A development project at the once ailing Hampshire Country Club in Mamaroneck is now an official proposal before the village, where most of the club sits. Some falls within the town of Mamaroneck.
Club owners announced Friday that they have filed preliminary documents with the village of Mamaroneck and they hope village trustees address the project at a work session on Feb. 3 and meeting on Feb. 10.
The preferred proposal (rendering shown above) is to build 121 high-end condominium units attached to the existing clubhouse on the golf course side of the property. This would allow the 18-golf course to continue in operation and is the preferred plan of the property owner group since it would require a zoning changes, but would maintain the golf course created in 1927 by premiere golf course architect Devereux Emmet.
A second proposal option is to build 106 single-family homes scattered throughout the roughly 120-acre site. This would not require a zoning variance since the owners say the majority of the property is zoned residential. While the swimming pool, tennis courts and clubhouse are slated to remain the golf course would not under this proposal.
“The best way to stay in business as a golf club is to allow the condominium housing,” said Thomas Nappi, senior project manager for Hampshire. “We have engaged in community dialogue. We created this concept and we wanted to present it to community to get feedback and while there has been some opposition there has been some support.”
“We decided it was time to move forward,” Nappi added.
These two project options have been discussed and publicly debated for at least a year now garnering much opposition from local from residents who have criticized the development saying it would create traffic congestion and greater flooding during storms. The property owner disputes both claims and adds that there are supporters of the new plans.
Celia Felsher, president of the Mamaroneck Coastal Environmental Coalition, said she expected a formal presentation to come after the community discussions.
“This is not unexpected. They are doing what they said and our reaction is the same,” she said Friday. “This is not in the interest of the community. This won’t increase the net tax revenue and will create significant additional traffic and unsafe conditions in and around by the Hommocks school. Also there is the issue of significant flooding danger and water issues.”
She reiterates prior comments that criticize the property owners for a dual-pronged proposal that threatens a large-scale 106-home development if the community does not change zoning to allow the smaller development. The owner, she explains is a group of real estate developers and not non-profit golf club operators.
And she added that submitting both proposals is highly irregular and appears like a threat to village officials. It tells them that if they don’t change zoning they will be confronted with a large-scale development, she explained.
A cover letter and the project descriptions were received at Mamaroneck Village Hall this week.
“It will need board review in conjunction with advice of counsel before any public comments,” Village Mayor Norman Rosenblum said Friday afternoon.
Nappi emphasized that the preferred option is the condominium plan which would maintain open space on the property and allow the golf club to continue.
The golf club closed in early 2010 because of declining membership. In June the club was purchased by a joint venture formed by affiliates of Westport Capital Partners, LLC and New World Realty Advisors, LLC., for a price of $12.1 million. Club facilities were updated and renovated and in September of that year it reopened.
Nappi said there roughly 275 members of the club that offers golf, swimming, tennis and dining options.
(Rendering above submitted by Hampshire Country Club officials)