One of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s most popular golf courses is being sold.
A deal for Meridian Golf Par 3 – which opened at 1054 168 St. in 1959 on land that was once a hazelnut farm – to change hands is scheduled to close in December, listing real-estate agent Alan Johnson told Peace Arch News.
The nine-hole golf course, which sits on 15 acres and also includes a residence, was listed for $5,950,000. It’s been on the market for a little over a year, which Johnson noted “is not unusual for a property of this nature.”
“These things do take awhile. There’s obviously fewer purchasers out there who are interested in running a business and sitting on a 15-acre plot of land,” he said.
Though he could not reveal the identity of the buyer, Johnson said it’s a local farmer with many ties to the community. It’s Johnson’s understanding that the golf course will continue operating under the new ownership.
He noted, however, that there was plenty of interest from people who wanted to do other things with the land – everything from developing it and building multi-family homes, to some who were interested in closing the course in order to build two large homes on the property, each with multi-acre yards and gardens.
Another prospective buyer, Johnson noted, planned to turn the property into something of an exclusive health club – keeping the golf course but making it private, while also adding a members-only swimming pool and restaurant, among other amenities.
The property, however, sits in the Agricultural Land Reserve, which rendered any major development ideas moot.
“There was lots of interest, from a wide variety of groups. I think I’ve had more phone calls on Meridian than most of the projects I have,” Johnson said.
“I just think a lot of people didn’t know it was in the Agricultural Land Reserve, which a lot of golf courses are.”
Johnson figured that the fact it looks as though the golf course will stay in operation, and open to the public, should come as a relief to local golfers, many of whom have frequented the family-run course for years.
Johnson grew up on the Semiahmoo Peninsula himself, and fondly recalled Saturdays spent with friends at the course.
“It’s just a very nice family-run operation that’s a nice place for a lot of people to go.”
The sellers – who have owned the business for “a fairly lengthy period of time,” Johnson said – decided to sell because, with kids and grandchildren growing up, they wanted to move into a new phase of their life.
“You do something long enough and it’s time to move on… they have different avenues they wish to go down now,” he said.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, golf skyrocketed in popularity – for long stretches, it was one of the few recreational pursuits open to people – and Johnson said he would not be surprised to see owners of other B.C. courses, big and small, take advantage of both the sport’s surge as well as the red-hot real-estate market.
“There are going to be a few more of these that come onto the market this year. I know of two or three that are contemplating selling,” he said, noting that he had other golf-course clients, and all have reported anywhere from a 15 to 80 per cent jump in rounds of golf being played in the last year.
“Whether or not this trend is here to stay is really going to depend on how COVID has changed our (recreational pursuits) and whether or not that’s permanent,” he said.