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STT757
October 7th, 2003, 11:02 PM
GOOD FORE!TUNE

By PAUL THARP

October 7, 2003 -- Wall Street power players will soon be able to do lunch deals over golf and be back to their offices in just 10 minutes.
The first salt-air golf course of its kind for the city - Scottish-style links with steep dunes and ocean breezes - is being built from scratch on an abandoned shore of New York Harbor, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street and Midtown's skyscraper vista.

The private golf club covers 126 acres on a three-mile peninsula jutting into the harbor in Bayonne, N.J.

When it opens next year, golfers can get there in minutes by fast ferry or moor private yachts at its deep-water, two-acre marina.

Global business people, local titans and billionaire golf aficionados are signing up for Bayonne Golf Club by invitation only, with memberships starting at around $100,000.

"We're not advertising it at all," says a club spokesman.

Golfers say Scottish courses are the world's most difficult.

Unlike the typical American golf course with wide fairways and trees, the Scottish links feature formidable steep dunes and high elevations to test player skills.

These tough, strategic courses draw the world's more zealous golfers.

At least three man-made versions of Scottish links have opened recently at surrounding inland suburbs, but they're more than an hour from the city.

"There's nothing like it for Manhattan and right by the water," said Jim Coady, an official of Empire Golf, which owns 10 area courses and is creating the golfers' oasis in the harbor.

"Like authentic Scottish links, it has 13 holes with greens or tees directly on the water, and all 18 holes face the water and get the sea wind. You have to go to Scotland or Ireland to find this," he said.

"No other golf course in the Northeast has elevations this dramatic, which have 100-foot changes."

Although the location may seem odd - atop a former landfill on a peninsula in Bayonne - it's become very precious waterfront.

"We didn't go out and find a pristine spot for the course, we built it," said Coady. He said the $23 million course is "one of the most highly engineered and most expensive golf courses ever built."

It's bankrolled by investor Tom Darden's Cherokee Investment Partners, which acquired the old dump in hopes of making it a gold mine with solid returns of up to 20 percent.

Darden's $1.6 billion fund has bought up hundreds of similar contaminated sites in Europe and the United States, including London's docklands and old dumps in the tri-state area.

http://nypost.com/photos/web10070323.jpg

estryker
May 2nd, 2006, 06:44 PM
Does anyone know anything of the environmental impact of these two new golf courses in what might have been wetlands restoration areas?

My guess is that, from a green perspective, golf courses are the next best thing to full scale clean-up and restoration (provided golfers do not kill off too many migrating birds with high-hit balls) . . . but i'm not clear and very curious. . .

injcsince81
May 3rd, 2006, 07:00 PM
Does anyone know anything of the environmental impact of these two new golf courses in what might have been wetlands restoration areas?

My guess is that, from a green perspective, golf courses are the next best thing to full scale clean-up and restoration (provided golfers do not kill off too many migrating birds with high-hit balls) . . . but i'm not clear and very curious. . .
estryker - I have been following the development of both golf courses (Bayonne Golf Club and the neighboring Liberty National Golf Club in JC), so I can comment on this.

Incidentally - both courses will open for play within months (Bayonne on Memorial Day and Liberty National on the 4th of July). But both will be strictly private - member play only, and VERY expensive to join...:(

As I understand, environmental activists were concerned with the effluent from the golf courses going into the wetlands and salt marshes. The effluent can carry the pesticide residue from treating the golf course grass.

To the best of my recollection this issue has been addressed by the designers and builders of the courses as part of the permitting process.

You're right that these courses are the next best thing to total remediation and total cleanup which would probably cost $ 1 billion for the Bayonne and Liberty sites. Bayonne sits on a municipal garbage dump and Liberty on contaminated land. Both courses capped the stuff underneath. Liberty will cost close to $150 million when it's done, and Bayonne about $110 million. Yikes!!!

estryker
May 4th, 2006, 06:19 PM
both completely private?! how ridiculous. well, i see the market demand for it . . . but there goes more waterfront access to private hands . . . the same thing seems to be happening in Red Hook these days . . . must be some sort of politico-desperation about redeveloping former docklands, now complete wastelands. [sigh]

Phill81
August 30th, 2006, 09:55 AM
Look at what these guys did...
Beautiful work!!! Easy to use... and satellite images from every single golf course in NY and NJ!!!! Amazing stuff! =)

http://www.eyespygolf.com/Golf-Course/NJ/
http://www.eyespygolf.com/Golf-Course/NY/

Phill
:)

injcsince81
August 30th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Look at what these guys did...
Beautiful work!!! Easy to use... and satellite images from every single golf course in NY and NJ!!!! Amazing stuff! =)

http://www.eyespygolf.com/Golf-Course/NJ/
http://www.eyespygolf.com/Golf-Course/NY/

Phill
:)

Phill the Shill?

Ninjahedge
August 30th, 2006, 01:22 PM
OMG PHILL!!!!

You are such a trusted member of this community that I believe every word you say!!!

Sure I will go and visit the site that yuo linked hee for more great opportunities involving Golf in the metro area!!!

This is your greatest post EVAR!!!!!

Phill81
August 31st, 2006, 02:50 AM
Sorry guys! Never posted before... I just read this forum sometimes! But I just got too excited when I saw all that satellite images!

Sorry... I will keep quiet! :)

Phill

Ninjahedge
August 31st, 2006, 08:41 AM
If that is true Phil, try posting some more opinions/NEWS articles and the like on here before coming in and dropping link-leaflets on the board on your 1st post....

There have been so many drop-and-run advertisers here that we are all more than a bit cynical to newbies coming on and saying "THIS WEBSITE IS GREAT!!!!!! GO HERE!!!!! IT CHANGED MY OUTLOOK ON EVERTHING!!!!!!" without so much as a hello.....

Phill81
August 31st, 2006, 08:43 PM
Thanks for the advice Ninja... will try to be more active in the forum!
Love this forum... always watching you guys... =)

OmegaNYC
August 31st, 2006, 09:25 PM
all these golf courses in this area, and no one can join! Unless they fork over massive amount of $$$$$$! That's some ol' Bull! :mad:

lofter1
September 3rd, 2006, 03:14 PM
All golfers should consider themselves lucky they don't live in Caracas ...

Caracas Mayor Lays Claim to Golf Links to House Poor


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David Rochkind/Polaris, for The New York Times
The Caracas Country Club has an 18-hole golf course dating from the 1920’s.
The mayor, a Hugo Chávez ally, wants the land for low-cost housing.

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/03/world/americas/03venezuela.html)

By SIMON ROMERO
September 3, 2006


CARACAS, Venezuela, Sept. 2 — No place in this country symbolizes the resilience of Venezuela’s moneyed elite more than the Caracas Country Club, a bastion of tropical luxury from the 1920’s, conceived in part for foreign oilmen and designed by American landscape architects who invoked the feeling of a vast coffee plantation.


So imagine the reactions in Caracas, a city choked by shantytowns and traffic congestion, when the mayor ordered the “forced acquisition” this week of the club’s 18-hole golf course, and another exclusive course near the United States Embassy, to make way for homes for as many as 11,500 poor families.


“We’ve done studies that show that 20 families survive for a week on what’s needed to maintain each square meter of grass on a golf course,” said Juan Barreto, the mayor and a close ally of President Hugo Chávez. “Their use is private and benefits certain sectors which are not the middle class or the poor.”


This is not the first volley against private property rights. Mr. Chávez’s government has tried for years to alleviate a severe housing shortage. Pro-Chávez politicians have put upscale districts of Caracas in their crosshairs, allowing squatters to occupy apartments in some residential buildings and considering measures that would expropriate apartments owned by landlords who control more than three properties.


http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2006/09/03/world/03venez.graphic.gifhttp://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gifhttp://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gif
The New York Times; satellite image by DigitalGlobe via Google Earth


Still, nothing touched a nerve in relation to property rights like Mr. Barreto’s declaration, broadcast on state television. Even within Mr. Chávez’s normally unified government, fissures erupted. Officials wanting to further radicalize Venezuela’s socialist-inspired economic policies applauded the decision, while the vice president, José Vicente Rangel, derided it.


“The federal government does not share the decision to forcefully acquire the golf courses of Valle Arriba and the Caracas Country Club,” Mr. Rangel said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the expropriations would be “the exclusive responsibility” of the municipal government for Caracas.


Teodoro Petkoff, an opposition politician and editor of the daily newspaper Tal Cual, alluded to the Bolsheviks in saying that Mr. Barreto, “in his megalomaniacal delirium, must consider this comparable to the storming of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg in 1917.” Mr. Barreto, meanwhile, said he would take the case to the country’s Supreme Court.


Almost lost in the uproar was the housing crisis that led the mayor to rattle well-heeled Caraqueños in the first place. Official estimates suggest Venezuela needs 1.7 million new homes to meet low-income housing needs, even though 35,000 such units were built in the first half of the year.


The housing shortage has been decades in the making, created by mass migration to Caracas and other cities from the countryside and natural disasters, like mudslides and Hurricane Mitch in 1998, that left more than 400,000 people homeless and destroyed more than 60,000 homes. Rising prices for new homes, as Venezuela’s economic growth has surged by 9 percent this year, have also put owning an apartment out of reach for many people.


Anemic efforts by private construction companies to build low-income housing and a lack of new homes to keep up with population growth in this country of 27 million people have worsened the problem.


Earlier oil windfalls have encouraged the view that the government is almost exclusively responsible for solving housing deficits, according to Carlos Machado, who specializes in real estate and land issues at the Institute of Higher Administrative Studies, a business school here.


That view has only been strengthened by what Mr. Chávez calls his Bolivarian Revolution, an ambitious program to lift the living standards of the poor financed by oil revenues that could exceed $50 billion this year.


But the problem has been a persistent headache for Mr. Chávez, who created the post of housing minister in 2004, and in July named his third: Ramón Carrizales. Mr. Chávez has publicly criticized housing officials for not adequately addressing the crisis, and recently began reaching out to foreign construction companies.


During Mr. Chávez’s recent visit to China, Venezuela reached a $1.2 billion deal with the Chinese conglomerate Citic to build 20,000 homes over the next two years.


Construction companies from Brazil, Uruguay and Iran have similar deals with Venezuela’s government, part of a broad effort to award contracts to non-American companies.


However, none of the deals are coming together quickly enough to produce the new homes needed in Caracas, a densely populated city of four million. Here, the housing shortage is most acute, and worries over how it will be dealt with have sent the real estate market spinning.


Landlords have flooded the market with apartments for sale, fearful of the measures, some in effect and others under consideration, that would allow more expropriations and bolster the rights of tenants and squatters.


Rentals are so scarce that rents have skyrocketed to as much as $7,000 a month for a three- or four-bedroom apartment near the two golf courses.


“The way people react is that you’ll find that there’s much less property available for lease or for rent, and more property available for sale,” said George Kastner, executive director of Coldwell Banker in Venezuela.


Already, squatters occupy units in more than 140 buildings in Caracas, either illegally or with the approval of city officials. Mayor Barreto, who once pursued doctoral studies in sociology, has ordered more than a dozen takeovers of buildings, including a 96-unit residential complex in El Rosal, a district with soaring postmodern office towers and the Caracas stock exchange.


Mr. Barreto made apartments in the building available to families of firefighters who were homeless or had to commute from far-flung areas to Caracas to work. The firefighters now live in 46 of the building’s one- and two-bedroom apartments.


“This is simply our new reality,” said Víctor Marval Marcano, an official with Constructora Cohen, the company that owns the building, which is called Rosal Plaza. “We’ve had cordial discussions with the mayor’s office, and we’re awaiting payment from the government for the units that have been taken over.”


Payment for the golf courses, according to Carlos Escarrá, a constitutional lawyer and top pro-Chávez legislator in the National Assembly, should be “just and opportune.”


“If there’s agreement on the amount of the payment, then it’s over,” Mr. Escarrá told reporters. “But if not, then this goes into a judicial phase.”


If that occurs, the golf club takeovers may well bog down in Venezuela’s byzantine bureaucracy and legal system. By week’s end, the mayor’s opponents seemed almost nonchalant. “One has to laugh, because sincerely this is a country where everyone rules and no one obeys,” Fernando Zozaya, president of the Caracas Country Club, said in an interview.


It would be too easy, perhaps, to accept such sentiment as a bookend to the dispute in a city where protesters gather daily at the government’s housing bank in El Rosal to demand new homes. The protesters, who are occasionally dispersed by tear gas, expressed glee at the chance to become neighbors of Venezuela’s elite.


“Golf is a beautiful game that I’ve seen on television, but if that’s where I belong, then so be it,” Roberto Carlos Valdez, 41, a street vendor, said during a protest this week. “All I want is a roof over my children.”


Jens Erik Gould contributed reporting for this article.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company