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Airco Golf Course may close

This week could mark the beginning of the end for the Airco Golf Course.

The course's fate has been the subject of speculation for years. Now a feasibility study being presented to the Pinellas County Commission on Tuesday is recommending the redevelopment of the 18-hole championship golf course that winds through 129 acres of natural Tampa Bay coastal terrain adjacent to the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

The analysis, funded with a $296,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant, was prepared by a team of consultants that reviewed engineering, land use and economic issues related to future potential redevelopment of the golf course.

The consultants, Synergy Real Estate Corp., and airport officials will present recommendations that 25 acres be reserved for future aviation use and 78 acres dedicated to a mix of office and industrial buildings and one to two hotels.

Current estimates for land development site work and approvals are up to two years, so construction likely wouldn't start until 2010, a report summary said.

The aviation land would include bulk hangars built on land leased to private users by the airport, the report summary said. The development is estimated to take until 2015.

Based on current market conditions, it is estimated development of the offices, industrial and hotel buildings wouldn't start until 2015, the summary said.

Both the airport and the golf course operate as an enterprise fund, meaning they rely on user fees rather than property taxes to support their operation.

More Inside

For now, golfers are still enjoying Airco's unique location by the airport, where plane rumbles may rattle putters. See photos, Page 8, 9.

>>IF YOU GO

Airco plan airing

What: At a workshop of the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners, a market and feasibility analysis, and implementation recommendations for Airco Golf Course redevelopment will be discussed.

When: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Where: Fifth-floor Assembly Room of the Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater.

Airco Golf Course may close 10/25/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:42pm]

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