Problems popping up at Sagebrush development

By on September 14, 2017
Construction has stalled at the Sagebrush golf course, as some contractors and service providers have unpaid bills for work done at the yet-to-be opened golf course. (Herald files).


Despite the recent resignation of two high ranking executives at the Sagebrush golf and country club, and the ongoing legal issues involving the director of the company which owns the course,  a lawyer representing Newmark’s owner, Mark Chandler, insists that everything is ‘business as usual’ at the Nicola Lake course.

“The two gentlemen in question are no longer with Chandler, and we will move forward, just business as usual,” said Chandler’s lawyer, Grant Sutherland. “I can understand why people would say ‘Well look at that situation in Langley with Murrayville, is this somehow going to splash over into what is going at Sagebrush and other properties?’ and the answer is no. We want to get Sagebrush done, and we want to get it done properly.”

The Murrayville apartment project is a Newmark-owned condo-development in Langley. The 93-unit project was supposed to have been complete more than a year and a half ago — but tenants have yet to move in to the units.

But while Sutherland insisted that it was ‘business as usual’ at the golf course, first-hand accounts from contractors hired by Newmark for work at Sagebrush paint a more concerning picture.

The Herald contacted multiple suppliers, design firms and contractors who worked at the course and had ongoing issues with payment and communication with the Newmark Group.

“Yes we have had trouble getting paid. We have been paid to some degree, but not in full. I follow up every month — I followed up in August and didn’t hear back,” said Susan Steeves, a partner at SSDG Interiors, a design firm hired to work on the redevelopment of the clubhouse at Sagebrush. The firm hasn’t done any work for Sagebrush in over a year, Steeves added.

A press release from January 2016 announced that Newmark had hired Troon, an Arizona-based golf management company which operates more than 250 courses across the world, to manage the Sagebrush golf club. But a year and nine months later, Sagebrush is still closed and Troon’s senior vice president of business development is still in the dark about the status of the course.

“I’m certainly aware that James and Scott resigned, and we’ve been in a holding pattern for over a year now with the hope that it was going to get open, get funded by Newmark,” said Jim McLaughlin, VP at Troon. “At this stage that’s still the hope, but the more I hear and the more that goes on, the less likely it does seem that it’s going to happen, which is really unfortunate cause we’d love to be involved with it.”

McLaughlin said that the course is still listed as a partner on Troon’s website, and the company remains eager to be involved in the management of the formerly-highly touted course. But he said his expectations were tempered by the events of the past year.

“I think there’s been a lot of suppliers and service guys like us that have been, you know, not paid or put on hold.”

Sutherland said there is no timeline for the course to be open.

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