Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pm
Sussex-based The Prestwick Group Inc. has purchased the La Belle Golf Club in Lac La Belle and plans to move its corporate headquarters to a new building it will build just west of the golf course on a site it is purchasing from the village.
The golf course products manufacturer has been in negotiations with the village and the former owners of the La Belle Golf Club for several months. Last week, the Village Board agreed to a complicated developer’s agreement that included purchasing the 18-hole, 140-acre golf course at 6996 Pennsylvania St., a 53-acre parcel where the golf course will be expanded, and a 42-acre parcel the village recently acquired from the state of Wisconsin.
The Prestwick Group is paying $340,000 for the 53-acre parcel it is buying from the village, which will be credited back to the company if it exercises its right to purchase the 42-acre parcel by April 2021, said Village Administrator George Stumpf. A majority of those parcels is wetland, he said.
Approximately 1.5 acres of the 42-acre site would be developed for Prestwick’s corporate headquarters. It could eventually be a 60,000-square-foot building with up to 150 employees, Stumpf said.
The 53-acre and 42-acre sites are bordered by Saeger Avenue on the West, Lang Road on the North and Pennsylvania Street on the East.
On May 4, LaBelle Golf Property LLC, the investor group that has owned La Belle Golf Club since 2015, sold the course for $1.55 million to The Prestwick Group. The course has been closed since May 4 for renovations.
Tyler Morse, vice president of The Prestwick Group, said the course will be expanded west of Pennsylvania Street on the land that is being purchased from the village. The expansion will add four new holes to the course, replacing existing holes currently in wetlands. Existing holes on the east side of the development will also be reconfigured, Morse said.
The company is also planning to build an event center at the golf course, which will be called “The Carriage House at Lac La Belle,” to host weddings and other large events and a pro shop at the course.
Morse would not say how much the company is investing in the golf couse, but said it was “a lot.”
In 2015, an investors group that included John Meunier, Frank Romano and Troy Schmidt purchased the Lac La Belle Golf Club out of receivership for $1.3 million. They comprise the group that sold the course to Prestwick Group.
Lac La Belle Country Club was established in 1896 and was a private club for more than 100 years. Members sold the golf course in 2007. At the time, it was known as Rolling Hills Country Club.
Morse said The Prestwick Group was interested in the course because of its potential.
“We live locally and have played the course so many times,” Morse said. “It has a lot of potential and seemed to be a good fit for us. It just needs a little bit of renovation.”
The club will be reopened in spring 2019. It will also be renamed The Club at Lac La Belle.
Morse said once the golf course renovations are complete, The Prestwick Group will begin focusing on building its new corporate headquarters, which will only be an office building. The developer’s agreement with the village of Lac La Belle specifies no manufacturing can be conducted in the village, Stumpf said. Morse said manufacturing will continue to be done in Sussex and for now. The Prestwick Group does not need to relocate its manufacturing operations, he said.
The Prestwick Group Inc. originally proposed a new corporate headquarters and manufacturing complex near the southeast corner of Highway C and Interstate 94 in Delafield. The site would have been for Prestwick’s Nex-Terra brand, which makes outdoor furniture and amenities from recycled plastics. But those plans never moved forward.
Prestwick was founded in Nashotah in 1997 and currently has 175 employees in Sussex.