BATH TOWNSHIP — A new housing development is planned to replace the 111 acres of the Lost Creek Golfers Club with mid-range, or “workforce,” housing and additional green space.
The project is a joint effort of Thomas Holtsberry, owner of Lost Creek, and Mike Blass, of Blass Residential Services. Blass said the project has been in the planning stages over the last six months, and the two are currently working with local municipalities and other government agencies to ensure zoning and other pertinent regulations are addressed before moving forward. Blass expects to break ground on the project by 2020.
The final product is anticipated to create 104 single-family homes to sell and 308 multi-family units to rent in order to address Lima’s dearth of mid-range housing. Blass said single-family dwellings are being planned to sell in the $180,000 to $250,000 range, and multi-family units will be executive-style townhouses.
“I think it’s going to create something needed, and it will be an asset to the community as a whole,” Blass said.
As for Lost Creek Golfers Club, 2019 will likely be the club’s last season, Holtsberry said.
Interest in golf as a recreational activity has ebbed in recent years, with many clubs and courses across the nation finding it difficult to stay afloat due to lowered demand. Holtsberry said in Lost Creek’s case, the downward trend has been exacerbated by the course’s frequent flooding, reducing how many days the club operates per season.
”It’s a situation I’ve put a lot of time and effort into — making Lost Creek viable in the golfing industry — but the days we lose to flooding and the lack of play … this seems to be the best avenue, to develop land that will enhance the City of Lima and Allen County,” Holtsberry said.
Employees of the golf course who are still of working age will be moved to work at another course, Holtsberry said. Holtsberry also owns Colonial Golfers Club.
While the development is located in Bath Township, Blass said he is planning to file for type 2, or non-withdrawal, annexation for the properties. If approved, non-withdrawal allow Bath Township, Bath schools and the City of Lima to gain a portion of the taxes created from the development and its future residents.
Blass said his motivation for annexation is Lima offered to pay for the extension of water mains into the development, which makes the project more feasible.
“We think everyone is going to benefit from this,” Blass said.
Annexation would also allow Lima to potentially create a network of walking and running paths through the 42 acres on the property located in the floodplain. Such plans, however, are still in early stages.
Bath Township trustees could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.