The HOA for the Tallahassee, Fla. property is expected to approve the $2.6 million sale of the club and golf course from its current member-led ownership to Atlanta Ventures (AV), which is headed by a tech entrepreneur, David Cummings, who grew up in Tallahassee. “Starting immediately after closing, we will begin plans [to build] a new clubhouse, pool and restaurant, as well as investing heavily into improving the golf course,” AV has written to the membership, adding that it has “committed $8 million to be placed in escrow that will be used exclusively to reinvigorate the club—$4 million above and beyond what was required.”
Jimmy Graganella promised increased membership and improvements to Killearn Country Club in Tallahassee, Fla. when he headlined a group, Killearn Golf Properties (KGP), that purchased it two years ago, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
After making strides towards that goal, Graganella is now selling the club and a “massive revitalization” is being planned under the new ownership, the Democrat reported.
The Killearn Homeowners Association’s nine-person Board was expected on March 1st to approve the sale of the golf course and club to Atlanta Ventures (AV), a company founded by Tallahassee native David Cummings, the Democrat reported.
AV signed a $2.6 million purchase agreement with KGP in early February, according to Graganella (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/sale-of-killearn-cc-reportedly-imminent/), after sale negotiations between the principals started in December 2021, the Democrat reported.
Cummings, who attended Lincoln High in Tallahassee, is an Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur who has founded multiple companies that collectively have a worth of $1 billion, according to reports, the Democratreported.
His father, Dr. Ronald Cummings, is a retired Tallahassee orthodontist, the Democrat reported, and Cummings’ partner in Atlanta Ventures, A.T. Gimbel, also attended Lincoln High.
In a statement e-mailed last week by Atlanta Ventures to Killearn members, the company said its plan is to close the deal in the middle of March after it receives approval from the Killearn Homeowners Association, the Democrat reported.
“Starting immediately after closing, we will begin plans to undertake a massive revitalization that includes building a new clubhouse, pool, and restaurant, as well as investing heavily into improving the golf course,” the statement read.
AV said it has “committed $8 million to be placed in escrow that will be used exclusively to reinvigorate the club. This is $4 million above and beyond what was required,” the Democrat reported.
“While the project scope is vast, we expect to move as quickly as possible,” AV’s e-mail to members continued. “While we don’t know exactly what the future looks like just yet, our focus will be on creating an exceptional year-round family experience.”
Cummings, in his company’s e-mail to members, said he grew up in Killearn and “has many fond memories from the club” when he played as a kid. Cummings said he and Gimbel still have family that live on the course.
“Like you, we care deeply about making Killearn the premier gathering place for families and friends, full of experiences that you can be proud of and a home where memories are made daily,” AV said in its statement related to the purchase.
“To us, Killearn is more than just a golf course…it’s a way of life.”
Graganella and Ron Tolliver were club members who headlined KGP when it signed a $2 million purchase agreement in February 2020 with Killearn CC’s former owner, Barton Tuck of Greenville, S.C., the Democrat reported.
The club was built as the Killearn Country Club & Inn, with a 30-room hotel, by local developer J. T. Williams in 1967, with its initial 18-hole championship golf course designed by Bill Amick. A third nine holes, called The Narrows course, was added in the early 1970s. It has hosted over PGA and LPGA events over the years, including the Tallahassee Open, which then became the Centel Classic.
Tuck bought the club in 1995 and leased its operation to American Golf Corporation from 1995 through 2014. His closing of the Narrows course in 2014, to sell a portion of the land to a residential developer with the promise of using funds from the sale for club improvements, led to an extended legal battle with residents with homes along the course. The deal then fell through and the promised improvements weren’t made, leading to decline that led to Tuck’s sale to the member-led group.
Graganella’s group stabilized the operations of the club, improved membership from 150 to 400, hired a chef for its restaurant, renovated tee boxes and added three clay tennis courts, the Democrat reported. It also raised $1.5 million through individual investors.
While now selling two years later, citing the time commitment and costs involved with reviving the club, Graganella expressed excitement about the incoming owners’ vision for the course and club, the Democratreported.
“Given time, I think he is going to make it the best club in Tallahassee,” Graganella, a local businessman, entrepreneur and former athlete at Florida State University, told the Democrat.
“That’s David’s goal,” he added. “This guy is a wonderful man, very intelligent.”