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Another Golf Course on Track to Becoming a Resort

South Florida is experiencing a wave of golf course renovations. One of these golf courses will be transformed into a 26-story world-class resort. Gracing the skyline this year will be an SLS Residence building, under the same brand as SLS Hotels, sitting over the grounds of Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club in Hallandale Beach. This will be part of the $220 million makeover of the property. 

Simultaneously, an expansion of the Diplomat’s 60-room hotel is also underway. Nearby, a 21-story tower will be erected which will include an extra 180 rooms. According to developer Ari Pearl, only 5 acres of Diplomat’s golf courses will be redeveloped, leaving about 115 acres for golf. The leftover course at 501 Diplomat Parkway will also be given a makeover with a new driving range, short game area and practice putting green.

This pattern of closing golf courses is spreading across the U.S. with the dwindling number of golfers out there. The development experts are saying that South Florida’s land shortage has driven courses to sell for housing projects.

“Around the country there’s an oversupply of golf courses,” said Jeff Davis, founder of Fairway Advisors, a golf course brokerage firm in Dallas, Texas. He estimates about 100 golf courses have been closing each year since 2008.

South Florida land is “too valuable,” said Richard Singer, the senior director of the Jupiter-based National Golf Foundation. “Golf courses are more valuable in another use. Golf is not the ... best use of property in many cases. Building homes on golf courses and getting 150 percent premium on it is how you make money on golf.”

It’s a controversial move and golf-course neighbors aren’t liking it. No matter how much they protest, they haven’t been able to prevent homes from being built on greens. The flip size is that some golf courses actually benefit from cities giving them aid. For example, Delray Beach invested more than $7 million in the city’s decaying golf course which had been around since 1926. They were following the same model as Tamarac which had bought the Colony West golf course. In Boca Raton, the beach & park district purchased the private Ocean Breeze golf course with a $20 million loan from the city. 

The exciting new SLS Residence apartment building will boast 250 homes that range from one to three bedrooms. Amenities will include tennis courts, a spa and the marina. Even more exciting will be the Asian-American inspired mixology lounge, Katsuya.

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    Director of Real Estate Sales
    Harding Realty, Inc.

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