WILMINGTON – After getting news of a record number of rounds played at the city’s municipal golf course during the month of February, many in the area inquired about the former par 3 course at Inland Greens off Cardinal Drive in midtown Wilmington.
Golf should be returning to the Cedar Ridge neighborhood as a nine-hole course alongside a recreational park with playground and fitness equipment by end of the year. The total cost: approximately $3.2 million.
City staff has projected that, once completed, about 12,000 rounds of golf will be played annually, raising around $125,000 in projected revenue.
“It’s a lot of money,” Bill Van Order, a resident of Inland Greens for the last 23 years, said. “The former owner really did a poor job managing the course. Maintenance was basically non-existent and, from what I understand, the people who run the municipal course will be managing it. We’ll also have a new fitness area to go along with golf [course]. I’m looking forward to it reopening.”
City of Wilmington purchases Inland Greens
Land acquisition for a park in the 1995 annexation area was identified as a project in the joint City/County 2006 parks and green space bond. The city purchased the Inland Greens par-three golf course for $500,000 and created a plan to refurbish nine of the 18 golf holes and create a passive park to replace the other nine holes.
Stormwater improvements, walking path installed
Before the park and golf improvements could be constructed, extensive stormwater upgrades were necessary to bring the property into compliance with a state high-density storm water permit. The permit acquisition and storm water system design were both complicated processes, which led to project delays.
In November 2014, a $1.2 million project got underway to make the necessary stormwater improvements. Plans helped improve the existing drainage system with new piping and adding more drainage for the nearby Wiregrass Road. Improvements were made to help control flooding that occurred in the area during heavy rains.
Once the improvements were complete, a three-quarter-mile walking path was installed. Drainage repairs and walking path was estimated at $709,400.
The project was funded with $400,000 in storm water funds, a $75,000 contribution from the neighborhood’s homeowners associations and nearly $1.5 million in parks bond funds.
City Council approves construction contract to retrofit golf course/park
On February 7, 2017, City Council approved a $718,500 construction project to reconstruct the site with a nine-hole golf course and park where the former front-nine of Inland Greens was once located. The contract was awarded to Shapemasters Inc., based in Southport.
The bids for construction of Phase II were opened on March 22 2016. However, no bids were received. Due to the projected construction timeline the project could not be re-bid until the winter of 2016 due to the seasonal nature of sprigging grass.
Construction on the final phase of the project got underway last month and is expected to be complete by August.
By the numbers: the total cost of project
Initial purchase of 32.3 acre land: $500,000
Storm water/drainage repairs, walking path: $2 million
Construction contract for golf course/park: $718,500
Total approximate cost: $3.2 million