Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TOP STORY >> Golf courses to reopen after sale

Leader staff writer

Greystone Country Club-- sold Friday afternoon for $1,065,000, or $215,000 more than the previous bid that a bank rejected a week earlier.

The new owners say they will reopen the golf courses that have been closed for eight months and will not develop the land for other purposes.

Mountain Springs, the front course with the clubhouse, went to Jim Cooper of Melbourne, owner of Coopers Hawk Golf Course and nursing homes for $650,000.

An employee at Cooper Management Corporation in Melbourne said Tuesday that Cooper was out of the office and could not be called. But an employee at the golf course said the plan is to reopen.

Cypress Creek, the back course, went to Cabot businessman Steve Grimm for $415,000. Grimm says he intends to reopen the course, but it needs a lot of work and he doesn’t know if it will reopen this year or next.

Grimm was part of a group that included Greystone residents, who were the high bidders on the back course on March 1, when both were auctioned for Metropolitan National Bank. By late afternoon on March 2, the bank had rejected that bid, as well as the bid on the front course, turning down $475,000 for Mountain Springs and $375,000 for Cypress Creek.

Grimm said many from the Greystone group joined him in trying after March 2 to buy the courses, but in the end he alone made the deal with the bank. Now he is looking for investors and believes those same people will be involved.

Grimm, 62, moved to Cabot from Stuttgart in 2000. He said he’s a golfer but not a very good one. However, owning a golf course has been on his “bucket list” for some time.

He said he is only a little concerned that this is not the right economy to go into such a venture.

“With the economy the way it is and gas prices, Greystone is in a slow phase but I think it will turn around. It’s a long-term investment.

“I have this vision that we will have a beautiful course out there,” Grimm said.

The courses are zoned residential, and city officials have said they will not rezone for commercial development or approve residential subdivisions.

Jack King and Bill Minton owned and operated the country club until they defaulted on a $1.2 million loan from Metropolitan National Bank. The club reportedly lost 100 members in 2010 and was falling $40,000 short of needed revenue every month.

Property owners, most of whom were not members of the country club, said their property values declined 30 percent when the club closed.