The Vass, N.C. club was purchased for $3.5 million by Atlantic National Capital earlier this year. The troubled property experienced years of turmoil, including bankruptcy and lawsuits, prior to the sale to Keith Allison, who has owned property at Woodlake for 25 years. “The community seems to be excited about the change and—being part of the community—I’m excited as well,” Allison says.
Woodlake Resort & Country Club in in Vass, N.C. has begun the first phase of renovation, which is being overseen by golf architect Kris Spence, The Pilot reported. In an update posted on Woodlake’s website, Spence wrote that his company, Spence Golf Inc., has been removing old turf, weeds and contaminated soil from putting surfaces. The greens will be “smoothed and contoured to restore the Ellis Maples surface design characteristics,” according to Spence.
The protégée of celebrated architect Donald Ross, Maples’ 18-hole course at Woodlake opened in 1971, The Pilot reported. The course fell into disrepair following years of deferred maintenance by the German company that previously owned Woodlake.
In February 2015, C+RB reported that the property would be auctioned off at a bankruptcy sale. Richard Hutson II, Esq., who was appointed as Chief Restructuring Officer to oversee the process, explained the decision to sell the property in its entirety at the time.
“In an effort to identify a new owner that has the ability to make the necessary capital investments into Woodlake [and] thereby preserving the value of the community, we elected to implement a national accelerated marketing program,” he said. “We believe that by selling the property in this manner, we will be able to reach a national market of buyers, which will ultimately have a positive long-term impact on the owners and staff at Woodlake.”
In October 2017, residents of the Woodlake Resort and Country Club joined together to file a class action lawsuit against the company that owned the development—Woodlake CC Corp. The homeowners blamed the corporation for causing property values to plummet in the gated community, C+RB reported at the time. The values began to drop after the state ordered the controlled draining of Lake Surf, the development’s 1,200-acre centerpiece, because of concerns about the stability of its dam in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
In March 2018, C+RB reported that a Superior Court Judge awarded more than $160 million to the plaintiffs.
Atlantic National Capital, a family-owned investment company led by Fayetteville businessman Keith Allison and his daughters, bought Woodlake for $3.5 million earlier this year, The Pilot reported.
“The community seems to be excited about the change and—being part of the community—I’m excited as well,” Allison, who has owned property at Woodlake for 25 years, told The Pilot at the time.
In a July message to residents, Atlantic National said its redevelopment plan for the community includes the eventual restoration of the 1,200-acre lake, The Pilot reported.
“In addition to obtaining updated surveys, topography maps and legal descriptions, we are also working with city and county officials on about a dozen different options in regards to this high-priority project,” the company said.