A Florida businessman who wants to buy and upgrade the Peninsula Golf Club in East Massapequa told Newsday he will enter into an agreement with Oyster Bay to preserve the entire property as green space if the sale goes through.
Oyster Bay officials, however, won’t talk to Richard Schaub Jr., Florida-based owner of Great American Properties, as the town considers seizing the property through eminent domain. Last month the town board held a hearing on condemning the property but did not vote on it.
Restrictive covenants with Nassau County have protected the 50-acre Peninsula Golf Club site for 75 years from housing development and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has told Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino the county will enforce those covenants.
Schaub, who has developed oceanfront properties and golf courses in Florida and offered $4.4 million to owner P.G.C. Holding Corp. to purchase the private property, said he wants to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve the East Massapequa grounds — including adjusting two holes to prevent stray balls from hitting nearby houses and tweaking sand traps so they’re "perfectly sculpted."
He said he also wants to invest an yet-to-be determined amount in expanding the clubhouse to be "a place where neighbors could come in for a hamburger and a beer" and watch a game on television.
In an Aug. 10 letter to the Oyster Bay Town Board, Schaub wrote he had been unable to comment on his plans previously due to a confidentiality agreement with the current owner, P.G.C. Holding Corp., but sought to reassure the board of his intentions.
"We are purchasing it as a golf course, and as a golf course only," Schaub wrote. Schaub said he received no response from the town.
Schaub said the restrictive covenants are "very strong" and he is open to crafting an agreement with Oyster Bay to ensure that the golf course is not developed.
"I would be willing to work with the town, defining that this property should always remain green," Schaub said.
Town officials are unwilling to discuss preserving the golf course with Schaub, spokesman Brian Nevin wrote in a statement Tuesday.
"The Town cannot negotiate with parties that do not own the property, and therefore we suggest that Great American Properties work with the current owners to immediately protect this open space from future development," Nevin wrote. Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino did not respond to interview requests on Wednesday.
Town officials raised the prospect of the property being developed, despite the restrictive covenants.
Nevin said in a June 11 tweet that Schaub has "a record of redeveloping entire [golf] courses" but town officials have not responded to repeated requests to provide evidence of this assertion. Schaub said Nevin’s statement was not true.
Schaub said he has no intention of developing housing at the golf course: "Not one. Not a tiki hut."
"That property is not going to be a housing subdivision," Schaub said. "That property should remain green."
Schaub said shareholders of P.G.C. Holding tabled a vote to finalize a contract of sale after the town raised the prospect of eminent domain.
P.G.C. Holding president Nicholas DeSibio, declined to comment Tuesday.
Limited to golf
The restrictions on Peninsula Golf Club property:
1. Property must remain a golf course
2. No residential or business construction unless necessary to operate golf course
3. No farming
4. No business uses other than golf
5. Restrictive covenants run with the land
Source: 1946 deed between Nassau County and Peninsula Golf Club Inc.