Tallahassee Reports has learned that the ‘Special Restrictive Covenant”, associated with the Killearn Country Club, requires the owner of the club to offer to sell the club to the current members if a decision is made to discontinue playing golf on any of the courses.
Tallahassee Reports recently published a story about the proposal by current club owner, Barton Tuck, to close the North nine holes of the 27 hole golf course.
The restrictive covenants were filed on April 30, 1981 with Leon County Clerk of the Court. Section five of the covenant states:
Upon reaching a decision to discontinue golfing play and operations upon said restricted use areas, but prior to the cessation of such activities, the then owners of the real property restricted hereby shall offer to the then active members of Killearn Golf and Country Club, by whatever name at the time, to sell for cash such facilities at the then fair market value…
The language goes on to detail how the fair market value is determined and the time line for specific events.
This information was not presented or discussed at the latest meeting between the current owner and the members which was held last week at the club.
Sources tell Tallahassee Reports the fair market value of the club, based on current revenues, could be between two and three million dollars.
After hearing about the potential closing of the course I spent hours researching the current state of golf in general. The outlook for golf is bleak at best. Google ‘golf closures’ and you will be armed with enough information to know that even if the north nine is redeveloped there is no guarantee the redeveloped clubhouse and remaining 18 will be enough to avoid future closure. People are not playing this sport like they used to and there appears to be little that can be done to change that. I am in my late 40’s and use to play golf every weekend in my 20’s and early 30’s. Being a member of country club offered me unparalleled networking opportunities. Out my door to in my door was typically a six to seven hour commitment to play 18 and socialize at the club. People just don’t have time for that anymore if they are a working professional. With the internet comes networking efficiencies that far exceed what a brick and mortar club can offer. Where I used to be plugged into the club crowd I am now plugged into LinkedIn.
The fair market value would be of the golf course as a going concern, not some hypothetical highest and best use that isn’t allowed under the restrictive covenant.
The special covenant was available at the membership meeting and this is nothing new. It is unrealistic for members to buy 287 acres of property zoned for single family homes. If you use a low estimate of $50k per acre (extremely low, probably more like $100k), the property is worth close to $15 million. And then you need to come up with operating costs on top of that. I suppose that would result in huge assessments of the then “equity members”. Mr. Tuck clearly has presented the best option for members and homeowners and I hope that this push back doesn’t reult in him walking away and selling to a developer to build homes on the whole property.
I just read the special covenant. It doesn’t say the members can vote to remove it. It says when any part of the golf course lands is proposed to be discontinued as a golf course, the owner MUST provide an offer to membership to sell at golf course use appraised value. There must be an offer from the owner now per the covenant. The removal of the covenant is something that requires full vote of the Killearn HOA, not just membership.
Mr. Tuck’s promises to renovate the facility and continue to operate the golf course once he has proceeds from a partial sale in hand will be very difficult to enforce legally.
Mr. Tuck is 76 years old and pretty obviously has no long term interest in running a golf course in Tallahassee.
Perhaps we all have to prepare for change and for some level of development to occur at some time in the future. But, for the KHA, that shouldn’t mean rushing to support a proposal that will include the worst kind of development and expose the KHA to lawsuits from its own members.
Breaking news? Hahahaha! If anyone really thinks this is a viable option, you are sorely mistaken! Why do people continue to be so narrow minded in Tallahassee. We shudder at the thought of any change. People, if this change does not happen, Killearn Country Club will NOT be here in 10 years. You think that will help your property values? Do any of us members know how to run a golf club? Sure, many think they do, but I promise you they don’t. Let the experts handle it and lets show our support for their interest in the long term success of Killearn Country Club!
JT makes a good point, if members vote to allow development to North Course, what will be in place to make sure current owner does not pull back on redesign to clubhouse, golf shop, etc. and sell rest of land and allow it to be developed in 2021 when 40 year restriction is lifted? Before vote, all needs to be in writing and club members need legal representation as well as KHA!!!
@Speak before you think…I say, think before you act. If I had to guess, JT sounds like someone that IS thinking about the future of KCC and what is possible if we vote without looking at what could happen.
I was originally in favor of the Developer’s plan. Everyone knows that the facilities need to be re-done. But now, I think want to see what all the options are, and what is in the best interest of the club as a whole. Maybe that involves closing the North Course and maybe it doesn’t, but I am concerned that it seems like this option information was not disclosed or discussed, and that the Developer is trying to rush a vote without sufficient time for everyone to consider the impact of the removal of the restrictive covenants, and what would happen to the course, and to property values as a whole, if the re-development fails.