Douglas R. Ring, a well-known developer, attorney, lobbyist and private investor who was an influential lessee in Marina del Rey, died Thursday, November 12th. He was 65.
An autopsy has been conducted and the results have been “deferred for several weeks,” said Ed Winter, assistant chief of investigations of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Ring, who had recently had back surgery, was pronounced dead by paramedics at his home in Brentwood following a call from his housekeeper. His wife, former Los Angeles city councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, returned home from China upon hearing of his death.
A funeral service for Ring was held Tuesday, November 17th at Hillside Memorial Park and a reception followed at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey.
Ring had a long career in real estate, politics and government. Prior to entering private practice, he served as deputy Los Angeles County supervisor and a United States Congressional field representative.
He had also been a commissioner for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency and was the founder of the Ring Group, a Santa Monica-based real estate investment group.
“He was one of the most honest people that you would ever want to meet,” said Tasha Bezner, vice president of operations at the Ring Group. “I worked with him for 19 years, and he treated everyone with respect, whether you were a janitor or the mayor.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a statement after learning of Ring’s death.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of my friend Doug Ring, a
philanthropist and civic leader devoted to the City of Angels,” the mayor said. “Through his many endeavors, including the restoration of the Central Library, his efforts to build a new Children’s Museum, the expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and as executive director of USC’s Selden Ring Award, Doug sought to improve the lives of all Angelenos, and he will be greatly missed.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, former councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, and all his family during this difficult time.”
Known for his development projects in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, Ring drew the ire of We ARE Marina del Rey, a local community organization, in March after he won approval of a renegotiated lease for the Esprit II apartment complex and anchorage in Marina del Rey.
WE ARE Marina del Rey contends that the developer was in breach of contract after he told county officials he was unable to meet the prescribed conditions to begin and complete its target construction dates in the original lease in 2008.
In 2000, some Marina locals complained after the Board of Supervisors awarded Ring a 39- year lease extension without competitive bidding.
Ring seemed to take the public criticism in stride.
“There are people in the Marina who don’t want anything to be built,” the lessee told The Argonaut after county officials allowed him the lease renegotia- tion. “In the real world, when things get old, they need to be replaced.”
Santos Kreimann, the director of the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, remembered Ring fondly.
“He was really a joy to work with,” Kreiman said.
Ring is survived by his wife; brother, Grant; a sister, Karen Lawrence; an aunt; and an uncle.