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Wayne Purcell selling River’s Edge Golf Course to Pahlisch Homes; development plans underway

(Update: With news release)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – River’s Edge Golf Course Owner Wayne Purcell announced Tuesday his intention to retire and sell the golf course and surrounding lands to Pahlisch Homes, a Bend-based master plan developer and home builder. This spring, Pahlisch Homes said will begin holding conversations with neighbors and community members to create a collaborative plan for the future of the land.

"The offer to sell the land to Pahlisch Homes was prompted by Purcell’s intention to secure the most positive outcome for neighbors and the larger Bend community with the future of the property," a news release issued Tuesday stated.

"Across the nation golf has declined. With high costs to maintain and low profitability margins, courses across the country are being shuttered and abandoned, or being sold off to become high density housing developments. Purcell chose to sell to Pahlisch to prevent these outcomes for River’s Edge and the surrounding lands, which are designated RS “Standard Density Residential” under the City of Bend comprehensive plan. The course is open for business.

“With great intention, our family has chosen Pahlisch Homes as the best fit as the next generation of stewards of the property.” said Purcell. “The Course will continue to operate as usual throughout the season.”

Pahlisch has built many of the neighborhoods around River’s Edge and said it is committed to ensuring the course and surrounding lands remains a community asset for nearby homeowners and the greater Bend community. 

As part of its routine work, Pahlisch recently met with the city of Bend to review a conceptual plan for the land. The company hopes to provide up to 50 percent missing middle housing, while protecting up to 50 percent of River’s Edge as open space. The project would also facilitate the completion of a missing link of the Deschutes River Trail and allow for water currently in use by the golf course to return to the Deschutes River.

“There isn’t another developer in the city, state or country that values a good outcome for River’s Edge and the surrounding lands more than our team,” said Dan Pahlisch, president of Pahlisch Homes. “Bend is changing. We see our role as a partner in creating the best outcomes for our city as we face the future. That means prioritizing open space, attainable housing and contributing to the protection of natural resources such as the Deschutes River.”

Over the coming months, Pahlisch said will partner with homeowners and Bend community members to create a plan for the future of River’s Edge. The first community input meeting will be held later this spring. Pahlisch anticipates an online community survey and a second community meeting this summer.

“We encourage folks to visit our website and sign up for community meetings, information alerts, or ask us a question directly through the site,” said Pahlisch. “We’re excited to partner with the community on the future of River’s Edge.”

Please visit for more information.

At the Website, Pahlisch said it “will begin holding conversations with neighbors and community members to create a collaborative plan for the future of the course and surrounding lands.”

The Purcell family sold The Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center in 2015 to Vesta Hospitality LLC, based in Vancouver, Wash.

"The River’s Edge land is zoned by the city of Bend as RS “Standard Density Residential,”" the posting notes. "If River’s Edge were to be sold on the open market, it is unlikely it would remain a golf course for long.

"Wayne is selling the property to Pahlisch Homes because he has worked with this family-owned business for many years, and knows Pahlisch is committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for Bend with the future of the land," the statement says, noting that Purcell and Pahlisch have been partners in building neighborhoods near the golf course for a decade.

"Wayne believes that Pahlisch will lead with a servant’s heart in the development of these lands through an open community engagement process that’s focused on preservation of open space," the posting states. "There is no other builder in the city, state or nation with a greater interest in a positive outcome for Bend and the neighborhoods around the property than Pahlisch Homes."

Pahlisch said it currently plans to maintain "as much as 50 percent" of the course as open space, "a much greater percentage than the required 10 percent in this residential zone."

The development portion will provide "missing 'middle housing,' adding critical units needed to solve Bend's housing crisis," the FAQ page says Pahlisch also will seek to partner with the Bend Park and Rec District to complete the Deschutes River Trail, "and ensure that as much water as possibly currently in use by the golf course is restored to the Deschutes River."

The site says the golf course plans to "operate normally through the 2022 shoulder season," though that could evolve in future discussions. It says the layout for new homes hasn't been finalized but that "Pahlisch will work to ensure buffers such as trails, landscaping or open space are created between existing homes and new homes."

Article Topic Follows: Business

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