A green barn in downtown Point Reyes Station, owned by Inverness resident Rip Golet for more than two decades, was sold last week to Bay Area real estate investor Vera Court.
Her son, Robert Court, works with her on real estate and is himself a real estate investor, having bought the long-defunct Byron Hot Spring Hotel in Contra Costa in 2019.
No plans for the 13,000-square-foot building have been made yet, except perhaps one. “I don’t know what we are going to do with it, but I would like to paint it red again,” said Mr Court.
He refused to publicly disclose the sale price. In the city’s last major commercial building sale in 2020, the Emporium Building sold for $ 2.3 million to a group of local investors. The Green Barn itself was on the open market for several months in 2007 at a list price of about $ 1.78 million.
Ms. Court began investing in real estate in San Francisco through her late husband, a lawyer, who started buying real estate later. “This is her first thing in the north,” said Mr Court.
The Green Barn, long known as the Red Barn, was built in 1920 by the Northwest Pacific Railway as a turntable service station for trains in what is now a gravel site. At the time, Point Reyes was located about halfway between Sausalito and Casadero.
“This added importance to the central position of Point Reyes station on the railroad,” said historian Dewey Livingston. But soon the railway company began to cut the northern part of the route. Point Reyes became the end point in 1930, and in 1933 the company closed the stop.
According to the Point Reyes Light archives, the building was used to store hay until the West Marin Lions Club acquired it in 1947. The club renovated it, added a barn, and a few years later began hosting the Western Weekend Livestock Show and other events. including crab food, barbecues and proms. “It looked like a community center,” said Mr. Livingston.
But in the early 1970s, a community center emerged in the form of a Dance Palace, founded by the next generation of residents, some of whom were new to the area, and over time it was usually an older generation that held events in the Red Barn. Livingston said the change echoes a previous generational shift in community centers from Foresters’ Hall to Red Barn.
The barn housed the KWMR in its early days, and in the early 1990s the YMCA rented it offering basketball and weightlifting facilities. But budget cuts prompted the YMCA to end the lease, which was a financial argument for the Lions Club. Eventually, due to declining membership and rising maintenance costs, the group put the building up for sale. The club originally planned to sell to Inverness resident Marshall Livingston, but changed his mind at the last moment, causing controversy, and was sold to Rip Golet in 1999. In 2005, Mr. Goele ordered that the Red Barn be painted green.
The recent sale came quickly; real estate has never been sold on the open market. Mr. Court was intrigued by West Marina when one day he contacted the owner of the Grandi Building, Ken Wilson, to see if he was interested in the sale. (He wasn’t.) He later heard that the barn might soon be sold.
A small online study found real estate agent Scott Murphy helped Mr. Golet in a well-publicized 2018 deal to conserve 1,600 acres of redwood through easements. Mr. Court turned to Mr. Murphy and the rest happened quickly.
“We made a deal and after 30 days it was completed,” said Mr. Murphy.
Mr. Golet told Light that he thought it was time for a “new blood”.
“I just thought it was time for someone else to own it and develop it,” he said, “I hope he does something interesting for Point Reyes,” something “that the community can support.” …
The Green Barn consists of a main building of approximately 5,600 square feet; kitchen and bar, about 2,700 square feet; and a 4,200 square foot barn with an earthen floor.
Currently, the only lease for the building is Horizon Cable, which Court said rents a small building for infrastructure and land for satellite dishes. Corts has given the company a one-year lease and wants to “work with them to stay there if possible.”
What about what the future holds for Green Barn besides possible painting? The possibilities are wide; The room is zoned for commercial and residential use. Corts pondered various ideas, including a small grocery store, a restaurant and a brewery, although potential septic problems could make the brewery insecure, he said. Mr Court said his family wants something that both tourists and the community can enjoy and they are open to suggestions and suggestions – in fact, that’s part of the appeal.
“I would like someone to come up to me with some ideas,” he said. “Right now, being open to creative ideas is what attracted me to this property, as opposed to what was already finished and rented out.”
But, he added, his family wants to “take their time.” “We are still digesting our purchase,” he said.