A longtime Harvey County farming family with golfing interests has purchased the farmland and remaining undeveloped lots around Newton’s Sand Creek Station golf course.
Bob, Sid and Darin Nattier purchased the land from Newton Development, which includes Wichita residential developers Jack Ritchie and Jay Russell. Sales price was not disclosed.
Bob Nattier is the owner of Newton’s Fox Ridge Golf Course, the former Newton Country Club. The Sand Creek Station golf course is not involved in the transaction and remains owned by the city of Newton.
The transaction, which closed Dec. 30, includes 176 acres of open farm ground near the course that can be developed if the golf course community grows, Bob Nattier said. There are 53 lots available for immediate marketing at the northeast corner of the course and another 8.7 acres that will be built into an upscale patio homes community “for people looking to downsize into an upscale home that isn’t as much maintenance and upkeep,” Nattier said. The new owners are assembling a builder team to continue developing the area.
Currently, 68 of the development’s approximately 120 lots have homes on them.
“When the sellers approached us, it was just on the farm-ground level,” Bob Nattier said. “But looking at the farm ground, as we got into it and looked at it, the other parts were there and it just seemed to make a lot of sense. If we were going to do it, we might as well do it all.”
Ritchie, a minority partner with Russell in Newton Development, said it was time to focus on his Wichita projects.
“The market is starting to crack in Wichita, and we’re pretty optimistic about 2012 being the turnaround year,” said Ritchie, one of Wichita’s primary high-end subdivision developers. “We were spending quite a bit of time there in relation to our interests, so we didn’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of time in Newton.”
Gary Hill of Prudential Dinning-Beard in Newton, also a minority partner in Newton Development, brokered the deal.
“Obviously, with the economy like we’ve experienced in the last couple of years, housing starts have slowed, but this past year there was quite a bit of construction activity,” Hill said. “We think it’s a real gem in the community.”
The city welcomes local ownership around its golf course, said Newton City Manager Randy Riggs.
“They’re not only interested in the community’s best interests but in partnering, and I know the city is interested in partnering with them,” Riggs said.