Paul Allen-owned course sells for $11.3M

A golf course co-founded and developed 26 years ago by the late Paul Allen was sold over the weekend to a Washington-based company, Sasada Sports International, for $11.3 million. Willows Run Golf Complex was sold by Access Golf, a subsidiary of Vulcan Inc. Vulcan is a holding corporation that managed Allen’s business and charitable interests before he died Oct. 15 of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Allen co-founded Microsoft with childhood friend Bill Gates in 1975 to sell a version of the BASIC programming language for mail-order home computers. He left the company in 1982 after his first cancer diagnosis. Allen and his former brother-in-law, Brian Patton, bought the 296-acre Willows Run property in Redmond, Wash., in 1993 for $1.5 million. In subsequent years, he also purchased and operated the Seattle Seahawks NFL team, and the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers.

Mike Whitton, the San Diego managing partner for Troutman Sanders LLP, represented Sasada Sports in the deal. Whitton said the purchase was originally negotiated with Vulcan last year before Allen passed away.

“We went into escrow in August,” Whitton said. “It took some time.”

Whitton cited right-of-way issues with the city of Redmond, and also pointed out that the golf complex is divided into 12 parcels, so regulatory issues were more complicated than with a single-parcel sale.

This is the first golf course acquisition for Sasada Sports. Willows Run includes two 18-hole courses, a family friendly 9-hole course, and a miniature golf course, plus two clubhouses. The property is across the street from a new campus Facebook is building that is set to open in 2021.

Access Golf continues to own and run Druids Glen Golf Course in Covington, Wash., southeast of Seattle.

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