City of Austin purchasing Grey Rock Golf Club and Circle C Tennis Center

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The city of Austin will soon own Grey Rock Golf Club and Circle C Tennis Center.

On March 20, Austin City Council approved buying Grey Rock from The Golf Club at Circle C LP for $9.6 million.

By a 6-1 margin, City Council passed motions to buy the property, increase the Parks and Recreation Department capital budget and issue bonds to pay for the purchase. Councilwoman Laura Morrison opposed.

The debt will have no added burden on the tax rate, according to city staff.

City leaders said they were interested in buying Grey Rock to preserve green space in a parks-deficient area of town.

A statement from The Golf Club at Circle C LP reads that the course’s owners were delighted when negotiations began.  “We were told the city was interested in Grey Rock because it wanted this area to remain green, undeveloped and wanted to add a high-quality golf course to [its] inventory,” it states.  The statement also says the city has promised to maintain “the same high standards we have tried to employ.”  “We expect the conditions and playability to be as good in the future as [they have] has been during our stewardship,” it states.

Terms of purchase

The 18-hole golf course was built in 1992 as part of the Circle C Ranch master plan. The property also includes eight tennis courts, three maintenance facilities, a driving range and a clubhouse. Under the approved contracts, the city will pay $8.5 million for the facility and $1.1 million for related expenses such as an environmental assessment and small capital improvements.

According to a third-party appraiser, the purchase price and the additional funds are below the current fair market value. The city has not developed a golf property since the Roy Kizer Golf Course in 1994.

Council discussion Highlights:

City documents state it would cost Austin $18 million to build and develop a property such as Grey Rock.  Councilwoman Laura opposing the deal took issue with spending  $9.6 million on a single golf course after City Council has told other neighborhoods that there were no funds for their projects. She added that she did not know where the course ranked as a priority citywide.

Sara Hensley, Parks and Recreation Department director, said golf is a learning activity for children and a sport for all ages.

Kevin Gomillion, the city’s Golf Division manager, said the property is in the Edwards Aquifer recharge area and includes open space that could be used for nature trails.

Greg Canally, the city’s deputy chief financial officer, said course revenues would cover half of the city’s debt service.

Staff said that Grey Rock’s owners would redevelop the property into residential housing if the city did not buy the land. The site could support 90 estate lots.

City staff said they were interested in operating the property in the most environmentally sustainable fashion possible.

“I don’t mind if you want to reduce the number of water hazards and save money on that. That is fine with me,” Mayor Lee Leffingwell joked before the final vote.

 What do you think?

For properties around the Grey Rock Golf club contact the HomesAroundAustin team of Realtors today! 

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