PACIFICA — Pacifica's vacant limestone quarry has been sold to a private investment company, leaving its future more uncertain than ever. The 87-acre Rockaway Quarry has been sold to an unidentified affiliate of AMBIT FUNDING LLC, a Pennsylvania-based company that originally loaned former quarry owner The Peebles Corp. $16 million to purchase and develop the property, according to an announcement by Peebles. Peebles bought the quarry for $7.5 million in 2005 from another company that had tried and failed to build a mixed-use housing and retail development in that location. Florida-based Peebles likewise failed to convince a majority of Pacifica voters in 2008 of the value of its proposed 355-unit mixed housing plan, which would also have included a luxury hotel and ample retail space — a new downtown along Highway 1, steps away from the ocean and several favorite beaches. While some Pacificans praised the Peebles plan as a new economic engine for the deficit-prone city, others decried it as an irreplaceable loss of open space and a threat to sensitive species living on parts of the site. Not even city officials know what Ambit, or its affiliate, has in mind for the quarry now. A representative of Ambit was due to meet with City Manager Steve Rhodes and other staff members today, a few days after the deal was completed. "It doesn't matter to me who the owner is. I guess at some point they'll disclose that," Rhodes said.

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