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Big Canoe developer looks to expand, seeks investors
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Big Canoe Company LLC is in search of an investment partner to expand the residential mountain resort.

Developer Bill Byrne made the announcement during a Jan. 7 meeting of the Big Canoe Property Owners Association.

"With the improvement in the economy and strong increase in sales in 2013, we feel that this is the opportune time for Big Canoe Company LLC to attract investors or developers to complete our master plan," said Byrne, managing partner.

Commercial buildings and development rights to property the company owns are included in the offering.

The primary focus of the sale is developing the 1,400-acre Potts Mountain development on the Pickens County side of Big Canoe. The mixed-use plans call for multifamily senior living, with traditional mountain estate lots in the highlands and "dense residential" in the lower-lying areas.

The Wolfscratch Village Market area, located at Steve Tate Highway near the Hwy. 53 crossing, and Big Canoe Utilities Company, which provides community water and sewer and is owned privately by Byrne's family, are not included in the sale.

Jones Lang LaSalle, an international financial services firm specializing in commercial real estate services and investment management, will market and negotiate the deal, which due to its complexity is anticipated to take up to a year. A price has not been set.

Stakeholders have emphasized that the decision does not stem from financial distress, citing a 57 percent increase in home sales in 2013 from the previous year.

Property owners have been told the potential sale would not affect the community and its residents, "aside from property tours to prospective purchasers."

According to the Big Canoe website, "The sales process is anticipated to attract development and investment companies with experience in developing, financing and operating master-planned resort communities. There are many local, national and global companies that can operate in one or more of these capacities."