Cascadia project gets new buyer, but questions still linger about golf

Updated: May 2, 2011

The huge failed Cascadia master-planned development project between Orting and Bonney Lake is in new hands.

Seattle’s HomeStreet Bank, which foreclosed on the 4,218-acre development tract in September, announced the sale to San Diego developer Newland Real Estate Group. Newland is one of the nation’s largest planned community developers. The company is developing 40 large-scale planned communities in 14 states.

Real estate tax records show the tract sold to Newland for $49.1 million. HomeStreet had been the lender to former Cascadia owner Patrick Kuo.
The development, planned for 6,000 homes, an employment center and various civic and commercial uses, is the largest master-planned communities in Western Washington.

The development had original plans for two golf courses as part of the project. One course, designed by Northwest architect John Harbottle, has been started. However, the 500 acres the golf course was to be on was not part of the sale. Instead, the golf course land is still owned by Kuo and Sumotomo Forestry.

Jim Nyberg who will work with Newland on the Cascadia development, didn’t know when and if the golf course will open.

“The development is one parcel of the development, the golf is on another parcel,” said Nyberg. “We aren’t sure what they are going to be doing with the golf. Hopefully they will get it done and open.”

Newland has been talking with regional builders for several months about beginning new home construction in the development. Wood said he expects new home construction could begin by early fall.

Work on the master-planned community, 20 years in the making, stalled when the mortgage loan crisis collapsed the new home market two years ago. Kuo acquired the land from Weyerhaeuser Co. in 1991.