Kohler Co. begins selling Hamilton Grand apartments

The Hamilton Grand is a 115-year-old building that looms over the 18th green of the Old Course in St. Andrews.

The Hamilton Grand is a 115-year-old building that looms over the 18th green of the Old Course in St. Andrews.

For sale: Luxury apartments in historic building overlooking the world’s most famous golf course and the North Sea. Operator of world-famous five-star resort currently is redeveloping the property. Spacious 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom floor plans, private residents’ lounge, restaurant and bar. Ownership includes membership at nearby highly ranked golf course and spa. Opening mid-2012. Prices start at $2.1 million.

Interested? Herb Kohler is betting that affluent golf fans will line up for a chance to buy an apartment in the Hamilton Grand, the 115-year-old building that looms over the 18th green of the Old Course in St. Andrews.

Kohler, chairman of Kohler Co., bought Hamilton Grand in December 2009 and recently began renovating the property following a three-month public consultation process. Savills began selling Hamilton Grand’s 26 units last week, and Kohler hopes the renovation will be completed by June 2012.

Known as the Grand Hotel when it opened in 1895, the property has had a mixed history. It sits next to the R&A Golf Club and apparently was intended to be a more grandiose structure. That included being the first Scottish building to have a pneumatic elevator and hot and cold running water in every room.

It became a Royal Air Force training center during World War II, and later was acquired by the University of St. Andrews for use as a dormitory. It fell into disrepair and was closed in 2005. Rhode Island real estate investor David Wasserman bought the property, but his plans to build 23 loft-style residences stalled and the property went back on the market. Kohler acquired it through a sealed-bid auction.

Kohler Co. is taking a different approach than Wasserman, who had a fractional model, under which buyers were asked to pay anywhere from $1.33 million to $4.38 million to guarantee at least 10 weeks annually at the Hamilton.

Debbie Taylor, the new president of the Kohler Co. Hospitality & Real Estate Group, said her company is selling 99-year leases that include memberships at two nearby company-owned amenities: The Duke’s golf course and the Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel. Owners will have the option of putting their apartments in a rental pool.

Savills is selling the Hamilton Grand through 220 offices around the world. Taylor, who oversaw the Old Course Hotel renovations in 2007, believes the exclusive nature of the project should make it attractive to prospective buyers.

“We’re looking at a relatively short selling window,” Taylor said. “This is a global property.”

–Additional information and floor plans are available at www.hamiltongrand.co.uk.)

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