The property is located within the Pinehurst golf region, whichis considered to be a top golf area in the country. Oceanico Groupdirector Simon Burgess tells GlobeSt.com that Oceanico beganlooking for properties in the Pinehurst area based on therecommendation of a colleague. The New Jersey-based owner of LittleRiver Golf & Resort happened to be interested in selling theproperty. "We were in the right time at the right place," hesays.

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The resort opened in 1996 and includes an 18-hole golf course,which is the only Dan Maples-designed golf course in the Pinehurstgolf area. The property also features a 20,000-sf clubhouse whichoverlooks lakes and forests. Also included in the property are 64two-bedroom apartments, a number which Oceanico plans toincrease.

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Burgess says the property can accommodate 1,150 units ofresidential housing, including apartments, condominiums andhousing, which Oceanico plans to develop. Work is expected to beginin the third quarter.

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The acquisition marks Oceanico's latest activity in golf-relatedproperties. In March, the company acquired five golf courses inVilamoura, Portugal for 125 million euros. The company alsolaunched the development of Vilamoura Golf & Garden Resort andRoyal Obidos Spa & Golf Resort, properties which will consistof apartments, villas and facilities including shops, pools, spas,restaurants and golf courses.

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Oceanico plans to increase the number of units owned in the USto 10,000. In addition, the company plans to acquire moregolf-related properties in North and South Carolina and NorthernFlorida over the next nine months. The US market is particularlyattractive due to the favorable conversion rate of the euro to thedollar, Burgess says. "North Carolina is to US golf what Portugalis to the sport in Europe and we look forward to replicating ourEuropean success in the American market," Burgess says.

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