New restaurant, townhouses proposed for part of once-bankrupt Andover golf course

A Lexington developer wants to re-open the now-shuttered Andover Club as a restaurant and construct 88 townhouses on 19 acres of the once-bankrupt Andover Golf and Country Club on Todds Road.

Anderson Communities has filed an application for zone changes for the club house, which is now closed, and to build townhouses on property near the club house.

“We are in conversation with a couple local restaurant owners and the reception has been good,” said Dennis Anderson, of Anderson Communities. The company has also talked to several fitness clubs about possibly opening a club in the building.

On an area that is now a parking lot, Anderson is proposing 18 townhouses that are one and a half stories.

On the driving range, Anderson wants to build 70 townhouses that are two and two and a half stories tall.

Jimmy Nash will be the builder for the townhouses. Both townhouse sites are immediately adjacent to current townhouses on the property, Anderson said.

Anderson Communities’ application for two zone changes to re-open the club as a business and to change the zoning to allow for townhouses is scheduled to be heard at the April 25 Urban County Planning Commission meeting.

Andover-area homeowners’ associations will continue to own the remaining 145 acres that was once the golf course, according to Nathan Billings, a lawyer that represents the homeowners associations. The neighborhood associations now use the former golf course as green space for walking trails.

The fate of the private golf course that is surrounded by several neighborhoods was in question in 2017 when the former Andover Golf and Country Club declared bankruptcy. The six neighborhood associations were able to purchase the golf course in 2018 from Whitaker Bank for $3.15 million.

At the time of the purchase, the six associations also created a separate parcel that included the club house, tennis courts and driving range. It’s that property that Anderson Communities has an option to purchase, said Billings. That parcel is jointly owned by all of the neighborhood associations in an entity known as Andover Common Property NFP Inc.

The neighborhood associations and Anderson Communities worked for more than four months on the plan that would allow for limited development on those 19 acres, Billings said.

“The ACP board has approved the agreement and has approved the development plan that has been filed,“ Billings said. There will be a meeting for homeowners about the proposed development in early April, he said.

If the zone change is approved and Anderson Communities purchases the property, those neighborhood associations can use the proceeds from the sale to pay off a loan it took out to purchase the 19 acres. There will also be additional money the associations can use to pay off other loans the six associations used to buy the remaining 145 acres.

“They worked tirelessly for about four and a half months and they were very accommodating to the (Andover Homeowners Associations),” Billings said of Anderson.

Anderson said they have agreed to certain restrictions on what types of businesses can go into the club house. “It won’t be anything that will be a detriment to the neighborhood. We want to make it a community focal point, “ he said.

But Anderson said the restaurant must be open to the public to make the project financially feasible.

Membership-only restaurants and clubs aren’t commercially viable, he said.

“You have to command a certain scale to maintain a high-level of service and product,” said Anderson.

 

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