Last week, travel trailers and RVs fill up spaces at John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort at Sequim Bay east of Sequim. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Last week, travel trailers and RVs fill up spaces at John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort at Sequim Bay east of Sequim. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Sale of John Wayne property draws national interest

A six-month marketing effort to sell 160 acres of waterfront property owned by John Wayne Enterprises has drawn national interest, the real estate firm selling the property said last week.

Located east of Sequim next to John Wayne Marina, the parcel, for sale for $9 million, has been on the market since March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Patricia Loveall, corporate services broker with Seattle-based Kidder Matthews, said in late September.

“We’ve had a fair amount of interest in the property, which is good,” she said.

The acreage, in the Sequim city limits, is zoned for planned-resort community development that allows housing, transient lodging and commercial uses.

“We’ve got groups looking and had a number of different developers, all mostly local, from Western Washington,” Loveall said.

Kidder Matthews, based in Seattle, is the largest independent real estate company on the West Coast.

“We’ve have some national interest as well. There have been groups looking at a number of different uses, from senior housing to more of like a second-home type of concept to more affordable housing.

“One of the more recent iterations for the entire site was talk of doing some sort of hotel or multifamily concept as well as commercial square footage fairly close to the water.”

The site contains 335 single-family, commercial building and RV lots, according to a 2015 site plan referred to in Kidder Matthews’ internet advertisement for the property (tinyurl.com/PDN-MarinaSite).

It includes an RV and rental cabin resort.

“The ownership currently has several use analyses showing approximately 300 residential units and the potential for an additional commercial, hotel, and resort and amenities uses of approximately 100,000 SF,” according to the internet flier.

“With water rights and a water well infrastructure existing on site, as well as an existing septic system currently employed by the RV and rental cabin resort, the utility work for the property is well underway.

“This property is well-positioned for a new development to take advantage of the views, trails, and natural ravine areas, as several of the current plans situate the housing in a natural way around the existing trestle, wetlands, and pond on the property.”

The flier describes it as a “readily developable site with a massive land footprint allowing for a large scale development” with 1,200 square feet of waterfront.

A well provides water to John Wayne Marina, owned by the Port of Port Angeles.

Port Executive Director Karen Goschen said officials have had no contact with Newport Beach, Calif.-based John Wayne Enterprises President Ethan Wayne in several months but that the property has been on and off the market since March.

Wayne, son of the late actor, did not respond for requests for comment via email and voicemail.

John Wayne and his wife, Pilar, deeded 25 acres of Sequim Bay tidelands to the port for the marina in 1975, and another 4 acres in 1976.

The Wayne family transferred the property to the port in 1981.

Goschen said she expects John Wayne Enterprises to continue to seek a voice in the future of the facility, adding it’s too early to determine the impact of developing the acreage on the marina.

“We are focused on what we can do on our property,” Goschen said.

“Residential is compatible with the marina, so there’s not any reason to have a concern. Whether it’s residential or mixed use, it could be any number of things around the marina and still be compatible with the marina.”

Concept proposals from applicants on managing the facility while maintaining public access were due Dec. 10.

Goschen said the port, which wants to be divested of responsibility for expensive infrastructure upgrades, has indefinitely delayed the evalution of options the pandemic wanes and public meetings are allowed.

Goeschen said development of the property will have far more impact on the city of Sequim, which would approve permits.

Ethan Wayne said in early 2019 that a Seattle real estate advisory and investment firm would be studying options for the marina and the upland acreage that is now for sale. A study, which was due in May 2019, has not been made public.

Community Development Director Barry Berezowsky and City Manager Charlie Bush said they were unaware the property was for sale until a reporter sought their reaction last week.

“We are looking forward to talking with whomever about the potential there,” Bush said.

Bush said there is a particular need for workforce housing, which is targeted to buyers who are overqualified for affordable house but cannot afford market-rate homes.

Berezowsky said 18 parcels on the property “theoretically” could be built upon if there is enough buildable area and they can be served by water and sewer services. Water is available. He said there is sewer, water and electric service in the vicinity.

“It seems to be a mixed-use area targeted to long-term permanent residents with some transient housing for visitors to the area,” Berezowsky said, calling the zoning designation “pretty general and vague.”

He was not surprised the parcel is on the market.

“It would kind of solidify the eastern end of that portion of the community and would definitely be something that I would envision would be very supportive of the John Wayne Marina.”

Loveall said she has not needed to meet yet with city or port officials about the property.

She anticipated that 81 of the building sites could be developed “relatively quickly.”

Under “property details” in the internet advertisement it lists 81 single-family lots as an “existing plat.”

“We’ve got a file of dreams and aspirations, but nothing has been approved,” Berezowsky said Friday.

“There’s no entitlements to the property.

“Nothing has been approved, and they would have to start the process all over again to do anything on that property.”

Rob Anderson, Kidder Matthews senior vice president, said a road system is already mapped out.

“We think there is sufficient sewer and water (service) for everything that would go there,” he said.

L0veall envisioned many one-story buildings and some two-story buildings on the site.

She said prices will depend on the lot and the view of Sequim Bay, adding the housing mix could include workforce homes.

The Wayne family put the property up for sale after deciding “it was the right time,” Loveall said.

“It got to be a little too much for them.”

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