A Detroit-area development firm and restaurant franchise owner has offered nearly $5.8 million to buy Lansing’s Waverly Golf Course, seven years after it closed to golfers.
But Livonia’s Schostak Bros. & Co. said it’s too early to say what it would do with the 120-acre westside park, other than to market it “for a retail and residential development.”
Regardless, Mayor Virg Bernero’s administration on Thursday said the offer — more than $3 million more than the golf course’s appraised value — would mean more money for city parks and budget reserves. And, it would let the city shed property it owns in neighboring Lansing Township.
The golf course has not seen serious development offers in several years, partly because of its size and condition.
“You have to take these opportunities when they come,” Bernero said. “This is a national company with a national reputation. We’re very pleased to have this company, and we think it bodes well for the city and the region.”
The golf course has been closed since 2007. City voters in 2012 approved selling the course, which is owned by the city but located at Saginaw Street and Waverly Road.
The fenced-off golf course and adjacent Michigan Avenue Park sit empty near the Delta Township line. It was appraised at $2.74 million in August 2013, the city said.
The site was slower to attract developers than the closed Red Cedar Golf Course on Lansing’s east side, which voters similarly approved selling. Lansing developer Joel Ferguson is leading a team planning a $200 million redevelopment at Red Cedar that includes housing, dining, entertainment and recreation on much of the 61-acre course.
The two courses were closed amid budget cuts, leaving Groesbeck Golf Course as the only city-owned course.
Schostak executives could not immediately be reached for comment. But Jeffrey Schostak, the firm’s vice president and corporate real estate director, said in a statement released by the city that “this early in the process we are unaware of what the final development might look like.”
Schostak Bros. focuses primarily on commercial development in the Detroit suburbs, but the family-owned company has projects in 19 states. Its Team Schostak Family Restaurants arm operates several restaurant chains in the state, including Burger King, Olga’s Kitchen and Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill. Some of its Burger King and Applebee’s restaurants are in and near Lansing.
Schostak Bros. has been in business since 1920.
A purchase agreement is expected to be filed Friday with City Clerk Chris Swope. It will stay on file for 30 days before Lansing City Council is allowed to vote on the sale so the public can view the documents.
Schostak Bros. will be given 180 days, should council approve the sale, to complete what’s called a “due diligence” study on the property.
Lansing Township administrators would have to approve any redevelopment at Waverly because the golf course is located within its borders. Supervisor Kathleen Rodgers said she had not yet heard about Schostak Bros.’ plans, but said the township would be open to any zoning changes the company proposed.
The area currently is zoned residential, she said.
“There’s a wonderful neighborhood behind that commercial corner, and the people who live in that neighborhood would love to see part of the Waverly Golf Course be residential,” Rodgers said. “Some commercial would definitely work there, so it’s exciting to know that something’s going to happen.”
Lansing will ask voters in November to consider selling two other city-owned properties, including the former Miller Road Community Center — now leased to Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. — and the 128-acre Grand Woods Park that is leased to and operated by Delta Township.
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