Granite Pointe has unveiled plans for residential development it hopes will secure the long-term viability of the financially struggling golf course.
The plans call for the development of a total 16-to-17 acre site split into two parcels that sit next to Granite Pointe’s entrance in Rosemont as well as around the clubhouse. A mix of condos and duplexes are listed as possibilities for the site, which can hold up to 306 residential units as well as a few small commercial spaces.
Oliver Berkeley, the golf course’s project director, introduced the plans to a group of local residents and members last week at the clubhouse. Berkeley, whose career is in real estate consultancy, said the concepts are ideal in a municipal market starved for land.
“We’d like to see that building happen here because we have the space for it, Granite Pointe has a need for it and I think there’s a potentially good partnering between vertical partners, Granite Pointe as a land supplier and the city of Nelson’s needs,” said Berkeley.
Granite Pointe has lost over $400,000 total in the last two years, and still owes nearly $1 million on a loan that dates back to 1992 when the golf course expanded to 18 holes. Real estate development, its directors have said, is the only way to ensure the golf club survives.
Still, there was vocal opposition to the plans at Wednesday’s meeting. Concerns raised included: traffic access and density; construction behind the homes of residents on West Richards Street and Choquette Avenue that would also necessitate the removal of part of Hole 10 and the driving range; the age demographic of owners (one man was worried about lack of space for more students at nearby Rosemont Elementary); parking space; and the effect on wildlife.
Berkeley, who has been working on the project for 20 months, said the points made by residents at the meeting are legitimate.
“I think that, like many fears, you have to unwrap them and demonstrate to people you are addressing the points that are being considered,” he said.
Berkeley said at this point the presented concepts are only high-level planning documents meant to identify specific areas for land use, zoning possibilities and how new development might integrate into the current neighbourhood. He said the feedback heard at the meeting will now be considered by city staff, who will scrutinize the plans and suggest amendments.
If all goes well, Berkeley said the golf course hopes to present the plans to Nelson city council within the year.