The Midlane Country Club in Waukegan, Ill. is being put up for auction at a suggested opening bid of $2.5 million, the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. reported. (The property is located within the city of Waukegan but has a Wadsworth, Ill. mailing address.)
An 18-hole golf course that was designed by Robert Bruce Harris and opened in 1956, with a new back nine designed by Bob Lohmann that was created in 1997, is part of the parcel being auctioned, along with adjoining property totaling 315 acres, the Daily Herald reported. Encore Events North Shore, the on-site banquet facility that can accommodate 400 people (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/midlane-cc-to-add-banquet-center/), is not part of the sale.
Midlane has been ranked among the top 20 golf courses in the Chicago area and hosted a U.S. Open qualifier in 2017, the Daily Herald reported.
The practice range and parking lot occupy about 180 of the 315 acres, according to Chicago auctioneer Rick Levin of Rick Levin & Associates, who is representing the property owners, Midlane Partners LP and Midlane Development, the Daily Heraldreported. And 119 acres must remain dedicated as a golf course.
The location near communities on suburban Chicago’s North Shore, as well as Waukegan, which soon will host the only casino between Des Plaines and Milwaukee, are mentioned as major selling points, the Daily Herald reported.
Surrounded by about 750 homes, the property currently is zoned CR conservation/recreation/agriculture, according to the city of Waukegan, the Daily Herald reported. Allowed uses include botanical and zoological gardens and arboretums; forest preserves, wildlife preservation and ecological sanctuaries; hiking and biking trails; parks and playgrounds and public beaches; and building or tower-mounted antenna for wireless communications.
But its next owner could seek a change from the city, the Daily Herald reported. “At the end of the day, it’s whatever the owner wants to do and whatever Waukegan will let them do,” Levin said.
The golf course is generating positive cash flow for the property owner, according to auction material (https://www.ricklevin.com/lots/1377) , the Daily Herald reported. It is leased and operated by Mundelein, Ill.-based GolfVisions Management Inc., which signed a five-year agreement in 2017 that was extended in the fall of 2021 for another five years, according Tim Miles Sr., president and CEO.
Miles told the Daily Herald that the owners were ready to cash out and he isn’t overly surprised the property is being made available. “It’s not going to be anything but a golf course,” he said. “We’re going forward as if we’ll be there the next 10 years.”
GolfVisions leases or manages 14 courses throughout the Chicago area, including seven in Lake County, including Midlane. The golf business has been “spectacular” the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, Miles added.
If obtained for the suggested bid, the Daily Herald reported, it would be a relative bargain compared to trying to find that much undeveloped land and starting from scratch, according to Levin. “To replicate the property would be $15 million,” he said.
After 30 years, the owners are ready to divest, Levin told the Daily Herald. And rather than a traditional listing, an auction is seen as a way to determine the property’s worth.
“This is a good example of an asset, in my opinion, that’s kind of hard to value,” Levin said. “It’s really to create an urgency [and] get the property sold sooner rather than later, but also to determine its value.”
Potential buyers could include an affluent individual, a group of investors or people involved in the golf course business, Levin said. “There’s a lot of potential to do other cool things on the property,” he added.
“It will be interesting to see who buys it,” Miles added.
Sealed bids must be tendered by March 30th, the Daily Herald reported. On-site inspections are scheduled for March 8, 16 and 24. The auction is being held “with reserve,” meaning the seller has the right to reject any offer, Levin said.