Glenn Straub sells piece of Wellington polo club after failed development attempt

The casino developer faced opposition when he tried to get a land-use change

Oct.October 18, 2019 11:35 AM
Glenn Straub and the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club property (Credit: Google Maps)

Glenn Straub and the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club property (Credit: Google Maps)

Developer Glenn Straub sold a chunk of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club property in Wellington for $16 million, property records show.

Straub’s Polo West Golf Club Inc. sold a 150-acre portion of the polo and golf club at 2470 Greenview Cove Drive to Wellington Equestrian Estates LLC. The buyer is Scott Swerdlin, one of the top equine veterinarians in Wellington. Straub’s company provided $16 million in seller financing.

Over the summer, Swerdlin proposed building a residential equestrian development on the property, according to the Palm Beach Post. That project was opposed by the Polo West homeowners association.

Straub, a casino developer, faced significant opposition from residents within the club when he tried to secure a land use change and open up access points for the golf course nearly two years ago.

A number of golf courses around the country have shut down as golf’s popularity has declined. Developers, especially homebuilders, have also swooped in to purchase those courses.

His companies paid $27 million for the 2,250-acre club at a government auction in 1993. Straub had been credited with financially reviving the property before a series of legal challenges unfolded, including issues with Palm Beach Polo Property Owners Association and from code violations tied to overgrown grass and weeds along the driving range. The association controls everything except for the clubhouse, tennis courts and golf courses at the property.

In March, Straub declared he had enough, announcing at a Wellington special magistrate meeting that he would sell or close the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. He complained that the village was “nitpicking” him over building-code compliance issues, according to the Palm Beach Post.

In a letter to Straub sent to “interested parties” he said he was “being forced to find new ways to deal with eliminating increasing future costs which is greater when you have to maintain underutilized expensive golf related activities” and that he longer had the desire to continue losing money on the property.

In May, Straub’s Polo West Golf Club Inc. sold a three-bedroom house at 11837 Pebblewood Drive, near the property, for $400,000, according to county records.

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