Ari Pearl advances downsized condo plan for Hollywood golf course

Redevelopment of the Emerald Hills property includes 322 units along the fairways

Ari Pearl Advances Plan for Condos on Hollywood Golf Course
Ari Pearl and a rendering of The Club at Emerald Hills (Kobi Karp)

Developer Ari Pearl advanced a downsized plan to redesign and redevelop a Hollywood golf course with 322 condos.

Pearl’s company, PPG Development, originally planned to develop 486 rental units, a mix of apartments, townhouses, and villas, along the The Club at Emerald Hills golf course.

Ari Pearl Advances Plan for Condos on Hollywood Golf Course
The Club at Emerald Hills golf course (Kobi Karp)

But rapid home price appreciation in South Florida during the pandemic led Pearl to switch to a smaller condo development. “Home prices rose to new heights, and we realized that we could sell condos, where before Covid, we didn’t feel that we could sell condos with any kind of velocity,” he said.

Community opposition to hundreds of rentals along the golf course also played a role. “Residents were afraid of increased traffic, increased crime,” he said. “Making it a condo with a much lower unit count resolves those issues.”

No one spoke publicly in opposition last week at the Hollywood City Commission meeting, before the commission changed the land use designation of 37 acres of the 166-acre golf course to allow condo development. The commission changed the designation of six parcels on the golf course from “country club” (CC) to “low medium residential” (LMRES).

“The Club at Emerald Hills is currently the longest golf course in the state of Florida, so there’s plenty of room, and we’re only taking up a small amount [for condos],” Pearl said. His partners in the project are Hollywood-based real estate investor Mickey Taillard and Todd Schoenwetter, who runs First Eagle Management LLC, the company that owns The Club at Emerald Hills.

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Condo prices at the golf property will range from $599,000 to $2 million, Pearl said.

Most of the condo construction would start after a redesign and redevelopment of the golf course, including replacement of its clubhouse. Nicklaus Design, a golf course design firm founded by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, was retained to redesign the Emerald Hills golf course and allow for condo construction on its periphery.

The redevelopment is pending approval of a site plan and a companion rezoning proposal. Pearl said he and his partners hope to obtain all necessary city approvals by the end of this year and start the project’s first phase of construction by September 2025.

“We have a deal with the city that we’re going to deliver the golf course and the clubhouse in phase one,” Pearl said.

The Club at Emerald Hills at 4100 North Hills Drive will be closed for the duration of the redevelopment.

Phase one of construction could take two years to complete because “every blade of grass will be replaced,” he said. “The golf course will have to close because it’s getting completely redone. There will be an all new irrigation system and drainage system.… Most of the water in Emerald Hills lies within the golf course.”

The phase-one plan calls for construction of 54 condos on top of the new clubhouse. The other 268 condos, including 40 golf villas,  would be built in the second phase of construction, which may start before phase one is finished. “We definitely can work on multiple [construction] phases at the same time, depending on sales,” Pearl said.

Pearl has redeveloped other golf property projects in South Florida in recent years, including the newly opened Shell Bay Club at 501 Diplomat Parkway in Hallandale Beach, formerly known as the Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club. Pearl’s PPG Development extended the Greg Norman-designed golf course at the 127-acre property, added a 15-acre practice facility and clubhouse, and built a 26-story, 250-unit apartment building there. PPG conducted phase two of the development in partnership with Witkoff Group.

Pearl is also working with developer Chip Abele to redevelop Orangebrook Golf & Country Club, a city-owned golf course in Hollywood. The redevelopment, now in pre-construction planning, would put a 175-room hotel and 750 apartments on 5 leased acres at the 245-acre golf course.