In multi-part series, exclusive to the Maine Real Estate Insider, we’ll provide an up-close look at the most notable commercial development projects of the past year that are helping to fuel Maine’s economy in terms of investment and job creation. MEREDA is proud to recognize responsible development based upon criteria including environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, difficulty of the development, uniqueness, social impact and job creation.
Please join with us in celebrating the Boothbay Harbor Country Club.
MEREDA: Describe the building and project.
Boothbay Harbor Country Club: Designed with features and amenities of a world class club, the Boothbay Harbor Country Club Clubhouse is an award winning 32,000 square foot building that provides a unique experience for members and public guests. The facility, which is perched at the top of a hill, has panoramic vistas over an emerald green 18-hole golf course, transformed with a comprehensive face lift by a nationally-renowned golf course designer.
Some of the finest artisans and craftsmen in the state contributed to the detailed millwork featured throughout, including Hodgdon Yachts. The classic New England shingle-style facility boasts a 60-seat dining room with an open gas masonry fireplace and coffered ceilings. The ceiling’s beauty disguises its complexity, as it integrates and minimizes the visual impact of the complex mechanical systems necessary to support a commercial building of its size. A 54-seat mahogany bar opens up to dramatic views of the course with a 35-foot curved NanaWall, a glass movable wall system. In addition, the facility features first class locker rooms, a pro shop and houses the administrative staff offices as well as support spaces.
At the lower level, which is clad in stonework, a garage houses up to 75 golf carts. The building is integrated into the hillside with multilevel patio seating and a stone arched bridge that provides member access to the clubhouse while allowing golf carts to pass below.
Constructed as Phase II of the Boothbay Harbor Country Club, the Wellness Center features a variety of first-class fitness amenities. An 1,800 square foot fitness room at the main level overlooks the Boothbay town commons and provides members with a variety of customized Life Fitness cardio and resistance training equipment. Adjacent spaces at the main level include a Yoga studio, custom multi-user locker cabinetry, showers and changing areas. At the lower level, a Massage room and a Spin room with TRX suspension trainers provides additional space for group classes and individual club members.
The exterior of the Wellness Center features 2 Har-Tru tennis courts with overlook seating areas, 2 pickle ball courts, a heated salt water pool and an adjacent 12-person hot tub with waterfall feature. The stone paver pool deck provides casual poolside seating along with access to outdoor showers and changing areas. An exterior Bar and Grill, detailed in granite and mahogany and protected by motorized awnings, provides patrons with unparalleled poolside amenities.
MEREDA: What was the impetus for this project?
Boothbay Harbor Country Club: The planning process began in 2013 when Paul Coulombe, philanthropist and developer, purchased the clubhouse property from a bank-driven power of sale. While he never intended to own a golf course, he recognized the value the 18-hole golf course brought to the Boothbay region community.
After purchasing the property, he began acquiring adjacent parcels to transform the club into an exclusive, state-of-the-art destination, beginning with a new private gated entrance on Route 27 and leading into a master plan that would eventually include a new clubhouse, wellness center, driving range, course-side amenities, and residential-style villas.
MEREDA: That sounds like quite a process. How long were you in the planning stages before construction started?
Boothbay Harbor Country Club: The focus over the first year was on master planning, developing a revitalization plan for the 18-hole course and building a new driving range. Following that, the focus shifted to improving the facilities and other amenities to match the caliber of the golf experience. The new clubhouse was completed in 2015, followed by the Wellness Center in 2018. The first Villa will be complete in 2019.
MEREDA: Tell us about the most challenging aspect of getting this project completed?
Boothbay Harbor Country Club: From the very beginning, the goal was to create a facility with the highest standards of architecture, interior design and craftsmanship. The greatest challenge in achieving these goals while adhering to the strict timeline and managing the overall budget in relationship to the scale and intricacy of the country club. With a dedicated team and clear end-goals, the deadline for the opening at both facilities was met with both extreme determination and grace.
MEREDA: Something unexpected you learned along the way was…
Boothbay Harbor Country Club: For the Boothbay region, the country club’s impact as a nationally recognized, award-winning facility has resulted in both economic development and community engagement. The most unexpected change began with the growth of new members from out of state, who not only joined the club but also purchased homes in the Boothbay region to be able to enjoy the seasonal amenities of the area. Additionally, Paul Coulombe’s investment in the country club sparked many others to invest in the region as well, as a series of new business ventures began following the country club’s success and regional growth.
MEREDA: Now that it’s complete, what feature of the project do you think makes it the most notable?
Boothbay Harbor Country Club: The Boothbay Harbor Country Club has been recognized on many levels for its world class design, including Architectural Digest’s esteemed list of the Most Beautiful Clubhouses in America. Laura Ratliff of Architectural Digest said “I browsed hundreds of clubs across the country (mostly golf clubs but I also included private/tennis/other sports clubs, where relevant), choosing the most beautiful based on feedback from members, environmental settings, and historical significance. [ … ] Boothbay Harbor’s clubhouse was a perfect blend of luxury and the great outdoors that Maine is so well-known for. The integration of nature through the club’s large windows and outdoor seating areas, like the cozy firepit, sealed the deal for me!”
In parallel to the development of the course, Paul Coulombe also made significant off-site financial contributions to benefit the Town of Boothbay and the residents of the region. Partnering with the Town of Boothbay and the MDOT, the golf course owner/developer contributed over $1.3M to the construction of a roundabout and beautification of the Town Common. The developer also provided 100% of the funding for the design and construction of a new state-of-the-art emergency response building for the Boothbay Region Ambulance Service, which doubled the facility’s capacity, an important factor in a community that no longer has a hospital. Additionally, the developer funded 100% of the design and construction of a new public restroom building located on the Town Common, which offers a public amenity for residents who enjoy year-round community events on the Common.
Paul Coulombe’s investment in the Boothbay Harbor Country Club and his philanthropy toward the Town’s public spaces has had an enormous positive social and economic impact on the Boothbay region.