Homeowners concerned after golf course closure announcement

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Disappointment set in when homeowners near Stone Creek Golf Course realized the landscape will be changing very soon.

The Atkins Group announced on Monday that the golf course and Attie’s Bar and Grill will shut down by the end of January. They say the property will be redeveloped into something else. It’s still very early in the planning stages. While plans haven’t been finalized, the Atkins Group says it’ll turn into a natural open space with walking trails.

That’s not what several homeowners had in mind when they decided to live near there. Twenty years ago, John Erdman bought property and built his home by the golf course. It was a big investment and he’s been a member ever since it opened. Which is why it came as such an abrupt shock when he heard the news. Erdman says, “It’s very disappointing that the course is closing.”

Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin says, “I have to say I’m not completely surprised. If you look at trends nationwide, interest in golf has been declining for years.” She recognizes the challenges golf courses across the country are facing and so does the Atkins Group. In a statement, the company said they couldn’t continue operating because of the slowing demand for golf and escalating property costs.

The closure has Erdman concerned about the future upkeep. He says, “My house is right on the course so I care a lot about what happens to that land area. I certainly hope it’s maintained properly.”

The company hired an architectural and land planning firm to help design the redevelopment of the land into an open nature space. They say people who live in the subdivisions will be able to preview the proposal and design sketches.

The city will be working with the Atkins Group through the process. Mayor Marlin says, “One of our top goals would be to preserve property values going forward in whatever they choose to do at the site.” While she says it’s too early to comment on how this could affect property values, she’s sure of one thing. She says, “I can understand people’s concern. I’m confident that the Atkins Group will come up with alternatives that will help meet their goals.”

The company will share the master land plan information and design in the spring of 2020.

They’re giving a full refund for all paid season golf passes. Members have to contact the pro shop for that.

Attie’s Bar and Grill will close January 17th. Stone Creek Golf and Pro shop will close January 31st. The Atkins Group said they will help to find a new venue for all scheduled events that will be impacted by the closure.

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