Developer hopes to turn Eagan golf course into housing
Golfers took full advantage of the warm weather Monday as they hit a few rounds at Parkview Golf Club. But if one developer has its way, Eagan residents will have one fewer places to putt.
Eden Prairie-based real estate developer Hunter Emerson has notified city officials and residents it intends to build 173 homes on the nearly 80-acre site.
“This is a piece of property that we have been looking at for quite some time,” said Kurt Manley, spokesman for Hunter Emerson. “We were drawn to the location and the Eagan community.”
The developer’s plans for the site at 1310 Cliff Road also call for a clubhouse, community gathering space, neighborhood parks and a bike path that would connect the new development to the Fairway Hills neighborhood and Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Home prices would range from $200,000 to $650,000.
Hunter Emerson recently purchased the property from the club’s owner, and hopes the city will change its guide plan to allow such a development.
Its proposal to amend the guide plan will go before the planning commission on May 22. If it gets approval from the commission, the amendment will move on to the City Council for consideration.
This latest development plan comes as yet another sign to city officials that Eagan’s real estate market is starting to recover.
“We’re seeing activity that wasn’t seen in a while, in part, due to the fact that Eagan is closer in (toward the core cities),” said Jon Hohenstein, Eagan community development director.
In addition to housing, commercial development has begun to pop up across the suburban city.
Just in the last few months, CSM announced plans to turn the 51-acre Lockheed Martin property in Eagan into a retail development and an East Coast developer presented plans for an outlet mall in the Cedar Grove redevelopment area.
But not everyone takes an optimistic viewpoint when looking at Hunter Emerson’s redevelopment plans.
Kathleen Browne, who lives near the golf club, said she is concerned about losing yet another golf course in Eagan.
Browne said she would like to see nine of the 18 holes preserved for golfing.
But Manley pointed out that the existing 18-hole golf club is already struggling, therefore, a smaller one would not make economic sense.
If the project moves forward, Parkview will be the second Eagan golf club to be turned into housing. Carriage Hills was sold nearly 10 years ago to developers who intended on redeveloping the property into housing, but were stalled by the recession. Another developer has since began construction.
Only one golf course — Lost Spur — would remain.
However, Hohenstein notes that there are several golf courses nearby in Apple Valley and Burnsville.
Though golf course owners have sold to developers in the past, it’s far from a trend, said Curt Walker, executive director of the Midwest Golf Course Owners Association.
Historically, selling a golf course to housing developers was a popular move, but in with the slumped market in recent years, few club owners turn to that option, Walker said.
“This is the first I’ve heard of it in five to 10 years,” he said.
In addition to her concerns about losing a local golf course, Browne questions whether new housing will sell in a down housing market, but hopes if the development does sell it will boost property values in nearby neighborhoods.
Browne said she also has concerns about traffic and storm water management.
Several steps will need to be taken before the developer can break ground. Among other things, the City Council would need to rezone the site as residential and approve detailed plans before the project can move forward.