CLAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The course was full but feelings were bittersweet as golfers teed off for potentially their last time at the Liverpool Golf & Country Club Tuesday.
The course, which is marking its 70th-year in business, is also in the process of being sold, with developer Trammell Crow looking to build a 3.7 million square foot distribution warehouse on the 110-acre piece of land.
“It’s tough for us. There is progress and we’re happy for the town and we’re happy for the area, but it’s tough,” said Director of Special Projects Stephen Schmitt
“I figured it might be the last time I might play this course, so I figured I’d come down and take advantage of it with that warehouse potentially coming in,” said Carl Falk as he was getting ready at the first tee.
Falk drove down from Pulaski to hit the links and said he’ll be disappointed to see the course go. It’s one of the only year-round golf courses in Central New York and rain or shine, he said it was a place you could count on.
While cleaning off his clubs, another golfer, Mike Procopio, reminisced about his 40 years coming to Liverpool. He used to live right next to the course.
“I’m depressed. It bums me out a little bit. We’ve been coming here since we were kids,” said Procopio. “There are still plenty of places to play golf in town, so it won’t hurt us that badly, but it is centrally located and pretty flat and they’re open all year, so we’re going to lose that.”
Of the 110-acres being purchased for the project, 76 acres will be for the $280 million warehouse. The remaining 34 acres will be green space, but not a golf course.
“I was in shock, sad, shocked and sad. This place is known for being open when it’s golf-able. They’re open. We count on that, so it was sad,” said regulars Mark Kuzio and Kelly Dorr.
The Town of Clay approved a zoning change for the property on November 6 and the developer, Trammell Crow is expected to get around $66 million in tax breaks as part of a 15-year PILOT program. The estimated cost for the warehouse is $280 million.
“I think the golfers understand. They love the place, but I think they see what happens to a town when you don’t have progress, so I think they’re happy to see that, but sad to see their golf course go away,” said Schmitt.
The owners encourage everyone to make the most of their final drive. They plan to be open until further notice.
A start date for construction has not been announced.
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For more local news, follow Rob Hackford on Twitter @Robert_Hackford