US development firm building RTJII course in South Korea

A U.S. development firm, golf architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and an arm of Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church are teaming up to build a resort community along South Korea’s southern coast.

The community – its working name is Resort at Yeosu – will spread over 2,500 acres in the Gwangyang Bay Free Economic Zone in Yeosu City, South Jeolla Province. It’s been master-planned to include a variety of houses (including apartments, townhouses, and condos), a hotel, a lodge, a conference center, several business parks, a marina, and a pair of 18-hole, Jones-designed golf courses.

“It could be a very popular resort destination, if it’s done right,” says Tim Algier, the CEO of Laguna Hills-based Centiuum Holdings, which plans to enlist South Korean companies to help with development.

Since last summer, Centiuum has been negotiating a development agreement with Ilsang Company, Ltd., a Moon-affiliated group that was designated to be one of the FEZ’s developers in 2004. Moon, who believes he’s the Messiah, is probably best-known for staging “mass weddings,” but he owns or co-owns several newspapers, a car manufacturer in North Korea, an Alaskan seafood company, land in South America, a horse farm in Texas, and other assets. At one time, one of his “educational” companies owned Aetna Springs Golf Course in Pope Valley, California.

The FEZ is being developed as five “districts” and will include a port, manufacturing plants, business parks, houses, schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and lots of other attractions. Since it was established, in 2003, it’s attracted nearly 100 South Korean and international companies. Resort at Yeosu, part of the FEZ’s Hwayang District, is to be “a self-sustaining community” powered, where possible, by the sun and the wind.

Likewise, Jones’ golf courses will be, according to Algier, “the greenest golf courses we can build.”

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to WorldEdition@aol.com.

Comments

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