The Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., property was sold to Alta Mar Holdings LLC in February, and the new owners are considering selling off some of the property for a multifamily development project. Rumors of the potential deal have raised the ire of residents, but the property manager has said the community would have to approve any changes.
The possibility that part of the golf course at Ponte Vedra Golf & Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., could be developed into homes has some of the club’s residents up in arms, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Business Journal reported.
A month after the Ponte Vedra Golf & Country Club was sold to Alta Mar Holdings LLC in February, the new owners have told the community’s board of directors it may redevelop part of the golf course by selling off some of the property for a multifamily development project, the Business Journal reported.
That possibility sparked an anonymous letter distributed to homes in the community. “The Players Club community has been in existence since 1975, providing quality living for our residents,” the letter reads. “This includes affordable recreation.”
The letter said it is reacting to rumors that Alta Mar would cut the number of holes from 18 to 12 and sell the land where the other six holes are located to the owners of Vicar’s Landing. That property, which has access to Florida A1A, would then become the site of a three-story condominium and 200 patio homes, the Business Journal reported.
“As homeowners, we do not think this is in the community’s best interest,” the letter said.
The property managers’ response: Any development plans would require a change in zoning that the county would have to approve. As part of that process, the property managers’ letter said, all homeowners would have a chance to voice their support or opposition for the plans. The letter sidestepped the details of any plans for the property, but does indicate that talks about development have taken place, the Business Journal reported.
“For the good of the entire community, your Board of Directors, acting through appointed committees, has engaged in a series of conversations with the current owner of the golf course property with respect to possible future uses,” the property manager’s response reads. “Such discussions could result in the Board of Directors considering an amendment to the supplementary declaration that would allow some level of non-recreational development of the golf course property.”
One of the managing members of the limited liability corporation that owns Alta Mar Holdings told a Players Club homeowner that they have had conversations with the owners of Vicar’s Landing, a 24-acre community about a mile away from the Players Club. That development has a two-year waiting list for new tenants, the Business Journal reported.
In an email to the homeowner, Jeff Miller said he, too, believes the golf course has value to the community. “However, as everyone knows, operating a golf course costs money,” he said. “Nobody benefits if the existing 18-hole course is allowed to remain in the condition it was under Jamey Golf or, possibly, deteriorate even further.”
The golf course was the first built in what is now known as TPC Sawgrass, starting as a nine-hole course. Before its current name, it had been called Thousand Oaks and the Oakbridge Golf Club. At one point, the PGA Tour was rumored to be interested in buying the course, something the tour denied. Over the years, the course fell into disrepair, the Business Journal reported.
Not everyone in the neighborhood is worried about part of the course being developed, though. Tyler Saldutti, the CEO of Jacksonville-based Prime Realty, lives in Sawgrass Players Club and said if concessions take into account the increased traffic, he would support redevelopment efforts, the Business Journal reported.
Because of the beach, Ponte Vedra has been developed with all the residential running parallel to the ocean with no true center of the community, Saldutti said. Having a more dense residential development could help create a “heart” for the area that could complement the momentum of the development of Sawgrass Village as it expands, the Business Journal reported.
Eventually, the area could be something that facilitates more of a sense of community, Saldutti said. “I’m going to be curious as to what they eventually come out with,” he said.