corner. Developer behind creation of Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Las Flores and Ladera Ranch.

RECENT: Esencia, 2,700-home second village of company’s newest community, Rancho Mission Viejo, reported more than 600 sales last year, 12th best-selling master-planned community in the country. Partnering in joint venture to build a four-star, 102-room hotel and restaurant in downtown San Juan Capistrano.

FAST FACT: Had childhood friendship in West Los Angeles with former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.

QUOTABLE: Moiso’s partner in the SJC hotel venture, Dan Almquist, told local media that “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and the ranch. They really do care a great deal about San Juan.”

PERSONAL: Longtime supporter of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Well known for love of horses; hosts annual Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo, which has raised over $1 million for local charities. Served two years in Army as infantry officer. Wife, Melinda. Four daughters. Richard “Dick” O’Neill, his uncle, family patriarch, died in 2009. Took over chairman title last year, turned over president duties to Don Vodra, longtime RMV company man.

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