Pierce County could be close to a clubhouse deal for Chambers Bay

Updated: March 4, 2010

Chambers Bay just might be getting close to getting some needed buildings.

Pierce County is in negotiations with a California developer to build a clubhouse, a hotel, a retail center and other facilities at Chambers Bay Golf Course.

Details are not completely put together, and the developer – Venture-Hospitality of San Bruno – must still find financing for the project to get it all done.

Should the two sides reach a deal, Chambers Bay would get the clubhouse and other facilities by 2014. There will be permanent clubhouse for the University Place golf course, which has been using a temporary facility since it opened in 2007. The plans include a hotel featuring 85 to 124 rooms, including 10 detached guest cottages. The hotel would be built at the bottom of the hill below the current clubhouse.

A retail center at the top of the hill is also in negotiations. A “memorandum of understanding” between Pierce County and the developer indicates that the center might include a family-style restaurant, a coffee shop, a bakery, a bike shop and other retail services.

A beach house along Puget Sound that would promote boating, fishing, dining and other recreation is also being discussed.

A “cultural center” that might include such facilities as a children’s “discovery center,” an IMAX theater, a conference center or a sound stage for concerts is possible.

The preliminary agreement does not specify the total cost of the project. Previously, county officials have said such a development could cost up to $80 million. But those estimates are no longer valid.

The agreement states that the new facilities must be open by April 2014, more than a year before Chambers Bay hosts the U.S. Open in June 2015. The facilities aren’t needed for the championship, but the county wants any bugs worked out well in advance.