The Gedney Farms White Plains NY neighborhood has been on pins and needles since the 2009 announcement that the Ridgeway Golf Club including the Golf course that graces the neighborhood was up for sale. The financial reversals of 2008 hit the Ridgeway’s members severely and the resulting drop in membership forced the Ridgeway to put their beloved golf club on the block to the highest bidder. It went on the market at $20 million.
Recently the Golf Club sent letters to the residents of Gedney Farms that stated there was a buyer who was willing to use the land as a golf course for at least five years. The residents heaved a sigh of relief. Bulldozers were not moving in tomorrow.
However, the neighborhood was rocked again by the news that the deal had fallen through and the golf course was once again up for sale.
Now that the price of the golf club has been reduced to $13.5 million – it is literally on the block for a “song.” Naturally, the difficult real estate market had no small effect on the price. But what many don’t know is that only a portion of that land is capable of being developed given the extensive wetlands the golf club sits on. The new price certainly is a reflection of both of these issues.
It has also opened the door for the city to buy the land. The reduced price combined with record low interest rates has caused mayor Adam Bradley to act. Already the City Council has had several sessions discussing the possibility of purchasing the golf club. Whether this is possible from a fiscal perspective remains to be seen. Public golf courses have been profitable and popular in other municipalities. So the loss of tax revenue could potentially made up with fees for golfers.
This would be an absolute positive for Gedney Farms. Leaving that land that dominates the areas landscape open space – even if its in the form of a public golf course is a win for the neighborhood.
For the city – purchasing the land would prevent developers from attempting to find a way around the wetlands issues. Certainly the argument could be made that the majority of the land is environmentally sensitive Flooding has become an increasing issue in White Plains as well as neighboring towns and it is difficult to predict the impact of extensive building on this site. Further development in the area certainly wouldn’t improve the situation – and could cause considerable harm.
As an agent I can attest to the fact that the last thing White Plains NY or Gedney Farms needs is more high-end inventory on the market. But given the zoning – that is what we are going to get.
Green space is at a premium in White Plains and the specter of a public course is certainly a positive one. It remains to be seen as to whether this makes fiscal sense for the city to throw its hat in the ring. After all, it is a major expense for the city to take on during a fiscal crisis. Just a few months ago we were looking at a tax increase that could have been an eye-popping 19%. So the city doesn’t exactly have revenue to play with. The practicality of such a plan is most certainly being hotly debated
© 2010 Ruthmarie G. Hicks https://thwestchesterview.com – All rights reserved.
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