One of the biggest fights of the year is taking place in California. The battle will soon come to a head; the showdown will not be pretty. But I’m not speaking of an ultimate fight, a boxing match or a wrestling rumble. What I’m talking about is a real estate big wig showdown between Rob Maguire and David Murdock in Van Nuys, California. The real estate gurus are battling over who will be the next “fixed-based operator” at the local Van Nuys airport. Both want the title but, at this airport, there’s only room for one. The problem is that neither one of them are giving up without an intense fight.
Fixed-based operators service aircraft owners with everything from fuel and maintenance to hangar rentals. Maguire already holds the title and claims he’s most qualified for the position, while dragging Murdock’s name through the mud. But Maguire says that its Murdock’s own scandalous activities that are to blame for his balancing reputation, not him. But Maguire doesn’t shy away from saying that he’s a “rouge operator,” someone who sells fuel and poaches from other businesses.
Maguire’s invested his time and energy into getting Murdock to stop these disturbing business behaviors, and when I say he wasn’t afraid to step up to the plate to do so, I’m not kidding. He even went to such lengths as suing him in an effort to put a stop to it all. If come to find out the accusations are true and the legal system prevails like it should, Maguire will soon be the new fixed operator at the Van Nuys airport. But despite the blame game and name calling going on between the two and the legal process Maguire initiated, Murdock is not backing down.
Maguire is known for building some of the most noted buildings that make up the Los Angeles skyline while Murdock is more known for his developed properties such as the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village and Murdock Plaza in Westwood, which is considered one of the best office buildings on Wilshire Boulevard. He’s also known for his position as chief executive of the massively successful business, Dole Food Co. Because of his various sources of income and, dare I say, power, Maguire is most likely on the sidelines shaking in his boots. Though he’s standing up for what he believes and talking a good game, you have to admit, Murdock’s various sources and networks must be intimidating for him. I know I’d be intimidated.
But if Maguire’s way of retaliation and taking out his intimidations is through smearing reputations, he’s doing a great job attempting to do so. He just can’t seem to keep his mouth shut. Maguire even said that Murdock’s Castle & Cooke Aviation Services Inc., “could potentially be elevated to a full-fledged fixed-base operator without ever being held accountable for disregarding the rules it should have played by.”
That’s a bold statement and, honestly, completely understanding grounds for a knockdown drag-out fight. Personally, I have my money on Murdock. Maguire talks a big game, but we will see if he follows through. Gentlemen take your corners, and in this case, we don’t want a clean fight because the victory will be so much sweeter. It’s time to put up or shut up.