Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Warm Springs Ranch Under Contract by California Developer
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Tuesday, November 12, 2019
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTO BY LISA CESARI

Could something finally be in the works for the long-vacant Warm Springs Ranch?

Santa Barbara, Calif., real estate developer Will Gustafson recently placed the project under contract. He will spend the next few months determining what the best use should be for the 80-acre site that sits between downtown Ketchum and the Warm Springs base area of Bald Mountain.

The City of Ketchum had given Helios Development Company the green light to build a huge 728,000-square-foot development in 2009. Plans included a hotel, homes, villa estates, a golf course and a public park.

But the developer was unable to come up with the finances for such a large project in the aftermath of the 2008 recession.

Jim Garrison, the Ketchum builder who is serving as project manager for the development, said the new project will be nowhere as big. Gustafson and his staff plan to hold a series of small community meetings of six to eight people to figure out just what should be there.

“The developer intends to significantly rework the plan. We will be formulating what will best blend in with the neighborhood,” he said.

One thing Garrison does know is that a large part will remain for walking dogs. The area, which has become known as “the dog park,” attracts dozens of owners and their dogs a day.

Gustafson, owner of Synergy Golf Partners, is known for small resort-type golf courses. He recently caused a furor in Boise when he purchased the 116-acre Plantation Country Club near State and Glenwood streets.

Rumors ran rampant that he planned to build a huge commercial development on the property until Gustafson told Boiseans that he had no immediate plans to do away with the 102-year-old course, which is the second oldest golf course in Idaho.

Ketchum residents were none too happy about the razing of the Warm Springs Ranch restaurant, which was famous for its king crab legs, prime rib and piping hot scones dripping with honey. The ranch also boasted a small golf course and for several years offered wintertime horse-drawn sleigh rides and gourmet meals served up in a yurt.

Garrison, who served as project manager for Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel and the Argyros Performing Arts Center, said that Gufstafson is aware that the ranch is an important legacy project for the community and that it deserves special attention.

“The ownership team will evaluate the best approach to return some of the historic uses we all miss, in combination with new uses that best fit the property and our community,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

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