I was saddened when I heard the news that Matrix had won the lawsuit for Echo Farms golf course. It weighed heavy on my heart for days. Not like the disappointment I felt in April when the commissioners denied the rezoning petition. This was different. This was disappointment mixed with anger and a little uncertainty capping it off.
After a lengthy and highly publicized feud between area residents and Matrix Development Group, The Woodlands at Echo Farms is moving forward.
For 43 years Echo Farms golf course community has been part of the familiarity of my hometown. So much so that when I became a real estate agent, I took great pride in showing potential buyers the homes in Echo Farms, especially those right on the course. The golf course was a selling point, one that allowed sellers to list a little higher than homes without a course. And buyers seemed willing to pay more because the homes were in a golf community.
Echo Farms golf course will close sometime this fall as preparations for The Woodlands at Echo Farms move forward. Although no money exchanged hands between the residents and the developer, concessions were made. These include an increase in buffer zones between The Woodlands and existing homes and neighborhoods, design modifications to The Woodlands proposed plans, and allowing the existing pool to remain open through summer 2018.
The Woodlands at Echo Farms was originally planned to include 171 single family homes, 125 townhomes, and 240 apartments. But thanks to the hard work and dedication of SAVE ECHO FARMS residents who fought to safeguard their community, Matrix has reduced the number of townhomes planned for Tract 3C by nearly 25%. This reduction in townhouses from 82 to 62 will help save green space and about 95% of the golf course trees.
The closing of golf courses is becoming more and more frequent. Nationally, golf course closures are on the rise as Millennials enter the buying market. Millennials prefer faster paced sports – like tennis, boating, swimming – instead of spending 4 hours to play 18 holes.
Golf course closings are becoming in and around our area too. Here are other nearby courses that have closed, plan to close, or are up for sale.
Closing this fall
- Masonboro Country Club (golf course, club house, cart barn, maintenance buildings, practice areas ad driving range) approved for up to 214 homes on 150 acres zoned R-15
- Oleander Golf Center – the McRae family are looking into developing the land
- Brierwood Golf Club in Shallotte closed for financial difficulties
- Belvedere County Club and golf course in Hampstead are for sale