Under the deal, GL Homes will develop one of the Lake Worth, Fla., club’s three golf courses, with plans to build 470 housing units. Some residents opposed the sale as a short-term fix to the long-term problem of mandatory memberships for those who live in the community’s 19 homeowners associations.
Members of the Fountains Country Club have approved the $17 million sale of land to GL Homes, which plans to build 470 housing units at the suburban Lake Worth, Fla., club, the West Palm Beach, Fla., Palm Beach Post reported.
The sale includes parts of the North Golf Course, one of the club’s three courses, as well as undeveloped land on the east side of the 865-acre property. Members approved the sale in a vote earlier this month, the Post reported.
GL Homes plans to build between 150 to 200 single-family homes. GL also will build between 250 to 300 apartments, marking the first time the Sunrise-based home builder has entered the apartment market, according to Larry Portnoy, GL Homes vice president.
Club Board of Directors president Paul Napieralski hailed the sale. He said it will allow the club to make needed upgrades so that the club “once again become one of the premier clubs in Palm Beach County.”
As part of the deal, the Fountains must build a $2.5 million resort-style pool. The sale is a way for the club to also cope with declining membership during the past five years, the Post reported.
Not all residents of the community were on board with the plan, however. Some opposed the sale as a short-term fix to a long-term problem, which they say is mandatory membership in the club, the Post reported.
Residents of the new GL Homes will not be required to join the club as equity members, as residents in some older Fountains communities have been required to do. Mandatory club membership is an added expense that figures into the price of a home. That can depress home prices and limit the pool of interested buyers, real estate experts told the Post.
At the Fountains, equity membership ranges from $3,000 to $10,000, plus dues of about $10,000 for a couple, as well as other charges. Residents who live in some of the Fountains’ 19 homeowners associations that require club membership must pay the costs whether they use the club or not. The issue has split the community and even resulted in lawsuits, the Post reported.
Portnoy said it will take about a year to get county approvals to build on the land, and then another year to build. New homes could be ready by 2018. Apartment dwellers would not have access to the club but would instead have their own amenities, the Post reported.