Preservation Trust and Conservation Land Bank outbid for 58-acre waterfront property

Posted March 17, 2022 at 8:06 am by

The San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust and the San Juan Coun­ty Con­ser­va­tion Land Bank share an update about their efforts to con­serve crit­i­cal habi­tats in the Islands — and the chal­lenge of acquir­ing such prop­er­ties in our hyper-com­pet­i­tive real estate market.

The San Juan Coun­ty Con­ser­va­tion Land Bank and San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust announced last week that they joint­ly sub­mit­ted an offer to pur­chase the Glen­wood Inn prop­er­ty on Orcas Island. The prop­er­ty includes a third of a mile of shore­line, which the con­ser­va­tion part­ners would open for pub­lic access while pro­tect­ing near-shore nat­ur­al fea­tures to aid salmon-recov­ery efforts.

The 58-acre for­mer water­front resort, locat­ed near Point Doughty on the north­west tip of Orcas, was list­ed for sale on Feb­ru­ary 19. The Land Bank/SJPT part­ner­ship sub­mit­ted an offer on Thurs­day, March 10—the last day of the seller’s spec­i­fied bid­ding peri­od. Their offer was based on a mar­ket analy­sis by an inde­pen­dent appraisal firm. We under­stand, how­ev­er, that anoth­er par­ty bet­tered our offer.

“We weren’t entire­ly sur­prised that we were out­bid, giv­en the cur­rent hyper-com­pet­i­tive real estate mar­ket,” said Angela Ander­son, the Preser­va­tion Trust’s exec­u­tive direc­tor. “Of course we’re dis­ap­point­ed, but we remain ‘in the game’ and are hope­ful that a con­ser­va­tion out­come may yet come to pass.”

“At the Preser­va­tion Trust and Con­ser­va­tion Land Bank,” she added, “we felt we absolute­ly need­ed to go ‘all in’ to pur­sue this rare oppor­tu­ni­ty to secure com­mu­ni­ty access to shore­line on Orcas Island, in addi­tion to con­serv­ing crit­i­cal habi­tat to sup­port the salmon-Orca food chain.”

Pub­lic access to salt­wa­ter is noto­ri­ous­ly scarce on Orcas Island. Most of the island’s rel­a­tive­ly few pub­lic beach­es are small; for years, many mem­bers of the Orcas com­mu­ni­ty have held the dream of a lengthy stretch of shore­line avail­able for pub­lic enjoy­ment and recre­ation. The for­mer Glen­wood Inn prop­er­ty offers a rare oppor­tu­ni­ty to make this dream a reality.

“Our pur­chase offer showed just how impor­tant we rec­og­nize this prop­er­ty is for the com­mu­ni­ty on many lev­els,” said Land Bank Direc­tor Lin­coln Bor­mann. “The north­west­ern shore of Orcas is tru­ly one of the most out­stand­ing nat­ur­al areas on the island, and in fact, through­out the coun­ty, and it’s inte­gral to the Lum­mi Nation’s trib­al her­itage. Pro­tect­ing it from devel­op­ment and restor­ing and retain­ing its nat­ur­al char­ac­ter would mark a step toward respect­ing this liv­ing history.”

“In addi­tion to the much-need­ed pub­lic shore­line access that the Glen­wood prop­er­ty would pro­vide,” said Preser­va­tion Trust Board Mem­ber Bar­bara Rosenkot­ter, “this site has been iden­ti­fied as a top-pri­or­i­ty loca­tion to pro­tect for salmon recov­ery efforts. The nearshore area pro­vides an impor­tant nurs­ery for young salmon. The shore­line har­bors exten­sive beds of eel­grass, which pro­vides habi­tat for for­age fish along with juve­nile salmon. All are impor­tant links in a healthy Sal­ish Sea ecosys­tem and crit­i­cal to the sur­vival of our South­ern Res­i­dent Orcas.”

The ulti­mate fate of the Glen­wood prop­er­ty remains uncer­tain. “As Yogi Berra said, ‘It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,’” quipped the Land Bank’s Bor­mann. “Until the prop­er­ty deed is record­ed on behalf of anoth­er buy­er, we remain hope­ful that this tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ty for com­mu­ni­ty con­ser­va­tion could still go our way.”

If it does, look for more news on how you can help sup­port the effort.

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.

Categories: Around Here

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0