November 4, 2010 in Idaho

Black Rock facilities purchased

Group of homeowners buys golf course, clubhouse and beach club in deal with bank
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Buying in again

Club memberships were terminated before the new investment group took over. The new owners began selling buyback memberships for $25,000 this week.

A group of eight homeowners in the luxury Black Rock golf club and housing development above Lake Coeur d’Alene have joined together and bought the golf course, clubhouse, beach club and other facilities.

Club memberships were terminated before the new investment group took over. The new owners began selling buyback memberships for $25,000 this week. So far about two-thirds of former members have committed to pay the new fees, said attorney John Magnuson, who helped broker the purchase. The Club at Black Rock was developed by Marshall Chesrown, and ushered in a new round of high-end housing and golfing communities in North Idaho. It has 382 home sites – of which about 100 have been built – a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse and an acclaimed golf course that wends through the forest and features expansive views of the lake.

As the recession and credit crunch killed new sales at such projects across the region, Chesrown eventually surrendered his project to Spokane-based lender Washington Trust Bank.

The bank listed four outstanding loans totaling $12.5 million in public records, though the assets are worth considerably more.

The bank then negotiated the sale to the homeowners’ investment group and the sides struck a deal for an undisclosed sum.

The managing members of new The Golf Club at Black Rock, LLC, include Roger Rummel, Ron Pratte and William Morrow. Each owns a home at Black Rock and spends at least part of the year in North Idaho.

Rummel is originally from Western Montana and was a land developer in the Phoenix area.

Pratte runs a housing construction and development company in Phoenix, which was considered one of the nation’s largest wood framing and concrete foundation firms in the rapidly growing Southwest.

Morrow is a golf course and golf community developer and has many projects in California.

Andy Gorton, general manager of Black Rock, likened the sale to “pushing the restart button” on a project that has solid support among members despite the struggling economy.

The club is accepting new members, charging $50,000 for those who do not own property on the grounds.

Some early club members have said they were upset at the prospect of having to buy back into the club – especially after the initial $40,000 required to join and then dues of $10,000 a year.

Other members who joined later paid as much as $125,000 to join, on top of annual dues.

Chesrown has lost most if not all of his projects in the region. He made his fortune selling cars before returning to his hometown of Spokane to launch his ambitious development projects.

He spent millions of his own money on his plans before the recession brought the projects to a halt. He has avoided bankruptcies, but had to give up Kendall Yards near downtown Spokane; Legacy Ridge at Liberty Lake; a second golf course community called Black Rock North; and other projects. He is now losing his multimillion-dollar North Idaho ranch in an uncontested foreclosure, according to Kootenai County public records.

He has said he intends to stay in the region and pursue his other business interests.


There are three comments on this story. Click here to view comments >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email