The Rexford, N.Y. club, which was originally conceived by employees of General Electric and traces its origins to 1904, is proposing to reduce its 27-hole course to 18 and build a bundled community of 206 dwellings on 79.4 of its 287.7 acres. Buyers would be required to join the club, which has seen membership drop to a little more than 550. “Without this transition, our future is dubious,” said General Manager Craig McLean.
The Edison Club, a storied Rexford, N.Y. property with a 27-hole, Devereux Emmet-designed golf course, four clay tennis courts and a pool, is seeking to add housing as another membership amenity, the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union reported.
In order to stay financially afloat, the club, which was originally conceived by General Electric and traces its origins to 1904 and its golf history to 1926, is proposing to build single-family homes, duplexes, townhouses and condos, the Times Union reported. And those who chose to buy one will be required to become club members.
“Our goal for the Edison Club is to continue to support community members by providing a safe and welcoming social environment,” the club’s General Manager, Craig McLean, said in a letter addressed to officials of the town of Clifton Park, N.Y., which will consider the proposal, the Times Union reported. “Unfortunately, we find ourselves in the same position as most local and national private golf clubs. The reality is we do not have enough members to support the ongoing costs of operating our facility.”
The club, whose membership has dipped to a little more than 550, proposes to build 206 homes on 79.4 of its 287.7 acres, the Times Union reported. Sixty of those would be single-family dwellings. All of the new structures—including the remaining 28 that would house 30 duplexes, 44 townhouses and 72 condos—would be scattered about the property as part of a bundled community, and reduce the course size from 27 holes to 18.
“Our operating income does not meet our expenses,” McLean wrote in his letter. “Currently, we are beholden to the membership to make up the deficit, which is not a sustainable model.”
McLean blamed membership decline and its shaky fiscal ground to “normal inflation, lifestyle changes, tax code changes, decline in private club golf demand and an overbuilt inventory of local golf,” the Times Union reported.
Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett told the Times Union that he is reserving judgment on the proposal until he hears more details at the town board meeting scheduled for Monday, October 2nd.
“We will consider next steps after learning more about the proposal from The Edison Club,” Barrett said. “There are many issues that need to be reviewed and addressed. The total acreage owned by the club is almost 300 acres. Therefore, I am concerned with the club’s sustainability and the future of this large piece of property.
“All other issues aside, the fact that the proposal states an 18-hole golf course would continue to operate is crucial,” Barrett added.
McLean said the design for the homes “will maintain the overall feel of the golf course” with “the design maintaining current trees and surroundings, the result being virtually unchanged appearance for those driving along Route 146,” the Times Union reported.
He also said the development would not impact traffic, because more than half of the traffic coming to the club would be internal.
The club also suggested that the local Niskayuna School district would see an increase in revenue from taxes generated by the project, the Times Union reported. And because it would be targeting buyers who would want to downsize or live on the course only six months out of the year, the new homes would not likely inflate the school population.
Calling it a win-win, McLean concluded, “Without this transition, our future is dubious,” the Times Union reported.