Quail Hollow golf course in central Pasco targeted for 400 homes

Article Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times

By C.T.Bowen   

Published March 11, 2016


WESLEY CHAPEL — Central Pasco is poised to lose another public golf course.

The owner of Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club has proposed turning his property into a gated community of 400 homes.

The rezoning request, filed last month with Pasco County, seeks permission for a master planned unit development that would convert the nearly 175-acre site into 400 detached homes and townhouses. Additionally, 5.5 acres would be set aside for a day care center and a 30,000-square-foot office building.

"This is just to get the rezoning to proceed. It could be awhile'' for development to occur, said the project's land-use attorney, Barbara Wilhite.

Jim O'Brien of Coastal Brokerage & Investments LLC in Land O'Lakes is listed as the developer. Nine months ago, O'Brien said there were no immediate plans to turn the golf course into a residential community.

However, the rezoning request is the first step toward that happening. Wilhite said the rezoning process usually takes about six months to complete. The land, in a rural density district, already is entitled to hold up to 287 homes. The zoning application seeks to increase that total.

The golf course is at 6225 Old Pasco Road, about a mile north of Wesley Chapel Boulevard (County Road 54). Its owner is Andre Carollo's Pasco Office Park LLC, which purchased the property for $1.7 million in 2010, two years after the course closed. It reopened in 2011 after both the course and clubhouse were refurbished substantially.

The 11,000-square-foot restaurant building is a popular site for banquets, group meetings and other events, and its Friday night lineup of live bands has included such regional staples as the Johnny G. Lyons Band and the Black Honkeys.

Eventually, "the current operation will close,'' said Wilhite, and will be replaced by an amenity center for the new subdivision's residents.

The golf course, measuring 6,811 yards, was designed initially in 1965, according to its website. Its construction predated the surrounding residential development. None of the adjacent residential lots were sold as part of a golf course community, according to project narrative filed with the county.

The demise of the course is part of a decade-long trend toward downsizing in the golf industry. The National Golf Foundation said there were the equivalent of 14,437 18-hole golf courses around the country in 2014, a reduction of 128 from the year before. It marked the fifth consecutive year the number had declined. The number of courses peaked nationally in 2005 at 15,007, the foundation said.

Even with the reductions, which the foundation attributed to a market correction of supply and demand, the total number of courses in 2014 was 40 percent higher than it was 30 years ago.

Elsewhere in central Pasco, Plantation Palms Golf Club, east of Collier Parkway in Land O'Lakes, closed nearly two years ago and went on the market as a distressed sale in August 2014. The asking price then was $1.2 million. It has not been sold.

VisitPasco.net, the county's tourism website, counts 20 public and private golf courses in Pasco.