MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- A new 18-hole golf course is planned for Martin County, which already has 35 golf courses.
What's different for No. 36 is that it would be built by NBA Hall-of-Famer Michael Jordan, three independent sources told Treasure Coast Newspapers. Jordan would be the principal owner and have about 25 investors putting up $1 million, confirmed the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to release details.
It could cost $15 million to $20 million -- not including the price of the property -- to build the course, the sources told Treasure Coast Newspapers.
Jordan's course would be built on about 227 acres in Hobe Sound, Fla., north of Bridge Road and east of Interstate 95. The land is vacant, but once was used to grow citrus.
West Palm Beach-based The Grove Golf Club LLC would develop the course.
Early indications are that the exclusive golf club would be open to just 180 members, according to a project description submitted to the county by the developer's representative, Lucido & Associates.
The plan is for "a very unique golf course in Martin County unlike none other," Morris Crady, of Lucido & Associates, told Martin County staff at a meeting Thursday.
Officials met to discuss the proposal and what county regulations it needs to meet, including landscaping, irrigation, parking and building heights.
Current zoning allows for a golf course. The site has no wetlands, upland habitat or environmentally protected land that would require preservation, according to Lucido & Associates.
"We kind of like the site because it's not full of preserves and upland habitat," Crady told county officials. "The golf-course concept that (the architect) is trying to create is an open area, basically that you can see from one end of the course to the other. That's why this site is ideal. We don't have to impact wetlands, we don't have to impact uplands. We can basically work with a clean slate of land."
However, the preliminary application fails to meet some county regulations, according to an Oct. 18 Martin staff report.
But that doesn't necessarily mean Jordan's project fails to meet county regulation, just that the application fails to demonstrate the proposal meets county code, Martin staff explained Thursday to Treasure Coast Newspapers.
"Our staff report is not saying, 'There's a problem and you can't do it.' Our staff report is saying is what you have given us to date doesn't demonstrate compliance. You may be fully compliant today for all we know, but we are not able to get that from these materials yet," said Catherine Riiska, growth-management department principal planner.
De Mudd, a Grove Golf Club representative who attended Thursday's meeting, declined to comment. Mudd is a former president of The Medalist Golf Club, another exclusive club, founded by Greg Norman, also in Hobe Sound.
In addition to The Medalist, the area also is home to the McArthur Golf Club and Loblolly Golf Club. Other exclusive clubs include The Floridian in Palm City.
Jordan's course would open in a largely agricultural area, on a site south of the Atlantic Ridge State Park and north of the Hobe Sound Polo Club, 2645 S.E. Bridge Road.
The Local Planning Agency, a County Commission advisory board, and the County Commission both are to consider and vote on the proposed golf course if The Grove Golf Club pursues the project.
No dates have been scheduled for the public hearings.
Treasure Coast Newspapers usually does not use anonymous sources in its news reporting, except on rare occasions when the topic demands it.
Treasure Coast golf correspondent Craig Dolch contributed to this report.
85: Number of proposed parking spaces
23,000: Square feet of cumulative building coverage of a clubhouse, maintenance, storage, administration, driving range and caddy buildings and a gatehouse.
227 acres: Size of the proposed development site; it's part of a 444-acre tract
Source: Martin County
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