The Latest in Luxury Resort & Real Estate News

The Latest in Luxury Resort & Real Estate News

| By Scott Kauffman | December 12, 2008 10:12 PM ET

Brunswick Forest Developing Private Tim Cate Golf Course

(LELAND, N.C.) - Brunswick Forest is putting the finishing touches on Cape Fear National Country Club, golf architect Tim Cate's latest golf gem here in the Carolina Coast.

Scheduled to open next fall, Cape Fear is an exclusive 27-hole facility that will anchor Brunswick Forest, a new master-planned mixed-use community funded by Lord Baltimore Capital Corporation of Baltimore, Md. KemperSports, one of the leading golf management companies in the industry, has been hired to run the new golf and country club when it opens the first 18 holes in '09 (9 holes will be added at a later date).

Located minutes from historic Wilmington, Cape Fear National is just one of the signature amenities at Brunswick Forest, an upscale private 4,500-acre retreat being developed by Brunswick Forest LLC principal Jeff Earp and Lord Baltimore Capital Corporation, a private investment group with more than $2 billion in assets.

To say this well-heeled team could have hired anybody for their high-profile golf course is an understatement. When asked why Tim Cate Designs Inc., was selected, Brunswick Forest spokesman Tobin Spirer says it has to do with Cate's string of "local successes."

"He created all the Cats at Ocean Ridge, Thistle Golf Club, and just did a wonderful job with them all," says Spirer, referring to Cate's highly rated courses located along the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, S.C. "When the developers looked for a candidate, and they looked at some national names, we kept coming back to a local guy who understood the local area, understood the region and built courses that worked."

Plus, some of the Brunswick Forest partners had experience with Cate at Ocean Ridge, according to Spirer, and they remembered he was dependable, talented and had great attention to detail. The modest and media-shy Cate, 54, is clearly excited about his latest creation.

"It'll blow everything out of the water up there," says Cate, who also is working on a fourth new course at the Ocean Ridge resort-style community in Sunset Beach, N.C., called Jaguar's Lair.

"You could bring (Cape Fear) down here (to Myrtle Beach) and it would be one of those top-five, best new courses and all that stuff. Up there in Wilmington they've never had competition like they have down here.

"I think the people that play it are going to be pretty surprised at what they see.

They're going to see a sophisticated, detail level of golf that they probably don't even know about. It's a very good project with very good developers. And KemperSports is top of the line.  Everybody's just totally committed to make Cape Fear really good."

Other amenities completed at Brunswick Forest are an 18,000-square-foot wellness and fitness center, community garden center, and 100-plus miles of biking and leisure trails. Future amenities planned include a private beach club less than three miles away and separate river club.

WaterLights District Project Forges Ahead Near Houston

(PEARLAND, TX) - Historic Real Estate Inc., a leading Houston-based real estate and economic development company, isn't being deterred by the national real estate downturn and recently announced more than $1 billion in new developments.

One of the company's higher-profile projects is WaterLights District, a $700 million, 1.9 million square foot mixed-use community in Pearland, Texas, just minutes from downtown Houston. 

The company says it takes pride in a counter-intuitive approach to real estate development and Waterlights District is a prime example of this philosophy.

"The time to create innovative developments is when everyone else is on the sidelines," says Historic Real Estate principal Richard Browne. "Our number one criterion for developing is proximity to predictable job growth.  Therefore, we have focused our new developments on the multi-billion dollar expansion of the world's largest medical and research center in Houston - the Texas Medical Center."

Browne, one of the more respected master planners, is known for seeing what others might not see. Case in point are two visionary communities he helped create for real estate legends Jim Rouse and George Mitchell - the master-planned towns of Columbia, Md., and The Woodlands, Tex., respectively.

"The best is yet to come," Browne adds."The WaterLights District will offer a superior quality of life and will raise the bar on being environmentally friendly, technologically advanced and energy efficient."

The WaterLights District will feature residential condos, brownstones, luxury apartments, office buildings, retail boutiques, a fresh market, restaurants and wine bars, three luxury hotels, a conference facility, a water wall and a public park along a Grand Canal waterway. 

WaterLights is strategically located near the Texas Medical Center, the world's largest medical and research center. Employment in the area is projected to grow by 30,000 within the next six years, and the resulting demand for housing, retail, and other community amenities will be met predominantly by the WaterLights District, according to Historic Real Estate.

Within the WaterLights District, the Presidential Park and Gardens is underway. This new multi-million dollar destination will feature 44 larger than life 17-foot statues of all the U.S. presidents and will be situated in a wooded park setting.  It is scheduled to open in 2009.

Indian Wells Golf Resort Unveils Modern Makeover 

(INDIAN WELLS, CA) - This isn't your father's Indian Wells Golf Resort of old.

That is evident the moment one shows up at the valet outside the newly opened IW Club at the Indian Wells Golf Resort. The striking new 53,000-square-foot clubhouse, designed in "modern desert-style," is part of an estimated $50 million renovation project that started two years ago with the complete makeovers of the resort's two golf courses.

The most stunning feature of the clubhouse, designed by Phoenix-based Douglas Fredrickson, is a waterfall in the grand lobby that cascades from the top floor to a collection pool. Other first-class architectural touches outside are sandstone walls, large expanses of glass, metal roofing, limestone and granite accents and stainless steel detailing. Inside, the IW Club features warm wood detailing, Travertine floors, leather accents, sculpted carpets and other luxurious appointments

The remarkable building  now features several casual and elegant dining options, and the pro shop is stocked with the latest golf gear and apparel.  State-of-the-art game improvement also is part of the complex, highlighted by a nine-hole putting course and a Callaway Performance Center befitting of PGA Tour-caliber golfers.

The Indian Wells Golf Resort has been a popular golf travel destination for nearly 20 years, offering the original East and West Golf Courses and four hotel/resorts. Not willing to rest on past success, though, the City of Indian Wells that owns the property reinvested in the golf experience at the resort by embarking on an ambitious facility-wide project. That $50-million redevelopment ultimately yielded two new golf courses, the IW Club, nine-hole putting course, sprawling practice facility and a host of other amenities.

The Clive-Clark designed Celebrity Course opened November 1, 2006, and the John Fought-designed Players Course opened in November of 2007. Since then, both courses, managed by OB Sports Management, have attracted the attention of the golf world, including the high-profile LG Skins Game scheduled to be held at Indian Wells through 2009.

Now, the striking new clubhouse is catching the eye of architectural aficionados throughout Palm Springs' Coachella Valley.

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