Former Minnesota Viking defensive back Paul Krause is hoping his deal with the City of Elk River doesn’t get turned over, but it appears the city council, legal representatives and others involved in the city’s purchase of Krause’s former golf course have already fumbled on the play.
Krause and Elk River city staff agreed to a sale of Pinewood Golf Course, on the north banks of the Mississippi River (just across the border from Otsego) about eight years ago. To date, Elk River has paid about $900,000, including closing costs, of the $1.5 million purchase for the track.
Krause, who retired from the Vikings in 1979 as a perennial All-Pro and the team’s all-time interception leader, maintained the course with his wife for many years, using it as an offseason source of income. He now lives in Lakeville, and told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that, at the age of 72, he neither wants to go back into running a course, nor feels he should have to.
Yet, Elk River, the Minneapolis Business Journal reports, is treating the situation like a contract for deed “gone bad.” Because the city hasn’t paid the full price it agreed to with Krause, it believes it can let the land go into foreclosure, essentially giving it back to the Krauses.
Elk River made the move to prevent the course from being turned into a housing development back in 2006.
The National Football League Hall-of-Famer told the Star Tribune “A million-five is a lot of money. I can’t just let that go.”
Krause said the nine-hole course, like a lot of land in Wright and Sherburne County, lost value after the collapse of the housing market in 2008. The 2006 deal is now mired in court, and he’s hoping the city lives up to its bargain.
Pinewood has been a popular course in Elk River for both kids and seniors. The youth enjoy the short holes and easy track to navigate. Seniors had enjoyed play at Pinewood because the course is relatively flat, tucked in near the river and doesn’t have the traffic of courses such as The Links at Northfork or even Elk River Country Club.
The City of Elk River announced prior to the 2014 season it would be closing Pinewood for the foreseeable future. The Elk River City Council isn’t expected to take further action on the situation until the sale emerges from litigation.