Paris Grand Goes To Houses

I’ve never been a big fan of Jed Azinger’s quirky design, but it is also always a shame to lose a public golf course. After buying a fair number of mid-tier public golf courses, GolfNorth, financed by BlackBerry billionaire Jim Balsillie, is apparently entering the development business, according to the Paris Star, the local newspaper. The paper says Paris Grand, designed by Azinger and acquired out of bankruptcy by GolfNorth, could become houses in the future:

Paris golf club will continue for the near future but eventually the land now traversed by golf carts may end up populated by houses.

A representative of GolfNorth Properties told the countys planning committee early this month that the company plans to develop the lands for residential use in the longer term.

The property is already designated residential. In the countys updated Official Plan the propertys designation will be further refined under the new category Urban Residential. The updated designation will carry forward the residential permissions for the property while recognizing its existing use as a golf course.

Many in the golf course business wondered what Balsillie was doing with GolfNorth. Maybe now we know his intent…

That said, I’m not sure what “longer term” means. Five years? Ten?

Of course it is also an example of another mid-tier Ontario public course potentially disappearing. Courses in the GTA, like Hunters Glen, have already closed in preparation for development.

The Paris Star story can be found here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Steve: Which course did that happen to?

    Bill: Quirky, in this case, is being kind. Let’s call it the best course of its kind.

  • Robert,
    If Paris is ‘updating’ their official plan (as you note), this may be nothing more than protecting their asset and its value. Golf Courses often become designated ‘Open Space’ and as such, may have a more limited value on the market. By retaining the ‘residential’ designation, this could give future purchasers more options. The move by GolfNorth may simply be to note to local politicians that their ‘intent’ is to develop for residential someday, therefore ensuring that the permission is not removed and maximizing flexibility of a real estate asset.

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