T-36 at Baytown Golf Course
As a City, we want you to receive accurate information on projects, especially the ones that interest you the most. One of those is the proposed T-36 at Baytown golf course at the former Evergreen location.
Our goal is to be transparent while protecting the integrity of the potential agreement for Baytown. You have questions and we want to answer them, but we will also let you read all of the documents for yourself, eliminating potential confusion.
Your Questions Answered
I’ve only heard rumors about the proposed golf course. What are the details?
- Build Baytown I is a project-specific LLC, comprised of two national developers with principal interest in Miramar Properties Group and The Outlet Leasing Group, respectively.
- The design architect, Ric Buckton, currently has 5 courses in the top 100 residential courses in the country. One of those courses is ranked number 4.
- Course will be managed by Landscapes Unlimited, a nationally-ranked golf course operator that has performed work at the legendary Torrey Pines Golf Course and more than 40 courses throughout Texas.
- The golf course, called T-36 at Baytown, would be an innovative double-loop concept, using 117 acres in a first-of-its-kind way.
- Will be a fully-operational 18-hole golf course available for tournaments and daily fee play.
- The course would be the first daily fee course in Baytown’s history that will be open to the public.
- The course will promote junior golf for Baytown residents and others in the region.
- The idea is for the course to be a focal point for development on the south side of Baytown and would enhance the new Hyatt Regency Hotel and Convention Center.
- The T-36 team will also contract with national media producer Allegheny Image Factory to film a first-ever development of a golf course with the intent to sell the content to one of the sports networks, including ESPN and The Golf Channel, providing Baytown a platform to showcase the community, the course, and tourism.
When did this discussion on a proposed golf course begin?
- Early in 2021, members of Miramar Properties were in Baytown looking for ways to develop parts of San Jacinto Boulevard for potential economic development.
- It was during that visit when conversations began about the possibility of doing something in south Baytown. Members mentioned the possibility of building a golf course there as the centerpiece for sparking development.
Who is involved in this project?
- Rio Valeriano: National developer with 35 years of development and construction experience.
- David Hinkle: National developer with 32 years of retail development experience. Would work to attract businesses to the area.
- Ric Buckton: Golf Course Architect with more than 35 years of experience in golf course design. Has worked with golf legends Ben Crenshaw, Bill Coore, Tom Lehman, and Tom Weiskopf. Other well-recognized golfers Juli Inkster, Meg Mallon, Beth Daniel, Wendy Ward, Brandt Jobe along with legendary swing coach Mike McGetrick have also been working and consulting with Ric.
- Mark Mattingly: Vice President with Landscapes Unlimited. PGA professional since 1994. Would be responsible for operations of golf course and the regional/national support team.
- Jack Morgan: Project Executive with more than 30 years of golf-related project management experience. Has held management positions with the PGA of America.
- Jeff Tinnell: Television Producer with more than 30 years of experience. Will be in charge of reaching out to media outlets to sell the programming of this reality TV show format.
Why haven’t I heard from the people involved in the project?
- The members of the project have made presentations at City Council meetings as required with any project; the team also presented to the Parks and Recreation Board in December 2021. They have been available to answer questions and to discuss the project on multiple occasions.
- Fact Check: Click here to see the original presentation on February 24th and click here for a follow-up discussion on March 10th.
Why were other companies not considered?
- Interest was gauged with other companies. However, those companies did not respond to the Request For Proposals (RFP). Legally, the process requires the City to post this request in the local paper. That process was done with only one respondent.
Why does Baytown need a golf course?
- Residents have been asking for amenities and a golf course was one of the highest-rated requests during the City’s recent community survey. The Economic Development Team and other city officials have been seeking out amenities, that would enhance the Hyatt Hotel and Convention Center area, for more than a year.
- Members of Build Baytown I expressed interest with a conceptual plan back in November. This was the only group to put together a full proposal and submitted interest through the RFP process.
- Experts in the field believe this will lead to major development on the south side of Baytown and other areas of town.
Besides this golf course proposal, are there any other options?
- There have been no other options for golf presented to the City within the last ten years. Property is too expensive and developers cannot justify building a golf course or golf course community.
- Classic golf courses comprise 180-to-200 acres and are not environmentally friendly. A compressed course uses half of the water, fertilizer, and maintenance, and is therefore more friendly for the environment.
How much will this golf course cost the City?
- The contract states that the City will pay Build Baytown I up to $6 million in incentives to build the golf course, plus the costs of performance bonds not to exceed $80,000. The City still owns the land and Build Baytown I will lease it for 40 years. After that, the City will take ownership of the structures on the property. The property will be tax free for 20 years and the lease will be for $1 per year.
How does this cost compare to a regular 9- or 18-hole golf course?
- The course is going to cost the City up to $6 million and has the potential to lead to major development in the area. It is already gaining interest from several companies looking to bring their businesses to Baytown.
- Through informal discussions with other communities and golf professionals, a traditional golf course would cost at least $1 million per hole just to build the course. That’s not including the regular maintenance and updates that would be needed. Through these discussions, there was a lack of mutual interest in funding that type of project.
What about other development in the area?
- City officials, Build Baytown I, and adjacent property owners have discussed the potential for major retail and single-family residential development around the golf course. Businesses have expressed interest in developing in the area. Any of these proposals would have to be submitted and presented to City Council to approve or deny. If development were to occur on city-owned land, it would also have to be re-zoned, which has to be approved by City Council.
I heard there are plans for multi-family housing. Is this true?
- No. There have not been any discussions on any type of multi-family residential housing.
I’ve heard a deal has been agreed upon without City Council approval. Is this true?
- No. It must go before City Council for a vote like any other project.
Wasn’t there a vote against a golf course?
- In 2015, a bond proposal was voted on for the City to spend $12.5 million to purchase and operate Evergreen Point Golf Course. The proposal called for renovations and for the City to lead the operation of the course. Out of 3,578 voters, it lost by 60 votes.
How is this proposal different?
- This is not a municipal project, nor is the City going to operate the course. Bonds are not required. Build Baytown I came up with the idea for the golf course and would operate it. Just like any other private project, this did not require a public vote.
Is there a patent on the golf course?
- Members of Build Baytown I are working on that process and can speak about the process. However, a patent does not have an impact on the proposed contract. This is the only golf course modeled like this in the country and Build Baytown I is working on protecting the idea.
I need to see the contract and all of the documents for myself. Where can I find them?
- Contract can be viewed here.
- Original presentation documents from Build Baytown I can be viewed here.
What about disc golf?
- We know Baytown has an active disc golf community and the City is not ignoring them. We are exploring options to redevelop other areas to build a course purposely designed for disc golf. Those locations and plans are currently being discussed.