A Canadian investment group has purchased a popular property in the heart of Birch Bay with the intention of reviving the area.
North America Chen's Holdings LLP completed a deal to buy the former Sea Links Golf Course and CJ's Beach House restaurant on Tuesday, Aug. 21, said Patrick Starr, a real estate broker at Bellingham's John L. Scott office.
The official purchase price for the property was not immediately disclosed; the approximately 83 acres were listed at $2.75 million, and Starr said it was slightly less than that amount.
The property was formerly owned by Homestead Northwest before it was taken over by Union Bank after the Lynden company got into financial trouble.
Starr, who was involved in completing the deal, said the first order of business for the group is to reopen the restaurant that was formerly home to CJ's Beach House. The group is also looking for someone to take over and revive the 42-acre golf course.
"They (the investment group) are very much about finding out what's needed in the community," Starr said. "They really want to get feedback (from the Birch Bay residents)."
Along with the 42-acre golf course and 9.2 acres of land at the restaurant, the property has about 32 acres to the east that's a potential conservation easement. Land near the restaurant could be developed into residential units, but that's something that will be evaluated later by the investment group.
"Getting the restaurant and golf course open is at the top of the list," said Starr, who said the former CJ's building is already receiving interest from potential restaurateurs.
The sale comes on the heels of several other distressed property transactions in the area. Last year, Birch Bay Waterslides was sold to a Canadian company called Jun Yu Development. In June, the Marin Condominiums in Blaine were sold to Patten Real Estate Partners, a group of Florida investors.
One factor involved in the sale of the properties is that prices on the distressed properties have dropped to a level that has attracted groups intent on finishing the projects, said Mike Kent, a Realtor for Windermere Real Estate and the listing agent for the Sea Links property.
"As a member of the (Birch Bay) community, it's encouraging to see activity happening on these properties again," said Kent, noting that the waterslides might not have opened this summer if it hadn't been sold. Also, activity is already under way to finish the Marin Condominiums project.
People interested in providing feedback on the Sea Links property can contact Starr at 360-961-2671.
Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at email@example.com or call 715-2269. Visit his business blog online at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or get updates on Twitter at twitter.com/BhamHeraldBiz.