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Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2007

Orchards course for sale

Nine-hole executive facility on the market for $799,900

June 28, 2007

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Two years after selling away his or anyone else's ability to redevelop his Lawrence golf course, Ed White is looking to sell the place.

White, owner of Orchards Golf Course, has listed the nine-hole executive course at 3000 Bob Billings Parkway for $799,900. Since putting his 30-plus acres on the market in April, he said, a few people have inquired about making a purchase.

Mitch Landreth, of lawrence, finishes up a round of golf Wednesday morning at Orchards Golf Course, 3000 Bob Billings Parkway. Owner Ed White wants to sell the nine-hole executive course for $799,900. Because of a conservation easement placed on the property two years ago, if sold, the course would have to remain a golf course or be maintained as open space.

Mitch Landreth, of lawrence, finishes up a round of golf Wednesday morning at Orchards Golf Course, 3000 Bob Billings Parkway. Owner Ed White wants to sell the nine-hole executive course for $799,900. Because of a conservation easement placed on the property two years ago, if sold, the course would have to remain a golf course or be maintained as open space.

He's still waiting for the right person to make a bid.

"Everything's for sale," White said this week. "I put a price on it."

Just two years ago, White put a price on something else at the course - its future development rights - and managed to close a sale.

Dozens of nearby property owners agreed to share in the $280,000 cost of placing a conservation easement on the property. In exchange for the money, White agreed to place a restriction on the deed - one set to pass from property owner to property owner, in perpetuity - that mandates that the property either remain as a golf course or be maintained as open space.

Neighbors convinced the city of Lawrence to cover the bill, in the form of a low-interest loan that the affected property owners could pay back over the course of 10 years.

Orchards Golf Course owner Ed White says business at the course has slowed since the Eagle Bend municipal course opened near Clinton Lake.

Orchards Golf Course owner Ed White says business at the course has slowed since the Eagle Bend municipal course opened near Clinton Lake.

Orchards Golf course goes up for sale

The Orchards Golf Course is for sale, two years after its owner gave up the property's development rights. Enlarge video

The justification: Neighbors didn't want to see White sell the course for development of apartments or another project that could eliminate a recreation option in town, cut into their backyard views or otherwise disturb the relative serenity that a golf course offers.

"We were all really pleased with the result," said Jean Milstead, a leader of the easement effort who spent her Tuesday afternoon awaiting a glass installer to replace a window broken by a wayward golf shot over the weekend. "The city won, the neighbors won and he won."

White maintains that his course is "having a good year," other than when it rains. He has been making a go of it since buying the Orchards Golf Course for $750,000 in February 1992.

"That was before Eagle Bend," said White, a frequent critic of the competing municipal course that opened a few years later near Clinton Lake. "Everything was great then. It's just very good now."

White insists that he doesn't need to sell the course, and certainly has no intention of closing it. He's reseeded and resodded areas of the course that needed attention, and neighbors see plenty of players making their rounds.

"It's going to stay a golf course," White said. "It's just one of those things. Everything's going good, I'm happy and, if somebody wants to buy it, so much the better."

Comments

Sigmund 7 years, 6 months ago

"Neighbors convinced the city of Lawrence to cover the bill, in the form of a low-interest loan that the affected property owners could pay back over the course of 10 years."

Yet another example where a special class of wealthy connected private individuals (Golf Course Owner and a small group of homeowners) getting into the pockets of Lawrence taxpayers. I hope the City Appraisers take note of the monetary increase to those properties and raise their valuations quickly and appropriately. Should be an easy calculation.

Just so we are clear, Lawrence doesn't want to buy your golf course no matter how much we spent on surveys, studies, or consultants, even if it needs to be cleaned up by an environmental firm with oversight by the KDHE, and no matter how much business insurance such a project may need. Kay?

Chuck Wehner 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't think the comment about Eagle Bend hurting his business is right. I've played there once and that was enough for me. Terrible greens and tee boxes and bad maintenance along the entire corse. When you compare green fees I would much prefer Eagle Bend for a few dollars more.

Sigmund 7 years, 6 months ago

here you can have the tissue back, slightly used. Instead of insults please correct what I said:

Yet another example where a special class of wealthy connected private individuals (Golf Course Owner and a small group of homeowners) getting into the pockets of Lawrence taxpayers. I hope the City Appraisers take note of the monetary increase to those properties and raise their valuations quickly and appropriately. Should be an easy calculation.

Sigmund 7 years, 6 months ago

BTW, didn't say it wasn't a good idea or a bad idea. "My point is why should the Lawrence taxpayer be helping to foot the bill on this?" And frankly I would like a nice expensive Apartment Complex on that land adding to the tax roles. KU has nothing but empty land across 15th Street from there. How much green space do you want me to buy for you?

Mkh 7 years, 6 months ago

Make it a nice park (pesticide free of course).

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