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Thread: Changes with Amherst golf courses

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    Changes with Amherst golf courses

    An interesting public/private partnership looks like it might happen.

    The TOA is going to explore having a private company run the towns 3 golf courses. The courses have been operating at a net loss – about $2 million over the past 10 years – prompting officials to seek proposals from private companies interested in operating and managing the three. Amherst-based Value Turf is negotiate with the town.

    On one side:
    The courses would no longer be taken care of by the highway department, which IIRC is a big reason for the net loss. It's also a reason, personal opinion here, that the courses are so poorly viewed by golfers. It's simply too expensive and not a good enough product. Instead, Value Turf plans to hire the former golf course superintendent at the Westwood Country Club to oversee day-to-day moving, maintenance and improvements and plans to hire one part-time and two full-time employees to maintain Oakwood and another six to eight full-time seasonal employees for Audubon and the Par 3.

    On the other side:
    Odds are that Value Turf in exchange for managing the course will increase the greens fees on the course. The numbers I could find were between $31 and $33 per round on the weekend with a cart. For those who do not golf...that's really really cheap compared to most good courses but about right for average public courses.


    What's the catch:
    Well there is always going to be people who ask questions like "Why is Amherst in the golf business anyways?" and "If golfers want to golf, let them pay for it!", which are valid points. But here is the catch. Just what are people going to say if Value Turf turns Audubon around? What if VT gets a 10 year deal on the course and goes in an invests a ton of money to then warrant charging greens fees that are $50-$60 per round? What if they make improvements to the driving range, say by adding outdoor eating and a bar that serves beer? Would these same people turn around after 10 years and say the course belongs to the town residents and I want my golf to be subsidizes? Of course an alternative is for the town to sell the courses to a developer or convert the courses to park space but that's another conversation.

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    Member NY The Vampire State's Avatar
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    Town needs to sell the property and get out of the golf course business, something it should have never been involved with in the first place. What's next, movie theaters? Mini golf? Go kart track? Absurd!
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY The Vampire State View Post
    Town needs to sell the property and get out of the golf course business, something it should have never been involved with in the first place. What's next, movie theaters? Mini golf? Go kart track? Absurd!

    So you want the town to sell the property but to whom and for what?

    Say they sell all of the course to a developer. That developer is going to want to turn around and build everything from homes to commercial. Does that reality mesh with what residents of the town wants?

    If commercial or office, just what impact does allowing new office parks to be built have on the existing parts that are becoming vacant in north Amherst? If residential, just what stress does that add to the infrastructure, schools and police department.

    Did you actually take the 30 seconds to things this through or did you just post without thinking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post
    So you want the town to sell the property but to whom and for what?
    Sell it to the highest bidder... you know, like how everyone else sells property. This ain't rocket science.

    Say they sell all of the course to a developer. That developer is going to want to turn around and build everything from homes to commercial. Does that reality mesh with what residents of the town wants?
    Say they sell it to someone who wants to run the existing golf course.

    Say they parcel off the frontage for individual homes, that could work real well for Oakwood on Tonawanda Creek.

    What are you so scared of? You live on the other side of the country. Housing is in demand in the outer suburbs. These town boards and planning boards have a stringent and grueling process for everyone from developers to the poor guy who wants to put up a pole barn.


    If commercial or office, just what impact does allowing new office parks to be built have on the existing parts that are becoming vacant in north Amherst?
    What office space is vacant in N. Amherst?
    Crosspoint is booming and Creekside/ Pine view looks pretty full too. The only stuff I see vacant is Benderson and that's because its overpriced crap with lousy services. Bevalaqua put that mixed commercial with residential on top at N French and Transit and its full. They are putting up another building around the corner. When was the last time you were around here?


    If residential, just what stress does that add to the infrastructure, schools and police department.

    I guess they better stop pissing all the property tax money away on medicaid and FIX THE ROADS!


    Did you actually take the 30 seconds to things this through or did you just post without thinking?
    Jeez, who pissed in your bowl of paint chips this morning? Not everyone can be as great as you, the self anointed King of Speakup.


    Why does government have to be in the entertainment business? It's just like the handouts the stupid Bills get along with a stadium at OUR expense. If you think it "stimulates" the economy you're a fool. Let's face it, there are plenty of privatly owned golf courses that can do it better than Government Inc., and that's why they're booked full on the weekends.
    Last edited by NY The Vampire State; March 3rd, 2015 at 05:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY The Vampire State View Post
    Sell it to the highest bidder... you know, like how everyone else sells property. This ain't rocket science.
    So if someone wanted to build a tire factory...you would be ok with that? Puddle.

    Quote Originally Posted by NY The Vampire State View Post
    Housing is in demand in the outer suburbs.

    What office space is vacant in N. Amherst?
    This statement and question show you have very little understanding of the Amherst real estate market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post
    So if someone wanted to build a tire factory...you would be ok with that? Puddle.

    If I have 100 acres on the market in Clarence in a residential/ agriculture neighborhood Mr Dunlop is going to do his homework and see that the zoning prohibits his tire factory. The town can zone it whatever it wants prior to the sale to dictate what its use will be. No one is building tire factories, you're being ridiculous.


    This statement and question show you have very little understanding of the Amherst real estate market.
    No, you said there was vacant office space in N. Amherst. I asked where. So I'll ask again... What office space is vacant in N. Amherst?
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY The Vampire State View Post
    If I have 100 acres on the market in Clarence in a residential/ agriculture neighborhood Mr Dunlop is going to do his homework and see that the zoning prohibits his tire factory. The town can zone it whatever it wants prior to the sale to dictate what its use will be. No one is building tire factories, you're being ridiculous.
    Extreme sure but not ridiculous.

    In order for the TOW to sell the courses they would need to be rezoned as they are currently community facilities. So what they are zoned as could be anything, including commercial for a tire factory. After all, a tire factory would bring in the most taxes and jobs. For some that's the ONLY thing that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by NY The Vampire State View Post
    No, you said there was vacant office space in N. Amherst. I asked where. So I'll ask again... What office space is vacant in N. Amherst?
    Take a look at the office parks that are north of UB near Sweet Home. Pretty much the ones that were built in the 70s/80s are struggling today.

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    "They could build a tire factory". Hahahaaaa. Yes. Yes they could. Anything is possible. This is the old Jane Woodward scare tactic... only she always used a "garbage dump". I've yet to see Woodward's potential garbage dump be 'built'.

    Anyhow, I'd like to know how much ($$) I actually pay for the golf courses. I don't golf. But if it's relatively minute, I'm not opposed to it.

    And, wait, there's office space on Sweet Home Road that's overly vacant? [Of course, I noticed that you modified that to "struggling".] But, whatever, where? Which buildings? That'd be news to me. I just do not see it.

    And, for the record, it'd be an easy argument to make that the "hottest" residential area in Amherst right now is Eggerstville.

    And, wait, you don't even live here?? Is that true? Wow.
    Last edited by Member 2358; March 4th, 2015 at 09:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    "They could build a tire factory". Hahahaaaa. Yes. Yes they could. Anything is possible. This is the old Jane Woodward scare tactic... only she always used a "garbage dump". I've yet to see Woodward's potential garbage dump be 'built'.
    It's not a scare tactic. It's an example of people being extreme. Putting a tire factory on public land is just as extreme and stupid as taking the simplistic view of sell the land to the highest bidder. My point was the devil is in the details.

    Don't you remember the sh*t storm that happened when they tried to develop the gun club? Simply saying let a developer purchase does not always fly. That parcel was right next door.

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    Anyhow, I'd like to know how much ($$) I actually pay for the golf courses. I don't golf. But if it's relatively minute, I'm not opposed to it.
    I don't know. But if you want to look at the whole picture you should ask how does having the golf courses exist impact property values. Put it this way, say a developer were to purchase the 3 golf courses and develop huge communities there.

    One item that would change is how the school districts are setup because that's based on population. So now you have a home that is in the South district but now gets shifted to North. Does that help or hurt property values of the homes that change?

    Another item would be traffic. Say you were to add a 1000 units on the main course. How would that change the traffic flow on Maple? Would that help/hurt properties that are in subdivisions off Maple from the course to Transit? After all, most on Maple access out via the 290. Just how bad would N. Forest get between Maple and Sheridan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    And, wait, there's office space on Sweet Home Road that's overly vacant? [Of course, I noticed that you modified that to "struggling".] But, whatever, where? Which buildings? That'd be news to me. I just do not see it.
    Go look on LoopNet. I did not say Sweet Home Rd. I was using Sweet Home as the area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    And, for the record, it'd be an easy argument to make that the "hottest" residential area in Amherst right now is Eggerstville.
    Meh. Amherst schools have been on the decline for years. Sure they have great elementary schools but the shipping in kids from the city has always been an issue. Everyone that I know who moved to Eggerstville did so until they could afford Williamsville schools.

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    And, wait, you don't even live here?? Is that true? Wow.
    And this matters because? I am easily more informed about WNY/Buffalo and specifically Amherst than several people I know who live in Amherst. The reason is I have an interest in following news/trends. Many people I know don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post
    It's not a scare tactic. It's an example of people being extreme. Putting a tire factory on public land is just as extreme and stupid as taking the simplistic view of sell the land to the highest bidder. My point was the devil is in the details.

    Don't you remember the sh*t storm that happened when they tried to develop the gun club? Simply saying let a developer purchase does not always fly. That parcel was right next door.



    I don't know. But if you want to look at the whole picture you should ask how does having the golf courses exist impact property values. Put it this way, say a developer were to purchase the 3 golf courses and develop huge communities there.

    One item that would change is how the school districts are setup because that's based on population. So now you have a home that is in the South district but now gets shifted to North. Does that help or hurt property values of the homes that change?

    Another item would be traffic. Say you were to add a 1000 units on the main course. How would that change the traffic flow on Maple? Would that help/hurt properties that are in subdivisions off Maple from the course to Transit? After all, most on Maple access out via the 290. Just how bad would N. Forest get between Maple and Sheridan?



    Go look on LoopNet. I did not say Sweet Home Rd. I was using Sweet Home as the area.



    Meh. Amherst schools have been on the decline for years. Sure they have great elementary schools but the shipping in kids from the city has always been an issue. Everyone that I know who moved to Eggerstville did so until they could afford Williamsville schools.



    And this matters because? I am easily more informed about WNY/Buffalo and specifically Amherst than several people I know who live in Amherst. The reason is I have an interest in following news/trends. Many people I know don't.
    Correct yourself, were there to be a tire factory... it most certainly would not be on "public land". If you want to throw out 'extreme' examples, be my guest... but IMO it isn't productive.

    And you bet I remember the gun club thing. Good point. The system worked well.

    Yep. A developer could buy everything. Could be. Yep.

    Yes, school lines could be on the block to change. That just happened, what, a coupla years ago. Remember how that turned out?

    Yeah, traffic could get ugly. Amherst isn't Caledonia.

    OK, Sweet Home area. I don't see a vacancy issue. I guess you'd have provide some more detailed guidance. Up to you.

    Some people stay in their houses some people move around. Different lifestyles.

    My opinion is that someone that doesn't live here is not as equipped to comment comprehensively. Maybe you know more than most. Could be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    Correct yourself, were there to be a tire factory... it most certainly would not be on "public land". If you want to throw out 'extreme' examples, be my guest... but IMO it isn't productive.
    Going back to the previous comments of 'sell to the highest bidder'...once it was sold it would no longer be public land.

    Again, if you want the most money you have the least amount of restrictions on the sale. What I am illustrating is the full spectrum, which you're choosing to ignore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    And you bet I remember the gun club thing. Good point. The system worked well.
    So it's not the highest price. It's the highest price with restrictions. That's not the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    Yes, school lines could be on the block to change. That just happened, what, a coupla years ago. Remember how that turned out?
    Lots of people were unhappy. I wonder how many people who were unhappy are also saying why does Amherst need to be in the golf business.

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    Yeah, traffic could get ugly. Amherst isn't Caledonia.
    It's not but it's still a pretty damn fine town. IMHO, what Amherst needs to focus on is redevelopment not new development. It's supply and demand. I think having the golf course helps the demand. In part because it's an asset but also because it's a large amount of land 'off the books' so to speak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    OK, Sweet Home area. I don't see a vacancy issue. I guess you'd have provide some more detailed guidance. Up to you.
    Not here to educate you. If you're wanting to have a detailed discussion with depth..you would educate yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    My opinion is that someone that doesn't live here is not as equipped to comment comprehensively. Maybe you know more than most. Could be.
    Location does not equal knowledge. That's very apparent on this site.

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    I'm not even sure what your point is. "Redevelopment > new development", I guess(?). OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post



    Take a look at the office parks that are north of UB near Sweet Home. Pretty much the ones that were built in the 70s/80s are struggling today.
    This is why IDA's need to be abolished.

    It should not surprise anyone that our area has been losing population over the years. That is what happens when you are the highest taxed area in the nation.

    The local IDA's got this scam going where they profit for each incentive package they give way. They end up taking one business from one local area and moving it to another local area.
    Seeing we are losing population there are no other people/businesses to fill up the building made vacant.

    I just heard the office max down the road from me is closing up. I wonder how long it will sit vacant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    This is why IDA's need to be abolished.

    ...
    Unless there were other changes that were at least simultaneous, how would this help?

    And I think it's awesome that a post about golf courses yields a commentary on alleged vacant office buildings and now IDA's.

    If the golf courses are costing me, what, $0.85 a year in taxes, I have no problem in that subsidy. Yes, there are "soft" or peripheral costs... but until someone quantifies those relative to me, I'm hard pressed to link the two. For the record if the town sells the golf course(s), I'd prefer they be converted to a working farm. I'd love to drive along Maple Road and see cornfields for a mile or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Member 2358 View Post
    I'm not even sure what your point is. "Redevelopment > new development", I guess(?). OK.

    Redevelopment means upgrading existing developed areas. An example of this is what is happening at the Northtown Plaza with Whole Foods. New development would be building a new plaza on land that's currently empty.

    There are so many areas of Amherst showing age, while at the same time, Amherst is running out of large parcels to develop. When you look at that fact and the reality that Amherst is a great town, not putting hundreds of acres of land out to development is one way to help redevelop and reinvest in the existing parcels.

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