JK Moving Services CEO Chuck Kuhn completed the purchase of about 143 acres at the former Westpark Golf Club in Leesburg on Dec. 28, with plans to place the vast majority of the land into a conservation easement.
After closing on the land purchase, the Loudoun County businessman and philanthropist now hopes to begin work on a deal with the town of Leesburg and Loudoun County, both of which have expressed interest in acquiring the land placed in the conservation easement and turning it into a public park.
The Westpark land was purchased from Dittmar Company for $5 million.
“What we’re trying to do there is avoid residential development,” Kuhn said in an interview with the Times-Mirror. “After the easement is placed on the property to protect it from future development, we’d like to sell it at a reduced price to the county or the town to open it up as walking paths and open space for the community.”
Under his timetable, Kuhn is aiming to place 134 acres of the property into a conservation easement in 2021. The businessman, who founded the Sterling-headquartered JK Moving in the early 1980s and lives in western Loudoun County, intends to keep eight acres of commercially zoned property for future use.
Kuhn has had a contract with Dittmar Company to purchase the property since the spring.
“As our county continues to grow, it’s important that we preserve land that can be enjoyed by our citizens as well as protect natural habitats,” Kuhn said in a prepared statement. “By getting this land into the county’s control, we can do both.”
In early December, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize county staff to contact Clubhouse Drive LLC, a company owned by Kuhn, about the board’s interest in acquiring the 134 acres of the property that would be placed in conservation easement. The former Westpark Golf Club property is located on the south side of the Route 7 Bypass and west of Route 15.
The future of the former Westpark Golf Club has been debated by the Leesburg Town Council over the past year. In December 2019, a proposal by Lennar to build 96 townhomes on the site failed after the Leesburg Town Council voted against it 5-2. Lennar’s proposal was to build the townhomes and potentially donate the remaining 130 acres to the town as a park.
Kuhn praised Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk as someone who has been “extremely professional to work with.” He also described Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet and County Attorney Leo Rogers as “extremely professional” and committed to “working hard to make something work for the community.”
With three new members joining the Leesburg Town Council in 2021, Kuhn said he hopes the council “works more cohesively than the previous team.”
“The previous team was at odds quite a bit, and I think it became counterproductive for the town,” he said.