HomesteadNorthwest buys golf course for $4 million

Published on Thu, Aug 10, 2006 by ara Nelson

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Homestead Northwest buys golf course for $4 million

By Tara Nelson

The 87-acre golf course located behind Stephani’s By the Bay restaurant on Birch Bay Drive, was purchased August 3 by Homestead Northwest Development Company, under the name Pro Bay LLC for approximately $4 million.

The golf course was set for auction by Realty Marketing Northwest (RMN), a Portland, Oregon based realty firm in May with a minimum bid of $3.7 million.

It was formerly owned by Iskum, which is affiliated with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Grand Ronde, Oregon.

The group bought the property at a Whatcom County sheriff’s auction last November after the former owners went into default by approximately $20 million.

The site is zoned resort/commercial (RC) and urban residential (URM-6) which would allow for resort and commercial space or as many as six residential units per acre, and includes 320-square feet of prime beach-front property but rumors speculate the new owners will maintain the property as a golf course.

The property also includes a 10,646-square foot two-story building occupied by Stephani’s restaurant, as well as three small buildings, which are currently vacant.

Jim Wynstra, president of Homestead Northwest, said although plans for the property are not fully developed, the company is looking to use 41 acres to create a nine-hole course with a driving range, and the remaining seven waterfront acres for condominiums, as well as resort and commercial purposes. Wynstra added that the design of the condominiums will likely be consistent with their other Homestead projects in Whatcom County, which tend to have large courtyards and open of gardens.

“We are not interested in cramming condos along the water,” he said. “We’re interested in retaining local character and are excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the redevelopment of Birch Bay.”

When asked if the company plans to renew a lease with Stephani’s, Wynstra said they are interested in retaining the restaurant but that the current building occupying it is in need of repair and upgrades for fire safety

Stephani Smith, who owns the restaurant with her husband, said they will remain open – at least until 2007, when the current lease expires.
In the meantime, she said she hopes to negotiate another arrangement with Homestead.