April 11, 2021

Germantown parks and recreation commission to debate buying golf club

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Germantown Country Club to close
Memphis Commercial Appeal

The Germantown Country Club will close its doors for the last time Thursday, but what will happen to the almost 180-acre property next remains unclear.

City officials, developers and members of the golf club have all expressed interest in purchasing the land, either to maintain it as a golf facility, turn it into a park or develop the land for residential use.

Country club owners announced the closure at the beginning of the year in a letter to members, saying the trustee overseeing the golf club recommended shuttering the property for financial reasons. A final decision on whom the property will be sold to will eventually be made by the trustee.

Previously: What will happen to Germantown Country Club after it closes? It could become a public park

Previously: With Germantown Country Club set to close, a group of members is trying to buy the course

A request for proposals for the golf club property will soon be issued by the trustee through a real estate broker. Interested parties can fill out and return the proposal, which will be scrutinized by the trustee who hopes to have a contract on the property by the end of April or beginning of May, according to Germantown officials.

Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo issued a statement after the club closure was announced saying he would not support rezoning the land for uses other than single-family homes and later directed city staff to explore the possibility of the city purchasing the land for a public park.

Since then, a group of country club members has expressed interest in putting together a bid for the golf course and private developers have quietly started eyeing the land for development as well, though some have said they don’t want to get into a bidding war with the city of Germantown at a time when development has become a controversial issue in the city.

Next steps for the city

Germantown city staff has requested an appraisal of the property, which is the next step in the municipality’s discussion of whether to buy it. The parks and recreation commission will discuss the possibility of the city purchasing the property at a meeting Thursday. Parks and recreation director Pam Beasley said at a recent board of mayor and aldermen retreat that she believed the commission would recommend that the city purchase the land to use as a park.

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Any recommendation the commission does make will be passed along to the board of mayor and aldermen with the completed appraisal and recommendations from the city financial advisory commission.

The parks and recreation department has also reached out to state and federal agencies to “seek technical assistance” and has looked for other communities that have gone through golf course conversion projects to see what options are available, city communications director Jessica Comas said in a release.

The city’s parks and recreation master plan steering committee — which was reconvened by the parks and recreation commission explicitly to examine the feasibility of purchasing the golf course — met earlier in the month to discuss how purchasing the golf club might fit into the larger Germantown parks landscape and what uses might match up with previously stated city goals for development of future city parks.

That committee largely expressed support for purchasing the land and using it as some sort of park, with ideas ranging from creating a complex of sports fields to making it into a “passive park,” mostly wide-open green space, perhaps with a nature center or small dog park.

This story will be updated after the Germantown parks and recreation commission meeting on Thursday evening.

Corinne Kennedy covers Germantown for the Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at Corinne.Kennedy@CommercialAppeal.com or on Twitter @CorinneSKennedy

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