LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – With demand for housing in Central Florida rising and golf courses declining, “the green” has become the real estate of choice for developers.
People who live nearby want a mulligan.
” I do not like it at all. The road runs right behind my house which means I have cars shining in my bedroom window every night,” said Jennifer Watson, who lives in the “Fairfield on the Tee” development.
“We thought we would be here for the next 20 years,” said John Kochenburger, who lives next door. “We didn’t really want to live in a construction zone, so we’re at a point where we’re debating – do we want to sell?”
They are concerned about the ongoing transformation at the former site of Wedgewood Golf Course.
The golf course opened in 1931.
“They were losing money from what I heard and they didn’t maintain it properly, but it was still nice to have a golf course in the backyard,” said Kochenburger.
It closed in April after being bought for $4.5 million by developers in December.
“We know the golf course is failing. We know it doesn’t look great. How do you take it and really revitalize the neighborhood? said Jonathan Hall, partner at Ronin Assets.
Hall and his father, John Hall – a former county commissioner, plan to build more than 1,400 homes on the property, which was purchased by SJD Development LLC. The development will include apartments, townhouses and single family homes.
“We will reuse the old golf cart path, almost in the same places. We’re going to take a 12-foot-wide paved trail and make it a boardwalk park for the whole community to use,” Hall said.
The project will require some zoning changes, which will be reviewed by the Lakeland Planning and Zoning Board on May 17.
Hall said a traffic study was also conducted.
“We would like to propose an extension of Lakeland Park Drive to help reduce some of this traffic, realign some of Wedgewood Boulevard.”