Nearly 200 potential members have shown interest in the Alachua, Fla., club, which closed in April 2011. Organizers hope to buy the club for $1.5M in October and reopen it in June 2015.
A new effort by residents to reopen the Turkey Creek Golf and Country Club in Alachua, Fla., which closed in April 2011, has garnered support from potential members, though more support is needed to convince investors to join as partners, the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun reported.
John Tingue, who is leading the push for the Turkey Creek Members Club along with Forest Hope, said the Members Club has received interest forms from close to 200 potential members, including residents, as well as people and businesses from outside Turkey Creek, the Sun reported.
Membership levels range from $15 per month, to $50 for a swimming pool membership, up to $465 for a full family membership with unlimited golf play. The pledges so far total more than $200,000, Tingue said, adding that organizers are seeking pledges to volunteer time to the club, the Sun reported.
Hope, who helped his father, Norwood Hope, develop the 1,200-home community, said they are more than halfway to where they need to be before a noon September 15 deadline, although more people can sign up after that. The interest forms that come in by the deadline will be presented to potential partners, the Sun reported.
Hope said six partners, including himself and Tingue, have committed to investing up to $200,000 each so far and more are waiting to see how much support the club generates by the deadline, the Sun reported.
Organizers hope to close on a deal to buy the club for $1.5 million on October 1 and reopen the golf course and club in June 2015. Their plan calls for $1.4 million to $1.7 million in renovations to the clubhouse, golf course, pool and exercise facility, walking trails and tennis courts, the Sun reported.
The golf and country club closed in April 2011 as a result of declining memberships and needed upgrade costs. A business has since reopened the pool with a small restaurant and tiki bar. Hope said they would like that business to continue and could help supplement its income with membership dues, the Sun reported.
Past efforts to save the club by golfers and people concerned about the impact on property values have fallen flat with many homeowners who didn’t use the club, the Sun reported.
An effort to create a special taxing district to buy and reopen the club is on hold to see how the membership club turns out, said resident Marty Misner, who described himself as the point person for the special district. “I support any effort that will open the golf course in Turkey Creek,” Misner said. “I hope they are successful and hope they are able to open it up under private ownership.”
Tingue held a meeting for potential investors on June 25 and a community meeting July 30 at Calvary Baptist Church with more than 150 people in attendance. Hope also presented the plan to the Turkey Creek Master Owners Association board of directors. He said the board was receptive to the idea, the Sun reported.
The organizers also plan to present the idea to the Alachua City Commission on August 25. Hope said the city of Alachua provided reclaimed water to the golf course in the past and they want to make sure that is available to them, the Sun reported.
Tingue said they are also seeking city and county support to hold youth recreation programs at the golf course and pool, the Sun reported.