BREAKING NEWS: Local Businessman to Purchase Killearn Country Club Property

BREAKING NEWS: Local Businessman to Purchase Killearn Country Club Property

Tallahassee Reports has learned that J.T Burnette, a successful Tallahassee businessman, has signed an agreement to purchase the 35 acres of the “North Nine” golf course that is at the center of a redevelopment debate.

The sale is contingent on a number of parameters, which includes a rezoning of the property to allow for residential development.

The current rezoning application, submitted by Killearn Country Club owner Barton Tuck,  seeks an urban development designation that allows for 10 units/acre.

However, Burnette told TR that his plans are to develop an over 55 deed restricted community with approximately 135 units – this is about 4 units/acre.

The City Commission is scheduled to take up the issue on April 4th. The Planning Commission recommended denial of the original application in a 3-2 vote earlier this year.

There have been reports that Mr. Tuck was considering an elder care unit for the development. However, Burnette’s proposal includes only residential properties.

The lay out of the new homes attempts to address a major concern for the homeowners that will border the development by providing a minimum 125 foot buffer.

“I am a local guy. This project needs to look like Killearn Estates single family homes with greenways protecting the existing homeowners not a three story 300 unit apartment complex. I want to do what I can do make the club work given the current financial realities. I am not responsible for where the situation is now, but I think I can help move things forward in a positive way”, said Burnette.

Burnette told TR that the success of his project is tied to the construction of a new club house with amenities that will help the Killearn Country Club be successful.

JT Burnette

“I am committed to using my own resources if required, to ensure Mr. Tuck facilitates his obligations with the construction of a new club house that meets the high standards of Killearn Estates,” said Burnette.

Mr. Burnette, who is probably best known for his purchase, re-development, and selling of Hotel Duval, has a number of business interests in Tallahassee. He has owned restaurants, mixed-use developments and was the force behind the downtown Gateway building.

Check back for updates.


27 Responses to "BREAKING NEWS: Local Businessman to Purchase Killearn Country Club Property"

  1. Most of them are taking the $$$$$!!
    Including Mayor Gillum.

    !Notables on the subpoena include Adam Corey, the developer of The Edison and former campaign treasure for Gillum; Paige Carter-Smith, Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement Authority; Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve; and JT Burnette, a local developer who has worked on projects including Hotel Duval.

  2. Now if we can vote to de-annex from the City and at the same time replace the City of Tallahassee utilities with Talquin. I am tired of paying the bills for the rest of the City.

  3. Lower density development of the 35 acre is a positive. Apartments bring non ownership occupants into possession that ruins single family ownership amenities as they have no interest in the area as a temporary resident. If Burnette ‘s 4 units per acre entails nothing but townhouses (front facing garages on 40 foot lots) that is not a continuation of our lovely Killearn Estates on 3/4 acre lots (side entry garages). Trust he will come up with some publishable details that will clue us all in .

  4. Oh. Left something out. How about that wonderful Killearn Homes Association Executive Board calling SECRET MEETINGS and making sure they only meet 4 at a time to prevent having a quorum and being required by Florida Statute to open the meetings up to the people WHO ELECTED THEM???? Aren’t THEY a reliable bunch? Aren’t THEY serving the community well?

  5. Mr. Burnett met with some homeowners – some invited – many not. No information regarding viable road access, storm water, preventing Mr. Tuck from selling any other portions of the North 9, the “core” (where pool, tennis courts, parking lot, and current clubhouse are), or rezoning sites A, B, C, D was known by him or his posse. No knowledge of storm water or traffic issues for Sawgrass, Tree Harbour, Pebble Creek, Shamrock Street were known. No specifics, just “hopes.” No knowledge of Mr. Tuck’s history at Brights Creek, Beacon Ridge, Forest Creek or Club at Vineterra were known. No knowledge of the ramifications of the lis pendens or the possible appeal of the lawsuit after the class action appeal is decided. Mr. Burnett claimed he was “not an expert” on City Land Use Policies and the Comp Plan; very strange for someone who has been involved with so many “successful properties.” Lots of “hope to” and “we’ll look at that later” comments. Wouldn’t back down from R4 zoning though when asked about how the supposed deed restrictions could be enforced, he said, we’d have to sue. Wasn’t aware that litigation is Mr. Tuck’s hobby. Spouted a bunch of BS direct from the mouth of the Planning Staff about Kilrush and Kenilworth needing to be able to rebuild their “houses” if they burned down. Entire plan NOT FULLY THOUGHT THROUGH AT ALL. When those at the meeting representing the hundreds of homeowners who want protections against mass slaughter of the golf course, they suggested he join them and ask the Commission to delay any decision for THIRTY DAYS to continue to meet with the community to hammer out a more detailed plan which would protect everyone. After all, THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THE HOMEOWNERS HAVE BEEN CONSULTED – TEN DAYS BEFORE THE VOTE. Mr. Burnett bullied them Tuck style and said, “I’m not a patient person. It’s now or never.” He’s not PATIENT????? We’ve been trying to find a solution to this nightmare for TWO AND A HALF YEARS AND HE’S NOT PATIENT????? He planted shills at the meeting (one of them is the guy who will do much of the building) who were uninvited and we never saw before. They claimed we don’t have the votes. How do they know? They claimed they have only talked to Commissioners Maddox and Ziffer. Well, we’ve talked to EVERYONE and we feel our arguments about this being a direct violation of MULTIPLE (four) land use policies and completely inconsistent with the Comp Plan Vision Statement is something the MAYOR and two other Commissioners, as well as the City Attorney may realize is setting them up for a Comp Plan Challenge lawsuit. Let’s find a solution – but let’s do it with thought. We have lots of good ideas which will protect the land while giving Mr. Tuck the money he needs to build the clubhouse and pay off his $2.6 million of loans, while enable Mr. Burnett to make his money. Trouble is, NO ONE WILL ASK OR LISTEN. It’s always, “their way or the highway.” I for one am tired of scared golf course owners and developers trying to intimidate and threaten me.

    1. Laurie Davis, I live in another area of Florida, Mr Tuck is in the process of attempting to buy the golf course in our community. The price is supposedly 2.6 million.I’m curious if you can shed any light as to what we are in for if the sale goes through and if you could expound on his track record with the courses that you mentioned. Any information is appreciated. DEF

  6. I’ll be the cynic. Was this the plan all along. Threaten the homeowners with a size 15 shoe up their rear ends, then do a quick change to a size 8. Homeowners happy, still getting shafted.

  7. My wife and I would also be interested in any floor plans or architectural designs for this project. Would this 55+ community be part of the current Killearn Homeowner Association?

    1. Of course. Do you think the KHA is going to pass on the opportunity for MORE money in their coffers for all those parks no one uses?

      1. No kidding Sherlock. Why do you think Tuck and supporters are battling as hard as they are??? And please, if you’re going to respond with “oh to fill Tuck’s pockets!”, try a new line cause we all know that ain’t the case BEC. You obviously played during the week as a guest if you paid $35. Shame on you cause you can’t tell me that golf course isn’t one the better ones in town. There are MEMBERS that would love to tell you just how great our course is. See the bigger picture.

        1. Why don’t you pay attention to the post I was responding to…SHERLOCK! It was regarding Summerbrook!

          For the record, I am a member at Killearn!

          Settle down Francis!

  8. This can’t be true because I don’t see it reported on the Tallahassee Democrat.. only stories about sandwiches named for political figures.

    1. And photos of land clearing in the ghetto.
      (Plus all the hard news: the obligatory videos of puppies, babies and purple unicorns.)

      Honestly, they should just rent the entire parking lot out to the Ford dealership for storage.

  9. Mr. Burnette,
    Are there any actual plans or computer renderings, etc. of the proposed 55-plus development and/or floor plans of the units you plan to construct on the site? And will they be separate homes or townhomes as was once described? Any info or updates you can provide are much appreciated.
    Like many other active seniors, my wife and I are very interested in such a townhome development, and also very glad to see that Tallahassee may finally start considering these types of developments. Until now, Tallahassee builders and others have sadly not shown any real interest in 55+ communities or senior townhomes – although in most other cities in FL they are very common.
    Very happy that this is the type of development you are considering!

  10. Mr. Burnette had better be prepared to address the sudden rezoning ‘problems’ which will come up…meaning $$$ to certain city commissioners coffers.

  11. BOOM! With 125 foot buffer and 4 units per acre development no one should have issues with this anymore, as this should enhance property values if Tuck follows thru with golf course and clubhouse improvements.

    1. So, where are you getting a 125 foot buffer? And this is enforceable after comp plan amendment to 10 units/acre how? It has been, and continues to be a moving target based on what Tuck and his hirelings think the Commission wants to hear. You tell me how Mr. Burnette’s proposal is enforceable after the Urban Residential comp plan amendment is approved, and where a 125 foot buffer is included, and I’ll say BOOM. Otherwise it’s PFFFFT.

      1. Deed restriction on the number of units per acer and a conservation easement on the 125’ buffer. The deed restriction and conservation easement will override the comp plan amendments. Let me know if you have any questions.

        JT Burnette 850-339-7879

        1. JT,

          I live on the 8th hole of the north course which has been called ground zero. Would you be willing to meet with those homeowners that surround the proposed development area?


          1. Pat, please give me a call tomorrow my cell # 850-339-7879 and we can set up a time I would love to meet.


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