A century-old mansion, a deteriorating pool house and an underused waterfront property are being eyed for a multimillion-dollar renovation on the 210-acre Village Club of Sands Point.
Sands Point Village purchased the estate in 1994 from IBM, which used it as an executive conference center for its employees for roughly 40 years. The village issued about $20 million in bonds for its purchase and to build a golf course, a pool and other amenities.
The site grew into a popular village property in the 1990s and early 2000s, but in recent years, a national decline in golf has hurt the club’s finances and delayed key repairs.
More recently, the village upgraded the tennis courts with Har-Tru clay. It has added courts for an increasingly popular sport, paddle tennis, in an effort to draw younger members. Croquet is under consideration.
“It has not had a lot of attention in terms of upgrading and improvements that would bring it forward to meeting some of the standards of some of the other newer clubs,” said Jean-Marie Posner, a former president of the Sands Point Civic Association, who has lived in the village for 20 years.
Membership has stabilized at about 260 golf members, while tennis has attracted a new set of members, and the club’s budget is expected to “break even” for the first time without help from the village to cover capital, debt or operating costs, said Mayor Edward Adler.
“We’re on a course of gradually trying to catch up with a lot of things that ideally we would have done years ago,” Adler said.
The village issued $2 million in bonds last year that funded improvements to bunkers for the 18-hole course, new golf equipment, and a steel and glass skylight over the mansion’s central courtyard.
The village earlier this summer approved up to $4 million in bonds to cover upgrades to the pool house and to beautify the waterfront. Adler said the village is considering adding racks for boaters to take out kayaks and other small watercraft in Hempstead Harbor.
The village is also studying ways to stabilize the waterfront and protect the land from future storms.
In the pool house, metal lockers that are rusting will be replaced with those made of a plastic composite, and shower stalls with curtains will be redesigned to ensure more privacy, officials said. Kitchen and dining facilities will be upgraded, too.
Officials have begun to study upgrades to a mansion on the property that had once been owned by Isaac and Solomon Guggenheim. Financing for renovating the mansion has yet to be approved.
Jim Rogers, partner in Rogers McCagg Architects, Planners, Interior Designers of Norwalk, Connecticut, which has been retained by the village, said that any change to the Guggenheim Mansion, once known as Villa Carola, could prove challenging and expensive given the style of architecture and the age of the structure.
He said the facility, with single-paned steel windows, makes for “a very inefficient building when it comes to energy conservation.
“It’s a balancing act between preserving and restoring the very significant architectural heritage of the building, and at the same time, doing it at a cost that’s reasonable for the point of view of the village,” Rogers said.
The Village Club of Sands Point
- Bought by the village in 1994 from IBM for $12.7 million
- Once owned by members of the Guggenheim family