Two Florida golf programs might be restored — if residents pay up

Home » Two Florida golf programs might be restored — if residents pay up

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Over the previous few years, the as soon as lush emerald fairways on the 2 golf programs winding by way of the Pelican Bay neighborhood have been sprouting weeds, anthills and parched brown patches of grass.

The south course has been fully idled for greater than three years, and whereas the north course nonetheless has golfers swinging golf equipment on it daily, it has slid into second-rate situation. Each programs are saddled with liens.

A Tennessee-based firm referred to as Golf Course Options is beneath contract to purchase the 2 18-hole programs, and the corporate’s leaders say they wish to restore the top-tier high quality of the Pelican Bay hyperlinks and make them their flagship programs.

However Golf Course Options’ buy and renovation plan depend on Pelican Bay residents to offer thousands and thousands to make the deal attainable.

In the event that they don’t, the July 29 time limit will change into the day the deal dies.

“Our success will probably be dictated by your participation,” Ed Nieves, who will be the operations supervisor of the Pelican Bay programs if his firm buys them, advised residents at a neighborhood assembly final week. “Our objective is to get everybody concerned.”

The corporate needs 200 Pelican Bay households to every purchase a $35,000 constitution membership earlier than the top of July. That might increase $7 million, sufficient to cowl the $5.5 million asking value for the 2 golf programs and depart $1.5 million for property enhancements and different bills similar to property taxes.

Golf Course Options additionally needs extra owners within the 1,800-home group simply south of Beville Highway to purchase inexpensive memberships starting from about $5,000 to $35,000. Residents who don’t golf have the choice of shopping for a social membership to make use of the group pool and clubhouses.

The corporate even has a partnership arrange with Truist Monetary, prepared and ready for individuals who wish to take out a mortgage to purchase a membership within the subsequent few weeks.

The opposite very important piece of their plan, firm officers say, is that not less than 97% of Pelican Bay households might want to let Golf Course Options take over their yard upkeep, and ideally their exterior residence upkeep as effectively. The corporate additionally needs to take over upkeep of widespread areas of the 900-acre neighborhood, and receives a commission for the entire repairs.

Golf Course Options needs to gather everybody’s garden and tree upkeep charges so the cash can be utilized to run the golf programs. Rocky Morgan, the corporate’s managing director, stated he would match no matter particular person owners or house owner associations inside Pelican Bay are paying now for garden service and wouldn’t, not less than initially, impose a value hike.

“Now we have a singular marketing strategy nobody else on the planet is doing,” Morgan stated on the group assembly.

‘This proposal got here out of the blue’

The plan turned off some neighborhood residents as quickly as they heard it. Some owners say they really feel like they’re mainly being requested to purchase their golf programs, and for an inflated value. They level out that the LPGA course in Daytona Seashore, which was in prime situation, offered for $3.5 million.

In addition they really feel pressured to make a fast choice.

“This proposal got here out of the blue per week in the past, and immediately the time limit is July 29,” stated Dan Skidds, who has lived in Pelican Bay because the fall of 2020.

Morgan stated he would wish not less than $1.2 million per yr in Pelican Bay yard upkeep charges to cowl a part of the $2.5 million annual value to function the 2 golf programs. If owners will permit his firm to additionally repair their roofs, plant flowers, keep their personal sprinkler programs and trim their bushes he might accumulate one other $800,000 or so.

Morgan would additionally like to gather a further $8 million or $9 million yearly from different native neighborhoods for his or her garden upkeep.

He stated all of that yard and residential upkeep income is carried outdoors of the Pelican Bay neighborhood now, and he’d like to speculate it within the golf programs, pool and clubhouses.

“We’ll do every part we are able to to make it as lovely as attainable,” stated Nieves, who famous he plans to have a second residence in Pelican Bay and he needs to purchase a house within the neighborhood for his mom.

Morgan stated he’ll permit individuals who dwell outdoors of Pelican Bay and firms that wish to give perks to their management-level workers to purchase the $35,000 constitution memberships. But when he doesn’t line up sufficient memberships and yard upkeep agreements by late July, Morgan stated he and his companions will stroll away from their supply to purchase the pair of golf programs simply east of Williamson Boulevard.

‘They’re asking residents to finance their buy’

Some neighborhood residents say it’s the one supply Pelican Bay has to purchase the golf programs and refurbish them, so it must be critically thought-about. They usually level out {that a} developer had been transferring towards attempting to construct new housing on the south golf course earlier than that effort was placed on maintain a number of weeks in the past to court docket the Golf Course Options proposal.

Re-opening the south golf course and group pool, which has been closed for 2 years, and bettering the north course and clubhouses will enhance the worth of homes in Pelican Bay, supporters of the proposal additionally argue.

“Now we have a selection in entrance of us,” stated Tom Mehegan, president of Pelican Bay’s grasp owners affiliation. “Nobody or nothing else is within the works for us.”

Different Pelican Bay residents are turned off by the corporate’s reliance on owners’ cash. A number of individuals walked out of the neighborhood assembly final week after Golf Course Options stated it wished $35,000 for constitution memberships.

One individual watching the assembly on Zoom wrote within the chat that “that is like listening to a ridiculous timeshare schtick with out the free room and breakfast.”

“Timeshare salesmen are smoother,” one other individual watching the assembly on-line replied within the chat.

A number of questions residents requested in the course of the assembly went unanswered or took repeated makes an attempt to get answered. One resident obtained a reply however probably not a solution to a query in regards to the timeline for renovations and reopening amenities if Golf Course Options buys the programs.

“We’re undecided as a result of it will depend on y’all,” Nieves stated. “We’ll transfer as effectively as attainable. We wish to transfer rapidly.”

Whereas some questions yielded solely normal solutions, residents did hear private tidbits, similar to Morgan speaking about his canine and the corporate’s lawyer saying he owns a kangaroo that he takes to his workplace daily.

$11.5 million capital funding pledged

“These guys are one thing else, however they aren’t as smooth-talking as they assume they’re,” a resident wrote within the chat.

“As a resident of Pelican Bay for twenty-four years, the presentation that was delivered had a whole lot of unfastened ends and no details got to the group, besides that they need $35,000 from 200 residents,” Metropolis Commissioner Stacy Cantu stated after the assembly. “They’re asking Pelican Bay residents to finance their buy of the golf programs, (with) what seems to be no funding on their half.”

In an interview the day after the neighborhood assembly, Morgan stated Golf Course Options will probably be placing a few of its cash into the programs if the sale is accomplished.

“The capital funding will probably be $11.5 million,” Morgan stated. “We’ll put our personal cash into this program.”

The $5.5 million sale value is included within the $11.5 million capital projection, stated Knoxville-based lawyer Dale Montpelier, who’s serving to with authorized facets of the golf course acquisition. However thousands and thousands extra would go into golf course rehabilitation, Montpelier stated.

“Our present estimate is that $1.5 million is required for every course grounds restore, for a complete of $3 million together with concrete cart paths,” he stated. “An extra $3 million is estimated for the pool, each clubhouses being transformed, cart and tools leases, and worker salaries.”

Montpelier stated it’s anticipated that the complete $11.5 million would come from memberships, together with these from individuals who don’t dwell in Pelican Bay. The plan doesn’t embody utilizing charges from property upkeep for capital enhancements, he stated.

The extra the corporate is ready to accumulate in membership funds, “the sooner the work will get accomplished,” he stated. He stated the objective is to make sure that the properties are owned debt-free and “in immaculate situation earlier than there’s reliance on the yard upkeep charges. These upkeep charges are designed to offset the preventative upkeep of the programs.”

In the course of the neighborhood assembly, Morgan stated he’s change into cautious together with his investments.

“I’ve invested cash and been left hanging, so I’m a bit extra cautious now how I spend my cash,” he stated.

Nieves stated the corporate has different traders, however they don’t wish to use them as a result of they need their enterprise to stay debt-free. In addition they don’t wish to reconfigure the plan to lock in 200 traders giving $35,000 as a result of “these at all times appear to be the most effective numbers,” Nieves stated.

Morgan stated he’s keen to be versatile in different methods, and he’ll drop charges for aged residents and people on a set earnings.

“We’ll come again yet another time with a brand new proposal,” Morgan stated. “We don’t need an adversarial relationship.”

However the minimal 200 constitution members shopping for in at $35,000 every gained’t change, he stated.

“Golf is a really capital-intensive operation,” he stated.

The larger image

Golf Course Options doesn’t simply wish to purchase and overhaul the 2 Pelican Bay golf programs. The corporate, which has by no means owned a golf course, needs to arrange a community of 300 golf programs in Florida that its constitution members might play on free of charge.

They wish to set up what they name a golf course path, the place $35,000 constitution members would have free entry to all programs on the path that may stretch round Daytona Seashore and all through Florida. The constitution members would get 1,400 free rounds of golf on the varied programs.

After they use all 1,400 no-additional-charge rounds of golf, constitution members would pay a $25 cart rental charge.

The lifetime membership would cowl two adults in the identical family and their kids till they flip 18. They might additionally obtain 12 free visitor passes per yr, and one complimentary 30-minute golf lesson per yr.

However some Pelican Bay residents can’t get previous the $35,000 determine, and the load the Golf Course Options plan places on the shoulders of householders.

Skidds feels residents ought to get extra energy and dividends for his or her cash. The $35,000 constitution members would don’t have any share of possession, and just one or two owners affiliation representatives would sit on the corporate’s board of administrators.

“We give him (Morgan) the cash, and we’ve got no revenue sharing, no vote on the board, no recourse. And we pay for operations,” Skidds stated. “I’m not going to speculate cash and never get a dividend.”

“What if individuals give their cash and this doesn’t work?” requested Skidds’ spouse, Julie. “Will they get their a refund? I’m simply afraid individuals will get too excited, give cash and by no means see it once more.”

Morgan stated he and his companions won’t be operating off with anybody’s cash if the sale falls by way of.

“If this deal doesn’t shut, the individuals will get their a refund,” he stated. “The cash will probably be held in an escrow firm, not us. If the deal falls by way of the individuals will get their a refund minus the escrow firm’s cost for holding it.”

He stated the escrow cost will probably be round $350.

‘Our mission is to guard the golf programs’

Morgan stated Pelican Bay “is essential to us,” and he’s had his eye on the neighborhood and its golf programs for a number of years. He stated the programs have “the bones and skeleton to come back again as much as our requirements.”

If his firm takes over, he stated he’ll put in a brand new irrigation system, rebuild the 18 greens on the south course, renovate the primary clubhouse and change the bridges that run over canals.

He stated his firm has rehabilitated 10 golf programs previously after which resold them. This time, Golf Course Options needs to stay the proprietor, he stated.

Morgan stated he even needs to personal and dwell in a house in Pelican Bay. He stated he has no intentions of utilizing the golf course land for brand spanking new homes and companies.

“We’re not builders,” he stated. “Our mission is to guard the golf programs.”

Whereas the greater than 3,000 individuals who name Pelican Bay residence don’t all agree on what the most effective path ahead will probably be, all of them need the neighborhood and its golf programs to once more appear to be they had for many years.

The Skidds purchased their residence on the sting of a golf course for the attractive view, however they stated the south golf course is barely mowed and sprayed with weed killer as soon as each three months.

“It’s actually weedy and never playable,” Dan Skidds stated. “There’s armadillos, fireplace ants and snakes on it. If you happen to stroll on it, it’s all dug up from wildlife.”

The Skidds gained’t be shopping for a $35,000 membership, they usually don’t need anybody aside from the individual they at the moment use chopping their garden in The Estates part of Pelican Bay. However they do hope the suitable resolution will be discovered for the neighborhood.

“I believe all of us need the identical factor: We wish one thing good to occur with the golf programs,” Skidd stated. “It’s obtained to be accomplished responsibly. It’s obtained to be accomplished proper.”

You’ll be able to attain Eileen at [email protected]

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