Alan Cohen, owner of Cohen Siegel Investors development company, says he plans to close Laurel's Patuxent Greens Country Club in about two years to build a development of up to 450 units on the nearly 200-acre golf course after purchasing the property for $5.4 million in July.
Cohen purchased the course, located at 14415 Greenview Drive in the Patuxent Greens neighborhood, from Fore Golf Partners' chairman and CEO Charles Staples. The semi-private, 18-hole course was designed by architect Russell Roberts, and the facility includes venue space for weddings and private parties.
Patuxent Greens is Cohen's first golf property. The Rockville-based company primarily works with single- and multi-family, office, retail, mixed-use and hotel properties.
Cohen, who is early in the approval process for the planned unit development, said the developer plans to keep the golf course running for at least two more years, while operating the clubhouse as a banquet hall indefinitely.
Cohen Siegel Investors is seeking the approval of single-family homes and townhouses for up to 450 units spread across half of the property and keeping the remaining 100 acres as open space for the community, Cohen said.
"I would keep the banquet facility and spend some significant dollars to bring it to current standards," costing between $2 and $3 million, Cohen said. "It does a lot of business for weddings, parties and meetings."
A "complete overhaul" of the clubhouse includes renovations to the inside and outside of the building, such as new kitchen, bathrooms and deck, over an expected eight months of construction. The renovated venue will provide space for up to 250 people.
"We'll tear it down to its shell, keep the structure and re-do the outside and completely re-do the inside," Cohen said. "It's a long process to get my approval to build homes there, but if it doesn't work out, I'll keep it as a successful golf course. I feel confident that I will ascertain those approvals."
Christian Pulley, who handles zoning compliances as Laurel's director of economic and community development, said no documents for the planned development have been officially filed, despite talks of the project.
"When they do officially file, someone on my staff will review it, if not myself, and then get ready to present the case to the commissioners, mayor and City Council," Pulley said. "Once applications are submitted, referrals will go out for comment."
The process will then continue with the Maryland Department of the Environment and Prince George's County, she said.
Cohen Siegel Investors brought aboard Landscapes Management Co. earlier this month to manage the golf course and the clubhouse renovations. Landscapes and Cohen are collaborating on a capital improvement plan to review renovations.
Tom Everett, president of Landscapes Management Co., said they were referred to Cohen by a previous client.
Landscapes Management Co. is a division of Landscapes Unlimited, which specializes in golf management and construction, sports and recreation and irrigation and infrastructure throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Landscapes Unlimited has completed more than 1,700 projects, while Landscapes Management Co. operates more than 80 golf courses.
"Alan has hired us to provide support, hire and lead the management team and take care of the day-to-day operations from maintaining the course to the food and beverage department to golf operations," Everett said. "We felt like it was an opportunity to make a difference and take a property that may have some opportunity and improve the operations and physical plan. We want to create a property our client can be proud of."
The maintenance team will improve the golf course, Everett said, but no major projects are scheduled at this time.
"We have some other properties in the area, so we have a presence in the region," he said. "This is just another feather in our cap."
Everett said the management company — based in Lincoln, Neb. — has operated in the region for 15 years. Additional golf courses include Renditions in Davidsonville; Winchester Country Club in Winchester, Va.; Mountain View Golf Club in Fairfield, Pa.; and Ballyhack, in Roanoke, Va.