11 private groups asked for golf course proposals

January 07, 1994|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Staff Writer

Eleven investment teams have been asked to submit proposals to design, build and operate an 18-hole golf course in Pasadena -- the first time the county has relied on the private sector to develop and manage a public recreation facility.

Requests for proposals were sent last month to the groups, which have until Feb. 17 to respond.

The county is expected to announce its selection in the spring, said Tom Donlin, chief of special facilities with the county's Department of Recreation and Parks.

Mr. Donlin said he didn't know when golfers might be able to tee off. The construction timetable will depend on the group chosen.

"I wouldn't want to make a prediction," Mr. Donlin said.

The groups notified the county in March of their interest in developing a course on the former horse farm on Fort Smallwood Road near Water Oak Point Road.

But the county has moved slowly in soliciting proposals because the management structure of this project will be unique, Mr. Donlin said.

In the past, the county has used tax revenue to pay for recreation projects and has retained control over the operation. In this case, the county is turning over control to a private firm, which will finance the project and make money by charging user fees.

The county will retain ownership of the 157 acres. The winning group will be given the option of buying additional land, which must be deeded over to the county, Mr. Donlin said.

"We had a lot of internal questions about how we wanted to do this," Mr. Donlin said.

The golf course, as yet unnamed, will be the second municipal course in the county.

The county also owns Eisenhower Golf Course in Crownsville.

About 50,000 rounds of golf are played each year at the Eisenhower course, and a similar number are expected to be played at the Pasadena course, Mr. Donlin said.

County officials have debated establishing a golf course on the horse farm since the mid-1980s, when a developer proposed building a subdivision there.

The county acquired the property in 1990 as a disposal site for material dredged from Rock Creek.

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