The most active investors are buying, fixing up and repositioning courses.
We profile 10 who have been at the forefront of this trend in the past year.
BY SCOTT KAUFFMAN
Ekovich expects golf to start another
healthy cycle, assuming the country continues to see course contraction and an
improving economy. Meanwhile, most
sophisticated and long-term golf buyers still prefer private clubs over daily-fee
facilities, as they are more stable and offer
greater room for improvement.
We spotlight 10 movers and shakers who
are shaping the landscape.
PM REALTY GROUP,
NATIONAL GOLF & LAND GROUP
The longtime Houston-based broker is
coming off a strong year with seven golf
course-related closings totaling $80 million. It was double the sales volume of
Arimitsu’s group in 2015, when the firm
sold six properties for $40 million.
But Arimitsu, who is senior vice president of brokerage services, is finding success among investors who want to repurpose the golf courses.
His biggest in
2016 was the $22
million sale of
Empire Lakes Golf
Course in Rancho
Empire Lakes Holding Co., an affiliate
of the Lewis Group
of Co., acquired the
160-acre tract, with plans to repurpose
the property into a mixed-use community
with as many as 3,450 residential units and
220,000 square feet of commercial space.
GOLF COURSE SALES have made a lot
of headlines in the past year. But many of
those stories focused on developers who
planned to repurpose the courses into
housing or parkland. In fact, The National
Golf Foundation reported that 230 golf
courses closed permanently in 2016,
almost twice as many as were sold.
“We are and have been doing a good
job getting rid of functionally obsolete
and poorly located golf assets, as well as
redeveloping assets in great locations with
highly developed metros that are worth
significantly more as an alternative real
estate play,” wrote Steve Ekovich, national
managing director of Marcus & Millichap
Leisure Investment Properties Group, in
his semi-annual market update.
Traditional golf deals have not been as
plentiful. There were 123 in 2016, down
from 132 in 2015 and 181 in 2014, according Marcus & Millichap. But golf continues to be attractive in certain geographic
regions, such as Hawaii and the Carolinas,
and in high-income neighborhoods in
major metropolitan areas.
That has brought non-golf real estate
investors into the market who see this
asset class as an opportunity to create some
upside. They helped push the median sale
price up 4.78 percent in 2016, to $2.3 million.
GOLF COURSE SALES
Escalante Golf Partners Senior Vice President of Business Development Robert Silva (second from
left) with President David McDonald (L), Senior Vice President of Operations Elcio Silva (second from
right), and Vice President of Corporate Communications and Marketing David Matheson (far right).