SCHENECTADY – A deal announced on Thursday could result in the Stadium Golf Club being converted into a mixed-use commercial / industrial park.
Third generation owner Greg Hennel and developer Scannell Properties said the 2022 golf season will continue as normal, but the two will look at development opportunities after the season ends.
An essential requirement would be the rededication of the site from apartment buildings to commercial space, a lengthy and detailed process that would have to be carried out successfully in both the city of Schenectady and the city of Rotterdam.
Hennel said he was operating for the whole season. Once he has made commitments and begins signing contracts to operate for the next year, no development will begin until the next season is over.
Hennel said there could be more golf seasons beyond next year if the sale doesn’t close quickly.
“I heard rumors that it was being sold,” he said. “It’s not sold, it’s not a closed deal. There are many reasons why this might not happen, but if it does we will move on. “
Zachary Zweifler, Head of Development at Scannell, said rezoning was critical. The project could include a combination of retail, commercial, light industry, and research / development, but Scannell will not build homes on site.
Without a schedule or details of the structures to be built, Scannell cannot predict which tenants might be interested, said Zweifler, but with full on-site supplies it would suit many industries.
He added that there is excellent access from Route 7 and Interstate 890 and excellent visibility for large numbers of passing motorists. It’s also a huge website.
“One hundred and sixteen acres in a place this urban isn’t that often,” said Zweifler. “This is an exciting opportunity for us.”
The Stadium Golf Club is consistently one of the busiest golf courses in the region today for a number of reasons.
It’s easy to get to and relatively easy to play. Without a bunker, a round of golf in the stadium is faster and more people can cycle through the course. In addition, the sandy soil drains quickly after a rain shower.
“It’s not brutal for the average golfer,” said Hennel. “There are certainly ways to lose a ball, but not many. I call it a user-friendly course. And we have an incredible workforce – we would not have survived 56 years if we hadn’t had great people. “
The original nine-hole stadium golf course was laid out next to McNearney Stadium after the sub-division Schenectady Blue Jays stopped playing there in 1957.
Greg Hennel’s grandfather Edmund bought it in 1965, the year he was born, and it has been a family business ever since.
Greg’s father, Roger, quit working at Edmund’s gas station and started playing golf in 1973.
Greg grew up in the stadium, worked on the golf course, and rode dirt bikes on the adjacent vacant land that Edmund owned until the family built the second nine holes on it. The expansion to 18 holes continued until the late 1980s as the family did the work themselves; Greg’s uncle Douglas did the design work.
Greg’s mother, Barbara, also worked at the stadium. After Roger and Barbara died, Greg and his brother Gary ran the stadium.
Now it’s Greg and his wife Michele. Gary was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2014.
Hennel said he could run the golf course for another 20 years and buy replacement equipment so he can continue beyond 2022 if needed.
But time catches up with him and he is ready to sell.
“I’m 56, I have curved windows, but I still chop trees and dig trenches,” he said. “The body is starting to fail. At some point I have to start looking into the future. “
Scannell and Hennel held long talks before reaching the deal announced on Thursday.
Since 1990, Indianapolis-based Scannell has completed over 470 development projects totaling 130 million square feet, including the Amazon distribution facility in Rensselaer County. Possible future projects in this region include additional storage space nearby in Rensselaer County and a large distribution center in Malta.
Hennel said he researched Scannell’s work elsewhere and found it to be top notch.
“I wouldn’t have done anything to them if I hadn’t believed it would be of the highest quality,” he said. “If they choose to do it, it would be a huge benefit to the community.”
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Business, News