Community Association and Country Club Partner to Save The Meadows

Today, The Meadows Community Association (MCA) purchased the real property of The Meadows Country Club (MCC) in a move designed to assure that the struggling country club’s 330 acres of land in The Meadows will not be sold to developers.  The $6-million deal gives the MCA ownership of the land and buildings formerly owned by The Meadows Country Club. It also leases the property back to the club to continue running the Sports and Leisure Complex at The Meadows, which includes 54 holes of golf, a tennis complex featuring lighted 17 Har Tru courts, a swimming pool and restaurant, a wellness center and a club house with dining and banquet facilities. Billy Casper Golf will continue to manage the complex under the guidance of The Meadows Country Club’s Board of Governors.

The Meadows is a 40-year-old community of close to 3500 residences. It includes garden homes, villas, condos and single-family homes on a 1650-acre natural setting minutes from downtown Sarasota and the UTC Mall. The Meadows is also home to Aviva—A Campus for Senior Living, Tarpon Point Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and The Meadows Shopping Village. Developed by Taylor-Woodrow Homes, The Meadows was the first PUD in the Sarasota area, and its original intent was to offer the best of Florida living by combining a wide range of amenities with attractive homes and a lush green setting.

“We were facing an all too familiar situation—a thriving community threatened by financial collapse of a country club that is literally its heart,” says MCA President Claire Coyle. “When the country club’s initial plans to resolve the situation by strategic development on a small portion of its property failed, our residents called on our board to take action to protect and preserve our green space and property values. Fortunately, the two boards had been working together for several years on a rezoning project that involved both the club and the MCA—so we were able to sit down and develop a solution together. The MCA has just completed a long-range plan, we call the Renaissance Plan, designed to revitalize our aging community. This plan positions us to accept this challenge and weave it into our existing plans.”

“The club members are fully behind this partnership,” says The Meadows Country Club Board of Governors President Gene Mercer. “It allows us to continue operations while we develop new programs to bring in more members and regain financial stability. It eliminates our debt and provides us some cash to make improvements.”

Coyle and Mercer agree that success will require the support of both community residents and club members. Coyle reports residents really love The Meadows and will do what they can to support its continued success. Mercer says club members want to keep their club alive and thriving. Both see a bright future for The Meadows–an oasis on the edge of downtown Sarasota.

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Ryan Ruppert

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