Deal signed for group to buy Michigan dunes

SAUGATUCK, MI – A conservation group has signed a deal to buy 171 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline sand dunes in Saugatuck for $19 million from Aubrey McClendon, co-owner of the NBA's
Oklahoma City Thunder.

Officials for the Land Conservancy of West Michigan said Thursday the deal had been approved by its board. The Grand Rapids-based group has been working with The Nature Conservancy and the city of Saugatuck to acquire the property.

Funding sources included a state grant and private donations.

The Land Conservancy will lease the property to Saugatuck, selling it in thirds to the city as the state grant funnels in over three years.

The Grand Rapids Press says McClendon bought the property for $39.5 million in June 2006.

Closing is expected by Dec. 31.