Chinese university campus, condos and resort hotel proposed in Lake Elsinore


A Lake Elsinore resident appeared before the city council Aug. 13, proposing to build a 40,000-square-foot university, resort hotel, townhomes, luxury condominiums and commercial center on 42 acres of lakefront property she owns.

The proposal by landowner and developer Wendy Du showed a rendering of what the development would look like on the property that was once the site of the Naval and Military Academy at 15891 Grand Avenue built in 1924 that has been vacant since the 1970s. The property still has the original 30,000-square-foot athletic club and later military academy building, which she seeks to renovate as the student living quarters for the university students.

Her spokesman, Phillip Jones, explained the university would be the American campus for China’s foremost, 60,000-student Fudan University with its main campus in Shanghai. The university specializes in the sciences, arts and mathematics and has students from throughout the world. Nu is a graduate of the university and bought the property from Paul Garrett with the university in mind, the spokesman said. Fudan University has four major campuses in China.

Specifically, the project would include the university building itself with 100-bed student housing, a 21,000-square-foot commercial center, 200-room resort hotel with a beach club, 111 townhomes and 69 luxury condominiums, according to the rendering shown the council.

The spokesman told the council that it had taken a year to procure a trip to Shanghai for an appointed council member or members to meet with the president of Fudan University.

Members of the council were unable to speak on the project or the offer to come to China to see the parent university because it was explained in the later public comment section of the meeting that they can only comment on matters on the agenda.

In earlier business, the council in a majority vote with all five members present, including Mayor Steve Manos, Mayor Pro Tem Brian Tisdale and council members Natasha Johnson, Timothy J. Sheridan and Robert Magee, authorized the annexation of the proposed 163 detached single-family residential condominiums in Westlake Village on Highway 74 and Grand Avenue.

The annexation involving 19.47 gross acres would be charged $771 per unit for public safety services and $406 per unit for maintenance fees. The developers cost at build out was estimated at $125,673. They also approved an $8 million indebtedness bond for the project.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at