$14.9 million is the asking price for Hampshire Country Club on Cove Road in Mamaroneck, according to a January 28 release from C.B. Richard Ellis, the brokers retained to represent the club’s board of directors.
The club ceased operating in mid-December after a steep drop in membership, and its directors began seeking a buyer.
Stan Brettschneider, Hampshire board president, said the club is not in bankruptcy (as had been reported elsewhere). However, the directors are focused on “taking care of the asset, making sure we can sell-off the asset and moving forward.” (See: Mamaroneck Looks at Buying Hampshire Country Club.)
His group has begun negotiating and reaching out to interested parties, both public and private. This week, they hired brokers William V. Cuddy, Jr. and Budd Wiesenberg from C.B. Richard Ellis to help with the process.
What Do You Get for $14.9M?
The $14.9 million price tag includes the 116 acre property, complete with an 18-hole golf course, club house, 7 tennis courts, and an outdoor heated pool overlooking Long Island Sound. The club is surrounded by the upscale residential neighborhoods of Orienta Point in Mamaroneck Village and Hommocks Road in Mamaroneck Town.
According to the brokers’ release, the golf course was designed by Devereaux Emmet and built in 1927. The club was organized in 1944 as a private, member-owned entity.
“We did a complete golf course renovation, ending in 2002,” said Mr. Brettschneider. And the club house, pool house and tennis facilities were upgraded from 2004 to 2006.
“A property of this magnitude rarely comes on the market and will appeal to a variety of purchasers, including private or public clubs, golf course operators, municipal uses, schools, and residential development,” stated Mr. Cuddy. “We are seeking the right buyer to take advantage of all this unique property has to offer.”
A Quick Study for Municipalties
“They are seeking what their fiduciary responsibility is to seek – the highest price possible.” said Mamaroneck Village Mayor Norman Rosenblum when apprised of the club’s asking price. “The Village/Town will do our due diligence to determine what the property is worth and use that as a basis to go forward.”
In recent weeks, Mr. Brettschneider has been in direct conversations about the future of the club with Mr. Rosenblum and other officials from Mamaroneck Village and Mamaroneck Town.
Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe declined to comment on the announced price, but earlier in the week she said, “The Village and Town are moving along to do a study of the different alternatives for the property.”
Officials are being “bombarded with emails,” said Ms. O’Keeffe. “People have a lot of creative ideas, but we need to sit down and digest them.”
Digestion, however, may have to occur swiftly. The Hampshire board is in a hurry to unwind its responsibilities. “Most of us “got into this for social reasons,” said Mr. Brettschneider, “We never thought we’d be facing the closing of an institution that had been here 65 years.”
“Hopefully we can work with [the club] on a mutually agreeable proposal,” said Town Administrator Steve Altieri . ‘We know we have to work within a time frame that’s suitable for the club,” he added. “We have to work quickly.”
“I don’t think anything is being excluded,” said Mr. Altieri, “A public-private partnership is possible.”
Finding the Money
If the municipalities were to buy the club – at whatever price they can negotiate – the money could come from a number of sources.
“Depending on how we finance it, it could be bonded, it could be a mix of bonds and donations, or there could be grants,” said Mr. Altieri. The process would be aired at public hearings and any bonds would be subject to permissive referendum, he added.
“We’re doing a lot of homework,” said Mr. Altieri. “It’s exciting.”