Archive for Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Alvamar golf courses, country club for sale; asking price is $6.5 million

Company says it’s encouraged by interest shown so far

Golfer and Lawrence resident Marcello Hall practices on the driving range Tuesday at Alvamar Golf and Country Club. Owners of Alvamar Inc. have decided to sell the two golf courses for a price of $6.5 million.

Golfer and Lawrence resident Marcello Hall practices on the driving range Tuesday at Alvamar Golf and Country Club. Owners of Alvamar Inc. have decided to sell the two golf courses for a price of $6.5 million.

October 26, 2010


The owners of Alvamar Inc. are working to sell their two golf courses, country club operation and other recreational aspects of the company that helped drive much of Lawrence’s western growth since the late 1960s.

Asking price: $6.5 million.

“Alvamar has been an asset from day one, and remains an enormous asset for this community,” said Bob Johnson, chairman of Alvamar’s board of directors. “It is our expectation that it will continue as that well into the future. … It is significant, and our intent is to treat it as such for the shareholders and the community.”

Alvamar leaders officially put the company’s recreational assets on the market two weeks ago, looking to give the company’s 120 shareholders a chance to liquidate their investments. Many shareholders have been owners for more than 25 years, and are ready to move on now that they’ve reached retirement age and beyond.

“It is a sale being proposed by the choice of the owners, and not a dictate by any other source,” Johnson said.

Current board members took over operations at Alvamar several years ago, following the death of Alvamar founder Bob Billings. The transition led to litigation over past operations, pitting the current board against previous management.

The litigation has since been settled — terms remain confidential — and the company’s recreation segment swung from a loss of $426,000 in 2006 to a profit of $72,853 last year. An audited projection forecasts profit climbing to more than $368,000 a year in 2015, thanks in large part to continued increases in membership.

“We’ve put it in position to be salable, but if it doesn’t sell, it can continue as a positive operation,” Johnson said.

Company representatives already have heard from a handful of brokers, including one who qualifies as a potential “legitimate, bona fide inquiry,” Johnson said.

“If we were selling a house and we were having an open house, I’d say we’d had a couple of people walk through,” he said. “It’s absolutely encouraging.”

Not included in the marketing is the other side of Alvamar’s asset list: 17 parcels totaling 165 acres of residential and commercial property — some of it developed, most of it not — at the west side of Lawrence.

Bob McKinney, chairman of Alvamar’s executive committee, said that the company’s leaders had decided to pursue a sale of the recreational assets because those were showing increased revenues and ongoing opportunities, given the current economic climate.

“The golf course probably has better marketability than the other land,” McKinney said.

Alvamar has hired SD Investments, of Tampa, Fla., to assess the market and seek potential buyers. The offering includes both 18-hole golf courses; the private clubhouse, dining room and related operations; the public clubhouse, pro shop and snack bar; an indoor/outdoor private practice facility; cart storage; a maintenance building; and access to a private pool on the campus of Bishop Seabury Academy.

Also part of the deal would be more than 1,000 Alvamar golf and social memberships. Alvamar has 70 full-time, permanent employees.

While the overall golf market is in “considerable distress,” there are deals being consummated, said Larry Hirsh, president of Golf Property Analysts, a Pennsylvania-based firm that has handled more than 2,500 course appraisals and related work in 45 states, Canada and the Caribbean.

“People are buying and selling them,” said Hirsh, who has been appraising courses and their operations for 25 years. “It’s just very difficult to get financing.”


LogicMan 7 years, 8 months ago

My x-ray eyes see houses springing up on that land in the not too distant future.

JustNoticed 7 years, 8 months ago

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Steve Jacob 7 years, 8 months ago

Hate to say this, but the first thing someone who spends that money will do is lay off some of those 70 employees.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

When the zombie invasion comes, the sand traps can be converted to mortar pits.

alfie 7 years, 8 months ago

As a homeowner that lives on this course, what happens to this property is of great concern for myself and for all the other property owners. There will be a lot more to this story before it is over with

Don Whiteley 7 years, 8 months ago

Do what the residents around the Orchards course did; pay Alvamar to agee to a zoning change that ensures the property stays green in perpetuity without unanimous apporval of the residents.

kernal 7 years, 8 months ago

Shawnee CC in Topeka was up for sale earlier this year; don't know what happened with that. They used to have one of the best golf courses in the area decades ago. Key word being decades.

MIke Mallory 7 years, 8 months ago

shawnee CC was bought back by the bank that held the loan. they purchased for about 1.5 million. the course has went downhill over the last few years.

Kookamooka 7 years, 8 months ago

Yep. Houses. Giant putty palaces or multi-family. That's just about the extent of the developers imagination in this town. We're looking to move out of Lawrence soon. The city is being ravaged by multi-family housing units that aren't at full capacity. It's a travesty.

puddleglum 7 years, 8 months ago

it would be cool if the city could just buy it out and put in a dragstrip...that would rock.

geoismeo 7 years, 8 months ago

That would be a good spot for a motocross track.

Robert Rauktis 7 years, 8 months ago

"retirement age and beyond."

There's a "beyond"? Ain't no pockets in a shroud.

in123 7 years, 8 months ago

The good ole boys in city hall and the county courthouse are probably putting their bid together. We need additional green space and community center. Just add it to the sales tax.

imastinker 7 years, 8 months ago

I can't imagine anyone would spend 6.5 mil on something that only made them 100k last year and is projected to make 400k this year!!

I always assumed that country club was set up as an HOA of sorts with the ground owned as communal property by the adjoining property owners. I guess not.

lwctown 7 years, 8 months ago

That is provided the buyers pay in cash. Borrow money for a commercial project and the interest on the loan will eat up alot or all of that 6%.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

alfie very well should be concerned about this deal. There is a moribund course near my winter home that is an eyesore. I'm not sure of the disposition of the property but it seems that if a homeowner in proximity wants the grounds kept on the course, they must be responsible to do it. It becomes overgrown and there are various kinds of snakes, large spiders, etc. that plague those who live around it.

The saving grace for the homeowners around Alvamar is that some of the course is in flood zone and would never (?) be built on. That and the economy might buy some time for those who would love to get the hell out of Lawrence, but then again, it will probably be a really hard sale at a greatly reduced price.

jmadison 7 years, 8 months ago

18 million for the library, 6.5 million for 2 golf courses with attendant buildings.

Bud Stagg 7 years, 8 months ago

makes you wonder what they are going to do with that 18 million doesn't it? For 1/3 of that money you can buy how many acres of land in the heart of the city? The Library is a money grab.

Clovis Sangrail 7 years, 8 months ago

How about the Loring Henderson School of Groundskeeping and Food Service.

Put up quonset huts to house the homeless, then let them maintain the grounds, work in the restaurant, be lifeguards in the pool, and operate the pro shop.

Hire a few professionals, and make the homeless apprentices, then give them a certificate once they have mastered their trade.

Then, they can go on to productive jobs in the exciting and fast-paced country club industry.

That would be my first choice. My second would be to put up some Section 8 housing.

bailoutnation 7 years, 8 months ago

6.5 mil? Shoot, I'll take it, just put it on my tab. Then when I don't pay, I'll beg for a government bailout like the bankers, real estate folks, builders, and auto makers.

BigAl 7 years, 8 months ago

Or you could take farm subsidies like the millionaire wannabe governor Brownback.

GUMnNUTS 7 years, 8 months ago

I think the public course would be a great place to build 10 or 12 apartment complexes, it would also help out Eagle Bend as it would be the only public course in town.

somedude20 7 years, 8 months ago

for $6.5 millon it had better come with Carl Spackler.

"Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity."

pace 7 years, 8 months ago

Talk about hazardous waste site. I have heard tales that would turn your stomache. Keeps me from making a joke about maybe returning the land back to farmland. Good luck to the investors and the neighbors. I

questionthings 7 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm....I wonder if they really liquidate their investments because, they reached retirement age and beyond? Why didn't the shareholders that reached the beyond age liquidate their investments back when they reached retirement age?

Richard Payton 7 years, 8 months ago

Joke - Please bring Sherriff Joe and the tent city!!!

coolmarv 7 years, 8 months ago

I heard that the pool is owned by Bishop Seabury and that Alvamar's lease runs out in 2012. BSA would then take out the pool and use that area for a possible expantion. The school does not use the pool and is not available to students unless they are Alvamar members.

alfie 7 years, 8 months ago

Can anyone post-up where to find the listing info about the property?

Kent Fisher 7 years, 8 months ago

Compton will certainly bid on this property.

garyr 7 years, 8 months ago

Didn't Lew say he wanted to stay in Lawrence? Could this be a Perkin's Paradise Pad!!!

Judgesmails 7 years, 8 months ago

Buy Alvamar?!!??

Gambling is illegal at alvamar and i NEVER slice !!


alfie 7 years, 8 months ago

Can anyone post-up where to find the listing info about the property?

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