The city-owned, 154-acre property will likely be sold to Principal Financial for industrial development after the city council approved a purchase-and-sale agreement. The city plans to immediately pay off its remaining $5.8 million golf course debt.
Sumner (Wash.) Meadows Golf Links will likely be sold for industrial development after the City Council approved a purchase-and-sale agreement on September 16, the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune reported.
The council voted 6-1 to approve the long-awaited sale of the city-owned golf course to Principal Financial, a global investment group based in Iowa, the News Tribune reported.
The 154-acre property will be sold for more than $53 million. The city plans to immediately pay off its remaining $5.8 million golf course debt. Other money from the sale, one of the largest single land transactions in city history, will cover Sumner’s $5 million share of a new YMCA, scheduled to open in 2015, City Administrator John Galle said.
Additionally, the city will reimburse the utility fund that officials have been drawing from to support the golf course. Eventually, this could lead to lower utility rates for residents, Galle said.
Principal will likely develop an industrial park. Steve Kramer, a representative with Principal’s Bellevue, Wash.-based partner KG Investment Management, said the company pinpointed the land for its prime location near the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, the News Tribune reported.
Specifics on the type of industrial development are still up in the air. “We’ll be reacting to the marketplace,” Kramer said.
If everything goes smoothly, Principal would like to break ground in 2014 for full operation in 2015, the News Tribune reported.
The land allows for a development as large as 3 million square feet. One possible project includes a so-called “fulfillment center” that distributes online merchandise to consumers, Galle said.
The agreement includes a commitment by Principal to pay an additional $9 million for a new bridge on 24th Street East in Sumner to improve traffic flow and relieve congestion, the News Tribune reported.
The city built Sumner Meadows 17 years ago. Of the original 292 acres the city purchased in 1993, it will retain 138, Galle said. That land is zoned for agriculture and will remain open space, the News Tribune reported.
Despite the approval, legal challenges could complicate finalizing the agreement. City Attorney Brett Vinson said that complaints typically arise with the sale of any large piece of property, and officials are prepared, the News Tribune reported.
Investco, a local development company, filed two complaints last spring asserting the city’s resolution that authorized selling the property was inconsistent with the city comprehensive plan. Investco also claims that selling the property will cause noise, traffic and loss of aesthetics for an Investco-backed apartment complex planned on land adjacent to the golf course, the News Tribune reported.
One complaint, filed with the state Growth Management Hearings Board, was dismissed in July and Investco is appealing. Another complaint is pending in Pierce County Superior Court, the News Tribune reported.
“These lawsuits are the biggest obstacle in closing the deal,” Vinson said.