Washington Federal has bought out Greenbriar's interest in Chuckanut Ridge. This clears the way for a sale of the 100 plus acres to the city of Bellingham - and the preservation of this valuable wetlands.
This morning on the courthouse steps a foreclosure auction was held and Washington Federal paid itself about $11 million for the 50% share of David Edelstein's portion of Greenbriar's ownership in the property. Sound complicated? This only touches the very basics. Edelstein has reportedly held back the sale of the property by the bank to the city for over a year now. The bank has been ready to sell the property to the city since taking over the assets of defunct Horizon Bank over a year ago. Edelstein was a major player in that bank and had millions in loans from the bank - which he has since owed to Washington Federal.
Mayor Dan Pike will now no doubt put together a purchase deal with the bank for close to $9 million and then seek City Council approval. The property is only worth about $6 million, according to some experts. And whether the council will approve over spending by almost $3 million city tax dollars is another question.
The auction was a surprise to most of those I contacted today. While there was a little-noticed legal notice in the Herald, there was no reporting in the paper and, indeed, even as I post now there is no information on the Bellingham Herald website.
If others have more information on all this, please feel free to comment and help us all learn more.