City scraps plan to buy Nashboro Village golf course

Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:20pm

Amid an escalating community backlash, Metro officials are scrapping a plan to purchase the Nashboro Village Golf Club, retreating from prior intentions to convert its acreage into a public park.

In a brief letter Friday, Councilwoman Karen Johnson, who represents the southeast Davidson County district that includes the golf course and surrounding neighborhood, said she asked the Metro Parks and Recreation Department to withdraw legislation authorizing the purchase of the 144-acre, 18-hole golf course.

Johnson’s appeal, made in a Friday letter to Southeast Ventures LLC, which owns the golf course, came one day after neighbors at an overflow community meeting roundly criticized Metro’s open space plans for the area.

Metro Parks Director Tommy Lynch told The City Paper his department plans to withdraw the acquisition proposal and honor Johnson’s request.

“It’s based on the public meeting we had last night,” Lynch said of the decision. “It appears that preserving it is a golf course was the primary goal that everybody wanted.”

A proposal to purchase the golf course for $595,000 is slated to go before the parks board Tuesday, Jan. 10. The plan had been to convert the private golf course, which closed in November, into open park space.

Lynch will recommend the parks board withdraw the proposal.

Many Nashboro Village neighbors have said they purchased their homes in part because of the nearby club, which now sits vacant.

Some have alleged a public park would attract more crime to the area. Johnson, in the letter, told Southeast Venture she has learned of an alternative buyer, attorney David Waynick, who envisions restoring the golf course if he’s able to purchase it.

“Clearly, following my community meeting last night, this is the strong preference of the neighbors,” Johnson wrote.

Metro officials have said the park’s purchase falls under the city’s open space plan, which paved the way to two other recent acquisitions: East Nashville’s Cornelia Fort Airpark and Ravenwood Country Club in Hermitage.

Karen Johnson letter.jpg80.76 KB

15 Comments on this post:

By: JakeNashville on 1/7/12 at 1:57

And how many thousands of dollars did they waste trying to scam Metro citizens this time? The politicians (Dean included) need to pay this out of their own pockets since they seem to be making a regular occurance of attempting to shove land deals down the voters throats. (i.e. former Fairgrounds issue). Enough is enough. There is a BADDDD economy in this country idiots! Do you not see what the normal American sees!?!?!?

By: fair_minded on 1/7/12 at 3:10

@Jake... Dean is still going after the Fairgrounds.. last month the Planning Commission hired a contractor for $135,000 to develop a master plan to redevelop the Fairgrounds into "mixed use" development. At the same time, they also hired a firm for $90,000 to develop another master plan to (1)improve the Fairgrounds and (2) redevelop it with mixed use areas. If you're not aware, "mixed use" is a specific term among developers indicating commercial areas that may also include condos, apartments, etc.... so it's not a "former Fairgrounds issue"- it continues on.

By: bongojava on 1/7/12 at 7:26

What does a bad economy have to do with a mayor trying to add more green space to a neighborhood? Obviously nothing. The bad economy affected the economics of keeping a golf course open to the public, but has nothing to do with the attempt by the city to add acres of green space for all to enjoy under the auspices of Metro Parks. The article failed To point out that Metro received a $3 million grant to buy property for the specific purpose of adding green space across the county. And there is no linkage here to the Fairgrounds. However if the people of this area want to keep a sub standard golf course potential in their neighborhood that risks falling into the wrong hands over time--- as opposed to the property being forever classified as a city park -- that's the prerogative of the local constituency. A Metro park in my opinion however -- would have been the best long term choice. The viewpoint about more crime being induced within a Metro Park is about as ridiculous as the economy being a reason to vote down perennial green space in the neighborhood.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/7/12 at 7:46

The decision to keep the golf course versus a green space in that area could have been made by a ninth grade economics student. I would like to ask Karl Dean why he thinks every highway coming into Davidson County is full of traffic every morning and every afternoon. I can only assume that he thinks the future tax base will be in business taxes in the future. The disparity in property taxes between Davidson and adjacent counties seems to be getting wider and wider.

By: Lou2 on 1/7/12 at 9:52

As long as the 9th grader has the facts on the costs of this golf course. Look it up. This course is considered one of the worst in the Metro area, and it's loosing money. Any trade website will tell you that maintaining golf courses is very expensive.

What this is about is the same story told every day in our fair city: a small number of homeowners want a disproportionate share of Metros' budget. Me too, pal. But let's be clear - it's an entitlement.

They use the golf course to walk their dogs and get exercise, and the staff on site make them feel safe and they keep it clean and mowed and such. It's basically a private park, and a very expensive one. Way more attention than a Metro park would ever receive, which are cheap by comparison.

I thought the point was supposed to be that we are in tough times and we have be fiscally responsible. Make tough choices and all that. Welfare is welfare, this is just one with grass growing on it. bongojava is probably right - these folks are going to regret it one day when a developer takes over the property.

By: JakeNashville on 1/7/12 at 1:55

While this golf course may be expensive to run and substandard compared to the others, it is NOT Metro government's responsibility to jump in and buy any property they want to spend hudnreds of thousands on when there is already sufficient parks and green spaces in Nashville (IF they would simply clean up what they already own)!!! The current golf course is not costing Metro a dime since they don't own it. It should be left to the property owners who were lured into buying at the course to decide what is done with it since they are the people who actually financed it by overpaying for their homes in order for the developer to have funjds for the course. Clean up what Metro already has; rid parks of gangs and thugs; repair our roads and sidewalks; fire more of the fraudulent officials like thay begun to do; AND THEN if there is money left over, possbily think about buying more property.

By: nashboroguy on 1/7/12 at 7:12

It is amazing how people place posts on here that have no basis.
* Metro was using a foundation grant to purchase the golf course. This donated money is used specifically for green space purchases and has no connection to tax dollars.
* With the purchase of the golf course, Metro would have taken the property taxes from the golf course off the tax roles. And, Metro water would not have gotten paid for the water the course used. And, the operating expenses for the green space would have been a direct hit to the city budget, which the city is having difficulty keeping balanced. So, if there is a private purchaser, who claims he will take this sub-par course to bigger and better days, why would Metro want to add all that expense and lost revenue to their budget?
* The Parks officer at the meeting tried to downplay a statistic, but it is very real. He cited that the parks system in Davidson county sees on average 5-6 "incidents" every week. Adding another park will increase that statistic, and crime in the Nashboro area by promoting added traffic to the area.
* A community center seemed to be the hidden agenda behind this land purchase, or at least part of the plan. Metro is willing to spend a couple of million dollars building a new Community Center in the area? There are three vacant buildings for sale right on Murfreesboro Road that are good substitutes for a community center with much more visiability for marketing (the old Publix, the old Food Lion, and the old Blockbuster buildings). Not to mention, there is a community center on Blue Hole Road and a new one supposedly opening at Hickory Hollow Mall. Does the city really want to add another non-revenue producing, expense driven community center to it's hurting budget lines?
* it was pointed out that the city rushed this purchase through. It was discovered at the meeting that they had done no feasiability studies, nor had any proposed plans for the land. This is just poor business on the part of Metro.
* At the meeting, it was pointed out that the number of golf rounds have steadily decreased over several years. What was not mentioned was that the reason for this decrease was because the current owner did not reinvest into the course and let it fall to ruin. And, for the past two years, by mid summer, the course had lost revenue due to dead greens. Hopefully the new owner will bring someone in to rebuild the clubhouse and keep a premiere course.

Regardless, the community spoke up and were heard. I think Metro just got their hands caught in the cookie jar. The golf course is saved and there will be a new owner for a better golf course in Antioch.

By: Lou2 on 1/7/12 at 8:44

Right. So the current owner is either completely incompetent and missed a golden opportunity to hit pay dirt, or did not invest in the property because it was a poor investment in the first place. The local community is understandably hoping that the next owner will do better. But, its a roll of the dice. We'll see in 4 or 5 years.

The cookie jar analogy is a poor one - if there are cookies to be had, Metro should most certainly have its hand in it. If the jar is empty, most certainly they should find another place to invest our shared capital, no matter how its coded in the budget.

Nashboro residents are taking a calculated risk. If they break it, they own it. I hope truly hope it works out.

By: nashboroguy on 1/7/12 at 9:44

Golf courses are still good investments...if there is good management and good operational processes. The currentowners are a conglomerate business living outside of the area. I would be curious as to how often they actually visited the property, especially when they saw the revenues decrease. I think Nashboro Golf Course will be something golfers will be proud of if the new owner does invest in it. And, not just with funds, but putting time in as an interested owner.

Your cookie jar arguement sould aweful like the democrats plan of throwing money around and hope for the best...regardless of the expense to those who contribute to the coffers. If governemtn would actually try to operate as a business, it would make smarter choices.

I think the residents of the Nashboro area and the district saw the typical political game being played out can the governament got caught int he act. There is something to be said that 400-500 local residents in a distric would come out...on short notice mind you...and speak with nearly one voice on a topic that mattered to them. It could very well have become a meeting with 10-15 people to show up. Thank God we live in a country where people can meet and try to make a difference without having any harm or penalties happen to them.

By: ohplease on 1/9/12 at 8:07

If the Nashboro residents want this land to remain a golf course, fine. But why do some of you see some city conspiracy in every proposal? Public open space is going to be more and more valuable as time passes because of its environmental, recreational, and quality of life benefits. Most people in Nashville see public parks as assets. The Warner Parks were established a century ago to attract development and residents to Belle Meade. Many of the older neighborhoods with over-the-top property values have parks as their centers. Again, the Nashboro residents have spoken, and it's their choice. But there's no cookie jar, no intent to trick anyone, no evil purpose here. I don't have any inside knowledge, but it looks to me like a well-intentioned proposal to acquire some park land if the neighbors wanted that -- and when they didn't, okay. What's the problem?

By: Left-of-Local on 1/9/12 at 3:04

At least Karen is listening to the constituents, but that does not make those idiots more correct.

She's no champion of intellectually-sound or progressive choices, given her support of parent-burdoning dress codes, cleverly named to avoid federal intervention, and eliminating the most basic children's attire: denim.

So go ahead, Antioch. Keep on sucking. I'll keep on driving through without caring if your community falls off the face of the earth...

By: canthonymartin on 1/10/12 at 10:58


As someone who has played Nashboro Golf Course a number of times, and as someone who has actually sold golf courses to investors, and as someone who has seen the financial statements for the Nashboro course, the future of the Nashboro Golf Club is not as a continuing business as a golf course. Golf courses throughout the South are being closed because there are fewer and fewer golfers to play them--this is a major demographic trend, and not one that is reversible by tarting up a course: Nashboro Golf Club is one of many that has folded for lack of players. The cost of maintenance is a "fixed cost", and is not adjustable to the number of players, or rounds played, so, in the end, the fixed cost kills virtually all golf courses that do not have sufficient number of rounds played on them. On a another note: the purchase and sale price of $595,000 equates to $4,131.94/acre, and one cannot buy arable farm land in the Metro area for that price per acre, much less a property that has water and electrical infrastructure. The deal Metro negotiated is an excellent deal for Metro, and the sellers are selling at a significant loss (which, by the way, is happening throughout U.S. now, and especially so with land.). Because of the outcry by the neighbors, virtually none of whom play golf, the golf course will become vacant land, and, ultimately, will be sold for some kind of higher-density residential use, but that, too, will likely be opposed by the Councilwoman, and the neighbors. The Antioch community has responded without understanding the true alternatives for the property, so the community is the real loser in all of this.

By: yucchhii on 1/10/12 at 11:51

STILL no $$$ for taking care of the roads in the winter time? It's funny how they have all the $$$ for the things they "DON'T NEED", ie...New convention center...NOBODY WANTS IT....The new stadium for the nashville sounds...Yup, got $$$ for that too...and now the golf grounds....Hmmmm, funny, they have the $$$ for that too....BUT, "NO $$$" for the roads in the winter time. Meaning no $$$ to put down rocksalt to melt "BLACK ICE" WHICH IS A PROBLEM THAT CAUSES "MULTI CAR PILE UPS"...That causes major injuries if not "DEATH" hello!! The DIShonerable mayor karl DINK needs to be sued for all that!!! Like a kid, the $$$ is burning a hole in "HIS" pocket that gets filled with "OUR" $$$!!! C'MON PEOPLE, ARE YOU STILL SLEEPING? Your ALARM hasn't woke you up yet?

By: whatsit2u on 1/10/12 at 12:03

I predict that this will be the site of a Mixed Use land development project in the not so distant future.

By: Left-of-Local on 1/10/12 at 11:58

Winter... black ice... bogey boo!

Learn to drive.

Money is not the issue on our winter planning... it is the PLANNING. It is yokel fools like those who can't drive in winter making choices about how to PREPARE for winter.