Town takes ownership of Griffith Golf Center
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent December 27, 2012 10:20PM
A golfer watches his shot as another takes a lesson at the Griffith Golf Center. The center is scheduled to be closed by the city Friday Dec. 28, 2012. | File~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 28, 2012 10:28AM
GRIFFITH — The long-beleaguered Griffith Golf Course has a new owner: The Town of Griffith.
Town officials will close with People’s Bank Friday on the property at 1901 N. Cline Ave. and take ownership soon after. The Town Council voted at its Wednesday night meeting to approve the $500,000 purchase price.
The land is being paid for through TIF funds appropriated for land acquisition, said Clerk-Treasurer George Jerome Thursday. No bonds or loans will be used for the purchase.
Jerome said the land appraised at $530,000, well below the $1 million to $2 million price for which former owner and current South Gleason Park Golf Course Manager Robert Farag tried to sell it. Jerome pointed out, however, that Farag’s asking price included the business as well as the land.
Part of property, which has been for sale since at least 2008 after the September flood submerged it in at least 10 feet of water but possibly as early as 2005, will be used for a flowage easement the Little Calumet River Basin has requested, Jerome said. The commission will pay for whatever land it needs and the proceeds will given the to the Redevelopment Commission.
A price has yet to be determined for the easement, Jerome said.
The Griffith Sanitary District will also require some of the land for an additional detention basin, Jerome said. Otherwise, the land is for the Redevelopment Commission to handle.
“The Redevelopment Commission has been interested in the Griffith Golf Center for several years and had previously declared the area part of a Redevelopment Area,” Jerome said. “During that time, developers had presented various proposals for the use of the land, but unfortunately, the previous owner and developers were never able to reach agreement.
“There are no specific plans for the immediate use of the land, but by owning it, the town and redevelopment commission will be able to direct any future development.”