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Exclusive: Developer buys hockey star’s Tri-Cities mansion. But he’s not going to live there

A Tri-City hotel operator and commercial developer was the winning bidder for the Kennewick mansion built by NHL star Olie Kolzig and his wife Christin.

Gurbir Sandhu partnered with California investors to submit the winning bid of $3.5 million for the mansion and the 95 acres of Horse Heaven Hills countryside it sits on.

The property was the subject of a high-profile auction Oct. 5 by DeCaro Auctions.

The deal closed Oct. 31 but is not yet visible in the Benton County Assessor’s public database of property information.

But Sandhu confirmed he is the new owner.

He intends to convert the mansion into a place for events and will develop the surrounding property into a subdivision with oversized lots of three to five acres each.

1 DD Kolzig exterior
The 15,260-square-foot mansion originally built by Olie “The Goalie” Kolzig and his wife Christin sold at auction to a Tri-Cities developer. Image courtesy DeCaro Auctions

He has hired an architect to develop a site plan. Nearby home lots sell for $400,000 to $500,000, he said.

Sandhu is the managing partner for Insight Hotels, a Tri-City hotel firm that operates the Red Lion Columbia Center, the Richland Red Lion (soon to be Holiday Inn) and other properties across the Northwest.

He called the deal an opportunistic move to purchase a spectacular house at less than the cost to rebuild it.

29.JPG Kolzig Pool
The Kennewick estate first built by Olie “the Goalie” Kolzig and his wife Christin sold at auction to a Tri-Cities developer. Image courtesy DeCaro Auctions

It features six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a caretaker house, gym, game room, pool, 1,000-bottle wine cellar and other luxury touches.

The house was essentially free when the value of the land is factored in, Sandhu said.

Sandhu bought the property in his name but will place it in a limited liability company in the next week and operate it as a commercial venture.

12.JPG Kolzig staircase
The Kennewick estate first built by Olie “the Goalie” Kolzig and his wife Christin sold at auction to a Tri-Cities developer. Image courtesy DeCaro Auctions

He won’t live in the six-bedroom, 11-bathroom home, saying its too big for his needs.

It is, however, perfect for the growing number of events looking for outlets in the Tri-Cities.

“We do have a growing market for social events in the Tri-Cities. Weddings are a popular business out here,” he said.

Development would include a new road and expanded utilities to the property. Sandhu doesn’t intend to install a commercial kitchen, saying catering will be brought into the site instead.

Everything else, he said, is already in place.

19.JPG Kolzig rec room
The Kennewick estate first built by Olie “the Goalie” Kolzig and his wife Christin sold at auction to a Tri-Cities developer. Image courtesy DeCaro Auctions

Olie Kolzig, who played for the Tri-City Americans before his 17-year career as a goalie in the National Hockey League, and his wife built their 15,260-square-foot dream house 2004.

They sold it to a trust associated with Russ Dean in 2013 after Kolzig returned to the Washington Capitals in Washington, D.C., to coach their goalies.

It came up for sale again this year when the trust decided to sell the renovated mansion.

16.JPG Kolzig dining room
The Kennewick estate first built by Olie “the Goalie” Kolzig and his wife Christin sold at auction to a Tri-Cities developer. Image courtesy DeCaro Auctions

In the weeks before the auction, the property was listed on Realtor.com with an asking price of nearly $6.3 million.

It features six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a caretaker house, gym, pool, wine cellar, game room and other luxury touches.

Wendy Culverwell writes about local government and politics, focusing on how those decisions affect your life. She also covers key business and economic development changes that shape our community. Her restaurant column and health inspection reports are reader favorites. She’s been a news reporter in Washington and Oregon for 25 years.
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