Windermere golf course tax sale set for July 6

BLYTHEWOOD – Last summer, there appeared to be new hope that the financially troubled Windermere golf course and country club, situated in the heart of LongCreek Plantation subdivision, would be purchased and flourish.

This summer is a different story. Next week, the golf course, club house and 80 acres of undeveloped land will be up for auction in a tax sale at the Richland County Courthouse.

According to LongCreek Plantation Property Owners Association (LCPPOA) president Rob Szwec, Windermere POA members were notified via email last week by the LCPPOA that the foreclosure sale is to take place on Monday and that the LCPPOA will not be participating in the auction.

The Windermere Club and golf course are owned by John T. Bakhaus, Fairways Development, LLC, et al.

A potential buyer, L&J Acquisitions of Snellville, Georgia, announced plans last August to rename the club to The Blythewood Country Club and launched extensive improvements to the golf course and club house.

“We’re going to bring this Pete Dye course back to its former glory,” new club manager Fred Layman, told club members during an open house at the club at the time.

By September, however, the sale was on pause and eventually failed to materialize.

The foreclosure follows on the heels of the sale of the Golf Course of South Carolina last year to E-Capital, a Texas investment firm that had the property rezoned for hundreds of homes. While the firm’s attorney Robert Fuller told council that E-Capital plans to flip the property, the zoning for homes would follow the sale to a developer.

The sale was opposed by the majority of homeowners in the adjacent Crickentree neighborhood who accused their Richland County Council representative, Joyce Dickerson, of backing the developer. Dickerson was defeated last month in her bid for a fourth term.

The Windermere Club, golf course and Windermere communities lie in Richland County Councilman Calvin ‘Chip’ Jackson’s district. Jackson told The Voice that he would not like to see the outcome of unhappy homeowners in the Windermere communities as he saw in Crickentree and is hopeful that something good happens before time runs out.

“I believe that the beauty and quality of life that the golf course provides for its members, community residents and neighboring communities is absolutely essential,” Jackson said. “The attention to green space and protecting the surrounding natural environment is what makes this area special.  I applaud the work of the Home Owner’s Association, the Conservation Commission, and the Soil and Water District, for working together to preserve this community. And I would fully support any efforts to maintain this standard and hope it remains that way in the future for this community.”

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