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Leesburg’s Westpark Golf Course property under contract to undisclosed buyer

Westpark Golf Course opened in 1968. Courtesy Photo/City & Suburban Real Estate Brokerage
Less than two weeks after Leesburg Town Council decided to look into saving Westpark Golf Club from potential development, an undisclosed buyer has put the property under contract.

“There is always the potential for that buyer to partner with the town,” Deputy Town Manager Keith Markel said.

The buyer will remain in a study period until the end of the year, at which time they may or may not decide to purchase the property. Members of town staff have heard rumors that the buyer is considering developing residences on the property. The 142-acre space, complete with clubhouse and other outbuildings, is zoned for up to 27 “estate lot” residences and some commercial near the highway.

Built as the Leesburg Country Club neighborhood’s centerpiece in 1968, Westpark Golf Club has served as a public golf course for decades. Neighbors value the land for its natural beauty—it is the largest Leesburg green space south of the Route 7 Bypass, especially since the development of Meadowbrook Farm.

“It is an exceptional natural space. It has huge mature trees and conifers and a creek.There are native plants; there are wildflowers,” resident Renay Lang told Leesburg Town Council. “It is absolutely worth preserving.”

Westpark was listed in late August for $6.2 million, but the idea of preserving the property did not come before the town until mid-October, when Rob Fulcer of the Leesburg Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission wrote a letter recommending that council “explore the idea of purchasing the Westpark Golf Course property and its continued operation as a public golf course.”

Several dozen Leesburg Country Club residents packed the council chamber during the Oct. 24 meeting to petition for council action.

Councilman Tom Dunn, noting the crowd, asked that council suspend rules and vote to direct town staff to study the matter.

“We have got to look at all the options,” he said.

When council agreed unanimously, the enthusiastic crowd gave a standing ovation.

“I personally golf there, love it, don’t want it to go away,” Councilman Fernando Martinez added.

A town staff study, released Thursday, said that buying and running Westpark as a municipal golf course would be a money-losing option for the town. The property, while well-maintained, needs an additional $1.5 to $2 million in repairs, and similar municipal golf parks’ revenue would not begin to cover the debt service. Neither Loudoun County nor the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority expressed an interest in partnering with Leesburg on this project.

Because the property is now under contract, Westpark Golf Club is not on the council’s next agenda, though councilmembers could ask to discuss the item during a work session or meeting.

Markel said that besides waiting to see whether the buyer purchases the property, council could partner with the buyer if the buyer is interested or put in another offer. A local nonprofit has expressed interest in the property, but it is not the current contract holder.

“At this point, it’s up to council as to whether they want to pursue it anymore or take a wait-and-see approach,” Markel said.

Comments


Poorly conditioned and run golf course.  Better off as houses.


This one is easy.  The new buyer will, no doubt, seek a rezoning to more houses.  All that has to happen is the Leesburg Town Council votes no on the rezoning.  Leesburg residents should keep in constant contact with Leesburg Town Council members, and demand they vote no on any rezoning, or vote those running next year out of office.


Buff,  Brambleton costs about the same as Westpark and is in Loudoun. So all is not lost!!! You can still play as much as you were previously without breaking the bank!


If Leesburg is going to buy it, they should just keep it as a regular park.  Get rid of the golf and its headaches and keep the green space.


Councilman Martinez wants tax payer to pony up so he can still golf there.  Nothing new coming from this guy. He would like bus service outside his home.  And he always tells another story about “when my kids come visit they love….” insert anything and he will vote for you to pay for it.  Must keep Marty and his kids happy


First Goose Creek, now Westpark…RIP affordable golf in Loudoun.


With homes in Loudoun averaging $500k+, you can expect this land to be turned into a neighborhood. It’s just too valuable to leave as trees and grass.


Only government buys an operation that is guaranteed to lose money.  I understand the point about the largest green space, but at what price is it worth keeping considering all of the other parks in the area.


By-right development does not guarantee that permits can be obtained to build, that connections to water and sewer will be approved, or that new entrances will be granted from public roads.


The town should look at the operation of Herndon’s Centennial golf course as a benchmark.  Does it break even or cost Herndon money?  It it a well run and popular operation.  Westpark would need improvement and better management to come close to Herndon, but it might be possible.  The town needs to be careful, as golf revenues are in decline and running a financially sustainable course is difficult.  Ask Beacon Hill HOA - they got a 27 hole course FREE in a bankruptcy and cannot find a financial model to open it.


I’m really glad someone looked into the financial side of a golf course.  Golf is declining in many areas and courses are too expensive to maintain.  The current owners dumped millions into West Park and it still needs more.  I’m glad the town realizes they’d never recover the costs running this place.  Unfortunately, this means the only cost effective solution for the owners is to sell and it gets turned into monster houses.  I’m surprised though at 142 acres it should support more than 27 homes.  That’s more than 5 acres per average lot.  The new subdivision going in across Rt. 15 from there is a whole lot more dense than that.

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