• 63°

Country Club a viable part of community development

While not as high on the priorities list as say good schools andquality health care facilities, recreational opportunities remainan important factor in business and industry decisions regardingwhere to expand or to locate new facilities.

That is why the situation surrounding the pending sale of theBrookhaven Country Club is important for continued economicdevelopment efforts on the local front.

The club offers golf, tennis and swimming, all of which caninterest business leaders looking for things to do when they ortheir employees are not working. And in some cases, business dealscan be struck while enjoying the links.

The development company is handling the sale of the propertythat once belonged to former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers. Theproperty is being sold as part of a settlement in a class-actionlawsuit surrounding the collapse the telecommunicationscompany.

Brookhaven’s Jeff Wilson currently has the high bid on theproperty at $621,000. Others may submit competing bids until themiddle of this month.

A development representative said the company is pleased withthe current bid and is ready to proceed with the sale later thismonth if no higher bids are received. That would allow the sale toWilson, who said last week he wants to continue to operate thefacility as a country club.

Not only that, but Wilson wants to enhance the attractiveness ofthe club, which has declined in recent years. Wilson did notdiscuss specifics of his ideas, but he said boosting membership andaddressing clubhouse conditions likely would be among his firstpriorities.

Wilson, of course, could be outbid by someone else with otherplans for the country club property. Early indicators, though,suggest the property will remain a recreational and economicdevelopment plus for this community.