Founders Group International has recently been venturing beyond its initial purchases of golf courses on the Grand Strand.
The company that is comprised of investors from China and owns and operates 22 area courses is showing with its most recent purchase that it’s committed to investing in other aspects of the area and diversifying its assets.
Founders Group president Xian “Nick” Dou confirmed Monday that the company’s investors have purchased 29.1 acres of Myrtle Beach oceanfront property from Grande Dunes owner LStar Communities, and the sales price is listed in Horry County records at $25.6 million.
The land is part of the Grande Dunes Planned Unit Development (PUD) District and is situated between the Ocean Club at Grande Dunes to its south and the Vista Del Mar luxury condominiums and The Dunes Golf and Beach Club to its north.
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Dou said the property’s investors, organized as Atlantic Development Company LLC, will “probably” build an upscale high-rise hotel with 1,000 or so rooms, but are also considering condos and single-family homes.
“It could be all of them,” Dou said. “We’re still thinking about it. We’re not sure yet.”
The sale was registered Friday.
According to City of Myrtle Beach zoning officials, the property is part of a mixed-use PUD allowing for both commercial and residential uses.
Dou and LStar Communities Coastal Region Division President George Johnson said at least 7 of the 29.1 acres are wetlands that can’t be developed, and Johnson said there’s also a buffer area involving the Atlantic Ocean.
Based on the sales price, extensive single-family housing is unlikely. “For that money they didn’t buy it for single family,” Johnson said.
LStar’s purchase of Grande Dunes in December 2013 included more than 750 acres of vacant land mostly east of the Intracoastal Waterway, and as the master developer and declarant for the property, Johnson said LStar is involved in the implementation and execution of the entire Grande Dunes project, including the land it just sold.
“We are looking forward to working with Founders and LStar will continue to be involved in how this particular project is executed through the review and approval process,” Johnson said. “This is a prominent piece of land and like all our contemplated projects, it’s important that it coexists with what Grande Dunes is, which is a ‘best in class’ and unique planned community here in the Grand Strand.”
Grande Dunes generally features Mediterranean-themed architecture.
Johnson said LStar is continuing to develop residential and commercial projects for Grande Dunes and may also sell more of its property.
We are looking forward to working with Founders and LStar will continue to be involved in how this particular project is executed through the review and approval process. This is a prominent piece of land and like all our contemplated projects, it’s important that it coexists with what Grande Dunes is, which is a ‘best in class’ and unique planned community here in the Grand Strand.
LStar Communities Coastal Region Division President George Johnson
The oceanfront property is the second purchase FGI’s investors have made in Grande Dunes, as the company owns the Resort Course on the west side of the Waterway.
A hotel or condo complex could complement Founders Group’s golf courses, as the company has two golf package companies, a tee time call center and a few popular golf- and tourism-related websites through its purchase last April of most of National Golf Management’s assets. The company acquired its 22 courses between September 2014 and April 2015, including 12 from NGM.
It has also been actively pursuing Chinese tourists through travel, golf and real estate departments of its parent company, Yiqian Funding, in China.
FGI owns more than 300 acres of undeveloped land at Wild Wing Plantation, TPC Myrtle Beach and International World Tour Golf Links, 200 lots at Wild Wing, and the nascent 80-resident multifamily Stonewall Villas development in Longs.
Lot sales around Wild Wing are expected to begin early this year.
Dunes Club immediate past president Roger Grigg, who lives in an adjoining neighborhood to the purchased property, believes the new development could be an asset to the surrounding community.
“If it’s a hotel or condominium it will likely be good for The Dunes Club,” Grigg said. “Everything Founders Group has done with their properties up to now has been first class so I’m sure it would be well done.”