Lon Tabatchnick, the developer of the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, plans to build a $70 million rental apartment complex on the grounds of the Weston Hills Country Club.
Tabatchnick’s company, Weston Hills Resort Group LLC also plans to spend more than $10 million to upgrade the facilities at the Weston Hills Country Club, which was built about 30 years ago.
“We believe that club has great bones, a great location and a great community. It just needs a little tender loving care and capital improvements,” Tabathcnick told The Real Deal.
His company has a contract to buy the country club for an undisclosed price, pending approval of its plans for the club property. The company just submitted a site plan and an application for rezoning to the city of Weston.
Tabatchnick said monthly rents at the apartment complex, called the Lodge at Weston Hills, probably would range from $1,800 to $2,800.
The five-story rental property would have 274 apartments, each with either one bedroom and one bathroom or two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The property also would have an attached parking garage, plus a residents-only swimming pool, clubhouse, art studio, fitness center and concierge services.
“It is a product that doesn’t exist in that area, and it’s needed, because as the community matures, people who bought houses in Weston 15, 20, 25 years ago are now becoming empty nesters,” Tabatchnick said. “I think a majority of our tenants there are going to be empty nesters who come from within the community.”
The luxury apartment property would be located directly north of the clubhouse where the country club’s existing pool and tennis courts are now located,
He said he expects most tenants of the apartment property to become members of the Weston Hills Country Club.
“Membership [in the club] has been in a downward spiral,” Tabatchnick said, citing the forlorn condition of the club’s facilities, including two 18-hole golf courses. “Almost as many people leave the club as join the club, so unless they severely discount memberships, they have a hard time trying to drive new membership there.”
The country club now has 1,100 members, including Tabatchnick, who has a daughter with a home near the club. “That’s one of the reasons I’m still a member at Weston Hills,” he said.
He said the country club’s current management company has stopped charging new members an initiation fee, which ranged as high as $25,000 back in 2000. “Without that, you don’t have money for capital improvements,” Tabatcnick said.
Tabatchnick’s company plans to renovate the country club’s two golf courses, upgrade the 50,000-square-foot clubhouse facility, and build a new resort-style swimming pool, poolside bar and restaurant, five new tennis courts and two pickle ball courts, plus a fitness center and a play area for kids.
“Golf is the main thing. You’ve got to take care of the golf experience. Without a great golf experience, people will leave,” Tabatchnick said.
He said social members also are important to the country club, too: “It’s the single biggest catering facility in the community. It’s great for weddings, graduations, parties, Bar Mitzvahs and all of those things. It just needs a facelift.”