Sunday, February 25, 2024

Pine Ridge Golf Course Sale Nears Closure Following Sartell City Council Approval and Amended Purchase Agreement

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(KNSI) — The Pine Ridge Golf Course sale could be closed on by the end of the day after the Sartell City Council approved an amended purchase agreement Monday night.

Not every change was accepted. Three Tees LLC, the company that will be buying the course, wanted to push the construction start date back to as late as June 1st, 2025, for the new restaurant.

City Administrator Anna Gruber explains what their concerns were. “All of a sudden we have a year where they were open up until last week. I mean, we had great weather, and so, it’s like, okay, how do we maintain golf operations and have construction at the same time?”

Boulder Ridge is the current operator of the course, and they will continue doing so for at least a year after closing. They have a right to operate while golf is still in season. The amended agreement says construction must start by October 31st, but it pushes back the completion date until March 31st, 2026, if necessary.

Three Tees LLC Owner Brandon Testa also runs House of Pizza, whose Sartell location is up in the air. A disagreement between the restaurant and the landlord means it is likely on the move from its current Pine Cone Road address.

Gruber says the plan is to avoid having House of Pizza at Pine Ridge. “This is a new restaurant. It’s not going to be a restaurant that’s already existed. If House of Pizza Sartell is still going to exist not at its Pine Cone Marketplace location, they want it to be another separate location from the golf course. Like this will be an entirely new venture for the owner of House of Pizza, who also owns Three Tees LLC.”

The council stopped short of making that a requirement in the amended agreement. Gruber says it would have been a material change to the document, which potentially presents a means for Three Tees to walk away from the deal entirely.

The council is requiring some improvements to the Pine Ridge Golf Course as part of the agreement. Administrator Anna Gruber says it mandates a new parking lot and the 5,000-square-foot eatery, which should improve the overall tax base.

If Three Tees fails to live up to the standards in the development agreement, the property would revert to the city, and it would be on the hook for upgrades that were not already accounted for, like drainage.

“We’re requiring golf and requiring certain standards of quality out there. If both those things are being required, you’re going to need an irrigation system.”

Gruber says the buyer now has flexibility with how it wants to deal with operational issues, as long as the course meets the PGA standards laid out in the agreement.

The purchase was initially supposed to close in early January. While today is possible, city staff and lawyers have updated the agreement with the directions given by the council. It could take up to March 12th to complete.

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