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Clubhouse options head to council

Golf

December 21, 2011|By Bryce Alderton
(Courtesy of Newport…)

Newport Beach Country Club will receive a new clubhouse. The question is what will it look like and how big will it be?

Two proposals will come before Newport Beach City Councilmembers at their Jan. 24 meeting for the East Coast Highway property.

One proposal, from the club's lease owner, Golf Realty Fund, has a clubhouse spanning 35,000 square feet and would eliminate 17 of 24 existing tennis courts and rebuild the tennis clubhouse, according to a project summary from the city's Planning Commission. The landowner, whose total project space is 145 acres, also wants to eliminate an access road to neighborhing Armstrong Nursery. The road runs parallel to Coast Highway.

The other proposal, from NBCC Inc., the club's management, calls for a 56,000-square-foot clubhouse on 133 acres. The NBCC proposal focuses only on the clubhouse and keeping the access road to Armstrong. Golf Realty Fund's proposal includes adding five single-family homes, 27 hotel rooms, and the golf clubhouse, which also includes 8,000 square feet of underground parking for golf carts. The hotel rooms would be built on land where the 17 tennis courts currently sit.

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Here's what councilmembers will deal with:

In a Planning Commission report to city staff, commissioners say the "existing golf clubhouse (built in the 1950s) no longer meets the needs of the membership or Newport Beach community."

"This is an opportunity for us to have a club that matches the address — like a world-class facility to enhance membership," said Perry Dickey, the club's president said.

Dickey wouldn't say how much the renovation would cost because he said he doesn't know when work would start. The City Council still needs to give its feedback and the California Coastal Commission would need to approve the renovation, too. Both proposals call for demolishing the existing clubhouse.

"It could be one year or 18 months," Dickey said. "I don't want to overpromise and under-deliver."

The project has dragged. Dickey said they first began making plans two years ago, but he and Robert O Hill, Golf Realty's president, don't see eye-to-eye, in Dickey's words.

Dickey said in October that he and O Hill "agree to disagree."

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