Holland-Based Builder Buying Most Of McClendon Land For Single-Family Homes
The owner of Cottage Home, a Holland-based home builder and design company, is finalizing a deal to purchase most of the prized Denison property in Saugatuck Township.
Brian Bosgraaf, owner of Cottage Home, has signed a deal and come to terms with the property’s owner - Singapore Dunes LLC - for the land purchase.
Approximately 309 acres of the coveted property located along Lake Michigan and north of the Kalamazoo River will change hands and Bosgraaf said he plans to build clusters of high-end, single-family homes there.
A reported key location of those planned homes is expected along the lakefront and also near the river site of the former Broward Boat company.
Bosgraaf has secured financial assistance in the purchase from Jeff and Peg Padnos. Jeff is the president of Padnos Iron and Metal Co.
Padnos said he is working to close the deal within the next two months, if not sooner.
While neither Bosgraaf nor the Padnos are disclosing the agreed-upon purchase price, sources close to the deal noted it is less than the $40 million Singapore Dunes LLC had listed the property for with the Sotheby’s international real estate company.
Not part of the pending sale is the luxury, 5,589-square-foot lakefront home on the property that was built by former owner Ken Denison in 1991, according to Steven Neumer, Singapore Dunes property manager.
But don’t expect that home to come on the market any time soon as reportedly Cottage Home has struck a deal to retain an exclusive right to lease the mansion, along with a nearby 1,304-square-foot guest cottage.
That deal, if made, will be for five years and at that point Cottage Home may purchase it all.
Bosgraaf said the plan is to preserve as much of the natural features of the land as possible when he and his staff begin designing the clustered homes for the property.
Earlier this summer, the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance and undisclosed private investors submitted a bid for the property, but Singapore Dunes LLC declined their bid as too low.
Bosgraaf also confirmed he had met with local land conservationists and some Saugatuck Township officials while entertaining the possibility of purchasing the Denison land.
April Scholtz, the Land Conservancy of West Michigan’s land protection director, also confirmed a meeting with Bosgraaf and was heartened to be part of the conversation about protecting as much of the natural wonders of the property as possible given the overall plan to build expensive housing clusters there.
Bosgraaf and his company has built a solid reputation as careful and diligent protectors of lakeshore properties when siting and building homes in these areas.
The late Aubrey McClendon, a once-billionaire an Oklahoma City natural gas magnate, had purchased the former Denison property estate - 403 acres - in 2006 for $39.5 million with the plan to develop it by building multi-million-dollar executive homes.
In 2009, McClendon sold off 173 acres of the property south of the channel for $19 million to the City of Saugatuck.
After numerous lawsuits filed by Saugatuck Township officials and others - most, if not all that were won by McClendon - work began to ready the property for the planned home sites.
McClendon, however, died in a car crash on March 2, 2016, one day after being indicted by federal officials for alleged bid rigging on oil and natural gas leases in Oklahoma.
A short while after that the entire property was listed for sale at $40 million.