Golf course sold; will remain a golf course

Charlie Toth takes a swing at the Greens of Greencastle driving range. He should be able to return for practices indefinitely if the purchase of the golf course is completed this summer, as anticipated by the buyer.

The Greens of Greencastle golf course has been sold and it is going to remain a golf course. Farhad Memarsadaghi, owner of Admar Custom Homes, Frederick, Md., said Monday that he and Greencastle GIBG LLC had reached a tentative agreement in which Admar would purchase the golf course.

"We are confident this will work out and we will be able to save the golf course," said Memarsadaghi.

The status of the 18-hole course on 212 acres has been in limbo since GIBG, an arm of a real estate investment firm in South Norwalk, Conn. purchased it June 1, 2005. Greenfield Partners submitted land development plans to Antrim Township July 19, 2006 to turn the course into 'The Preserve', a 191-lot residential development.

Admar, in the process of creating an upscale neighborhood along the 14th and 15th fairways, reacted swiftly. The company paired with local developer Dan Sheedy to challenge the change in the use of the property. They claimed the deed that passed along to new buyers dictated the land always remain a golf course. They filed a petition for removal Aug. 31, 2006, and in 2007 asked for a summary judgment. Well over two years later, on Sept. 28, 2009, Judge Yvette Kane ruled in favor of the petitioners, that the covenants of the original deed were legally valid. The order came from the Pennsylvania Middle District Court.

At the end of the 30-day appeal period, Oct. 26, GIBG filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. According to state law, the two sides then had to enter nonbinding arbitration to try to settle their differences.

They now hope to reach final settlement within 60 days.

"It's going to be the end of a nightmare," Memarsadaghi said. "When the cloud is over and everyone is confident the golf course will stay and be part of the community, people will come by so we can start selling some houses."

The first phase of Admar's 160-lot development 'The Fairways' is on Shannon Drive South and has a model home staffed by sales manager Bill Woodcock. When Admar won its case last fall he saw an immediate interest from buyers, but that stopped when the appeal was filed.

Memarsadaghi plans to continue to operate the golf course as it has been, and make some improvements. Since March 2006 the course has been managed by Pure Golf, Walkersville, Md. when it was retained by GIBG. Mike Reid has been the general manager.

Memarsadaghi is looking forward to the stability of the golf course. "It's going to be an asset to the community."