The town has received new proposals for the Country Club of Woodbridge, one of which was presented in a public pitch at the August Board of Selectmen meeting. Brian St. Pierre, owner of Insite Development Group and a Woodbridge resident, proposes to build approximately 100 individual homes for “active adults,” 55 and over on 40-50 acres along Woodfield Road; revitalize the 18-hole golf course, and renovate the clubhouse, including pro shop and pool, possibly with a banquet/restaurant facility.
He offers to pay the town $5.1 million cash at closing, make improvements to the tune of $25-30 million and return roughly 100 acres to the town with a conservation easement, which would ensure that the majority of the land stay undeveloped in perpetuity. He said the town would benefit from the proposal in that it would wipe out the $4.9 million of debt that remain on the purchase. The town bought the property in 2009 for $7 million when the former Woodbridge Country Club was about to go bankrupt.
When fully built out, the project would generate $1.5 million in tax revenue per year, he said. St. Pierre talked about the need for housing options specifically for the aging population in Woodbridge, without increasing the school population. About 54 percent of the residents are over the age of 45, he said.
He said he would move the cell tower currently located on the parcel he intends to develop to a location across Woodfield Road. His intention is to build homes that are consistent with the style of homes in the area. Each home will have a first-floor master bedroom, with additional bedroom/offices on the upper level. There will be five different types of houses, ranging in size from 2,000 to 2,400 square feet. Landscaping and maintenance of the driveways, walkways and roads will be through a homeowner’s association. The houses will be set back from the road and shielded from view by trees and shrubs. The development will feature a community center with meeting spaces, fitness center, tennis and pickleball and walking paths.
He said he would gut and completely renovate the existing clubhouse, which is currently closed due to its deteriorating condition. The clubhouse, golf course and pool will be available for public use, he said, including golf camps and such.
Insite is a real estate development firm. Its financial partner in this project will be Clubhouse Capital, who has financed similar projects throughout the nation, including 25 golf courses. “But I am going to be the guy in the trailer,” St. Pierre said. St. Pierre said they expect to invest a total of $25-30 million into the project., $1.5 million alone to upgrade the golf course.
As far as the timeline is concerned, he expects they will need one whole year to get the golf course back on track. That would involve relocating the driving range and the first hole. Once brought back to life, a management company would be running the golf operation. As for the houses, he said he expects to complete the project in 3 to 4 years.
The Powerpoint presentation is available on the town’s website, http://www.woodbridgect.org/DocumentCenter/View/2024/Insite_Dev_CCW_Presentation_08082018.
In addition to the Insite proposal, the town has had others that expressed an interest, including an offer to purchase approximately 10 acres to build an assisted living facility (Option A on the town’s website) and a proposal to build 68 age-restricted, single family homes along a 9-hole renovated golf course, with recreational space and approximately two miles of walking trails for public use, and 132 age-restricted townhomes on both sides of Woodfield Road (Option C).
First Selectman Beth Heller said they had not received any more details on these proposals. However, she and Administrative Officer Anthony Genovese did go on a site visit with the developer of Fieldstone Village, a large, multi-year development across Route 34 in Orange. She hadn’t received a formal offer.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent