GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) — The Garner Town Council decided unanimously at a work session on Tuesday to purchase the 121-acre Meadowbrook Country Club for $2.9 million, town officials said.
Garner town leaders expect the property, located at 8025 Country Club Road, will be redeveloped as a park, recreational facility or open space, Rick Mercier, Garner spokesman, said in a press release.
“The Town will use fund balance to make the purchase and reimburse itself with proceeds from a loan. The loan will be supported by park fees collected from new developments,” Mercier said.
“Town officials and its financial consultant determined that the Town has the financial capacity to make the real-estate acquisition within its current debt-service model because of favorable interest rates on recent bond issuances coupled with recent capital projects being completed without significant cost overruns,” Mercier added.
Town officials believe the land could be developed into a sports venue, but a specific plan and timeframe for development will need to be come through a master-planning process.
The Town already intends to update its Parks and Recreation Master Plan next year after completion of the Comprehensive Growth and Transportation plan updates now underway.
“The timing of this opportunity, which comes as we prepare to embark on a long-range planning process for our parks, recreation and open-space needs, is ideal for the Town and its citizens,” Mayor Ronnie Williams said.
The owner of the property, St. Augustine’s University, approached Garner in the Spring and expressed its intention to sell the property, which has a current tax value of $2,461,472.
“Town officials subsequently evaluated this unique opportunity to acquire a large parcel of land in one of Garner’s key growth areas,” Mercier said. “The Town performed due diligence to determine that a reasonable number and type of fields, facilities or amenities could be developed on the site.”
The country club is within 2 miles of the new South Garner High School and future Bryan Road Elementary and Middle schools, as well as two recently approved new subdivisions with 300 single-family homes and several other existing neighborhoods.
“The Town has a strategic objective to spread parks and recreational facilities around Garner, including in those areas that are expected to see fast growth in the next few years,” Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director Sonya Shaw said.
The property is currently developed primarily as a nine-hole golf course, but town officials said it will not operate it as such.
Town officials have agreed to lease the course back to St. Augustine’s until redevelopment plans are made and funding is secured.