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For sale: Mississippi Dunes golf course, restaurant, house

Mississippi Dunes Golf Links — including the restaurant Doc's Landing and owner William Doebler's home — is up for sale for $10 million. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
The public is no longer welcome at Mississippi Dunes, after the course recently closed for its last season. Nearly 200 acres, including the golf links, are up for sale. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Mississippi Dunes Golf Links could soon be turned into a housing development.

The golf course, a house, Doc's Landing restaurant, banquet and maintenance facility are all up for sale on the 185-acre site for a $10 million price tag.

The property was listed about two weeks ago, Dave Johnson of Edina Realty Commercial said.

The last golf season at the Dunes closed last week.

The property listing comes after Mississippi Dunes owner William "Doc" Doebler was ordered to pay $130,000 to former employees and victims of sexual harassment in a Washington County District Court ruling in August.

Doebler, 73, owns homes in Red Wing and Bonita Springs, Fla., as well as the now-for-sale home in Cottage Grove nicknamed "The brothel" after an apparent historical reference.

Development opportunities

Johnson said the property could be purchased by developers for residential use. "It's a beautiful piece of property," he said. "It should make a spectacular home site."

The site is just east of Grey Cloud Island Township, near the Mississippi River Mooers Lake area and the Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area.

The links could continue on as a golf course, though the number of golf courses in the Twin Cities metro has been dropping in recent years, including closures in Cottage Grove and Woodbury.

Community Development Director Jennifer Levitt said the city has met with some developers regarding the site.

Residential development would require rezoning, utilities extensions and a comprehensive plan amendment, along with additional stormwater challenges due to the proximity to the river.

The process would take several steps, but is "definitely doable," Levitt said.

The land surrounding the golf course is currently considered "transitional planning area," Levitt said, meaning it is "on the fringe of development." The new development opportunity at Mississippi Dunes will allow the city to more seriously plan that southwestern area. "That incorporates that planning area," Levitt said. "It makes us move forward and address those areas ... Now that development's moving forward, we need to provide more definition."

A residential development could also move the city closer to one of its goals.

"The council's vision and direction is to improve river access and public access to it, so would be a key (location)," Levitt said.

Any developer would have to grant the city some amount of dedicated park land or funds, as with any new development in the city. The developer and city staff could create a park or dedicated river access area on the property.