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Former Chesrown CDA property sold to new group

Sat., July 13, 2013, 8:25 p.m.

Development became part of Camp Easton land swap with Boy Scouts

A new group has taken ownership of Lake Coeur d’Alene property once slated for a project by developer Marshall Chesrown, then considered as a new location for a Boy Scouts camp.

An investment group that includes Fortune 500 company Fidelity National Financial Inc. recently purchased 250 acres at Sunup Bay south of Rockford Bay, on the lake’s western shore. The price was not disclosed.

Renamed Rock Creek Ridge at Sunup Bay, the undeveloped 33 parcels there will be priced at a fraction of what Chesrown had in mind when he bought the land in the early 2000s.

Chesrown’s company sold only three lots there.

Sunup Bay followed two earlier Chesrown projects in North Idaho. The first was Black Rock Club at Rockford Bay, a luxury residential-recreation complex that sold out.

His second North Idaho development was Black Rock North, north of the first Chesrown development. That project began construction of an 18-hole golf course.

In 2010 both Black Rock developments went into foreclosure.

In 2011 Mountain West Bank foreclosed on Chesrown’s Sunup Bay property.

Last year, Sunup Bay became a bargaining chip in efforts by Arizona-based Discovery Land Co. to buy Camp Easton, a longtime Boy Scouts camp on the lake’s eastern shore. Discovery offered to buy and develop Sunup Bay in exchange for Camp Easton, which would be developed into gated homes.

That deal stopped when both parties decided the swap faced too many obstacles, including a legal challenge by some who opposed the sale of Camp Easton.

Listing agent Bill Fanning with Century 21 said the new owners of the Sunup Bay property hope to sell the lots to regional residents and investors rather than the well-heeled jet-set community Chesrown hoped to attract.

The development has 10 waterfront lots that start at $499,500, Fanning said. Before Chesrown’s plans foundered, he sold three Sunup Bay lakeside lots for close to $2 million each, Fanning said.

Other lots away from the water along the ridge start as low as $149,000, Fanning noted. The lots range from 3 to 20 acres.

Buyers of Sunup Bay parcels get the added benefit of access to the invitation-only Rock Creek Golf Club Idaho, roughly 10 miles north on the lake’s western shore at the Black Rock North site.

The primary owner of both the golf course and Rock Creek Ridge at Sunup Bay is Fidelity National Timber Resources, a real estate subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial Inc.

After buying the former Black Rock North project, the new owners completed the golf course there and opened it last year.

Fidelity National Financial’s chairman is Bill Foley II.

Foley, who owns a home in Montana and numerous wineries around the world, is considered one of the most successful developers of estate properties in the West.

Among other holdings, his company owns the Glacier Restaurant Group which operates MacKenzie River Pizza and Ciao Mambo.

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