Economy spells uncertainty for Semiahmoo projects

Published on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 by By Jeremy Schwartz

Read More News

Despite the recent Marin condos foreclosure, local realtor Mike Kent said Semiahmoo could rebound if the property currently for sale there attracts the right potential buyers.

According to Kent, more than $30 million worth of property on the spit is listed as pending, meaning Trillium, the current owner, has made deals with buyers but has not formally closed. Final sale prices will not be known until the property sales have been finalized.

The most valuable property is the $22.8 million Semiahmoo Resort Village, which covers nearly 37 acres of land at the north end of the spit. The property’s boundaries includes the second pending property, the $8.4 million phase II of the Semiahmoo Marina, which has the space for about 300 new boat slips.

The third pending property is a $600,000 lot in the Seagrass community near the tip of the spit.

Kent said he thinks the entire spit would benefit if a single developer bought all the property currently for sale, rather than it being sold off in a piecemeal fashion; the norm over the last few decades. It has, he asserts, resulted in less than ideal development of some of the property.

Noting that Bellingham developer Ken Imus has bought a great deal of property in Blaine, Kent expressed hope that other big developers will find their way north to the Semiahmoo and Blaine area.

Kent blamed the housing crash and the general economy in dooming the project. “It was like all the stars aligned against us,” Kent noted. Kent was one of the real estate agents helping with advertising for the property.

Seattle Bank foreclosed on the property after its developers, Andrew and Wanda Shaw of British Columbia, were unable to repay an $18 million loan. Only one condo tower of the three planned buildings sits finished. Kent said he thinks the bank is unlikely to sit on the property for long because it would be too profitable not to sell.