Tallahassee Reports has learned that the financial situation with the Killearn Country Club has become so dire that consideration is being given to closing all golf operations and turning the 18 hole course into walking trails.
Sources tell TR that developer JT Burnett recently met with Killearn Homeowners Association (KHA) representatives at an “Executive Board” meeting and said he believed Barton Tuck – the owner of the club – would take $1 million for the 18 hole golf course.
The “Executive Board” is made up of Board President David Ferguson, Board Vice-President Gloria Arias, Secretary Charles Faircloth, and Treasurer Philip Inglese.
After a discussion about the costs of running the golf course, talks centered around the demolition of all the structures on the land and converting the course into walking trails.
There was also a discussion about swapping land that the KHA owns to reduce the costs to purchase the course.
TR was told that the land discussed included property at the entrance of the Killearn neighborhood from Thomasville Road and property that is home to a community pool and tennis courts on Killearney Way.
The “Executive Board” meeting comes after long-time Killearn Country Club General Manager and Barton Tuck supporter Lori Wilkey abruptly resigned.
The “Executive Board” meeting was followed by a February 5th Board meeting where the issue was discussed and ultimately no action was taken.
David Ferguson, the President of the KHA Board of Directors, told TR that the Board has discussed various scenarios with Tuck and his representatives, in addition to the recent $1 million offer.
Ferguson was reluctant to discuss the specifics of the “Executive Board” meeting.
However, Ferguson said that nothing would be decided until the current litigation over the proposed development is resolved.
The future of the course has been tied up in litigation since the Tallahassee City Commission gave the go-ahead for a controversial redevelopment plan in April 2017 which resulted in the closing of the north nine holes of the 27-hole course.
The lawsuit is scheduled for oral argument on March 12, 2019 at the First District Court of Appeal.
TR was told by people close to the situation that the discussion about closing the golf course was based on the financial realities facing the club. The combination of fewer people playing golf and a facility that has become an eye sore are not ideal conditions for attracting investment.
However, some club members and neighborhood residents believe the quality of the golf course and the location – in the middle of the Killearn Estates neighborhood – can attract the resources needed to revive the club.