Ximin Shi, a Chinese businessman, has purchased the Wellesley Island, N.Y., property from the Schwalm family, and plans to make significant improvements to the clubhouses, golf courses and villas over the next two years.
The Thousand Islands Country Club in Wellesley Island, N.Y., has been sold by the Schwalm family to Ximin Shi, a Chinese businessman, the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times reported.
The 976-acre club was sold for $5,250,000, according to Shi’s attorney, James H. Messenger Jr. The historic club includes two 18-hole golf courses, two restaurants, 20 villas and a marina, the Daily Times reported.
Shi recently bought two other golf courses in upstate New York: Pioneer Hills Golf Club of Ballston Spa two years ago, and Greenview Country Club of West Monroe last year, the Daily Times reported.
Shi owns residences in New Hartford and Manhattan, along with a home in China, Messenger said. “He’s found that he likes to purchase and improve golf courses, and he thinks it’s a worthy investment,” Messenger said.
Shi is the director of Shera International Limited in Hong Kong, China, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Over the next two years, significant improvements will be made to the club under its new ownership. Renovations will be made at clubhouses for its Old Course and Lake Course, along with the villas. Landscaping improvements also will be made at both courses, the Daily Times reported.
“It was a smooth closing, and I think the seller is pleased that an experienced operator has acquired the club,” Messenger said, adding that the deal had been negotiated since late 2013. “Plans are for some improvements to all of the facilities, to either restore them or keep them in their historic condition. There are going to be significant investments made with improvements to facilities, and at some point there will be additional parties added to invest.”
William H. Bartlett, who will continue to serve as the club’s General Manager, said the new owner plans to make major improvements to the club. He has spoken with Shi a few times during his visits, the Daily Times reported.
“They are looking to do improvements to our villas, clubhouses and the golf courses,” Bartlett said. “I think they really want to make this place a nice destination.”
The Schwalm family had owned the club since 2002. Thomas H. Schwalm, who died in 2009, co-founded South Beach Beverage Co., known as SoBe Beverages, which was bought by PepsiCo Inc. in 2001. His wife, JoAnn F. Schwalm, has served as owner and president of the club for the past five years, the Daily Times reported.
A statement by the Schwalm family credited employees and business partners for the club’s success, the Daily Times reported.
“For the last 12 years, we successfully invested our time, energy and assets into: preserving the historic character of Wellesley Island, restoration and improvement of both golf courses, affording safe dockage for boaters, providing hospitality to residents and visitors to the area and offering full-time and seasonal employment opportunities,” the statement reads. “Our success and many accomplishments over the years would not have been possible without the talents and dedication of our exceptional employees and local business partners, to whom we send our heartfelt thanks.”
The sale included 57 vacant residential lots that were developed by the Schwalm family, located along the golf courses and waterfront. An additional 326 acres of developable land also were sold by the Schwalm family to Shi, the Daily Times reported.