Connect with us

General

Before and after photos show how dead golf courses are being transformed into housing, parks, and flood protection systems

Published

on

Loading...


Golf is steadily losing players. When the Sports & Fitness Industry Association released data on the number of players in 2015, it showed the sport’s lowest point in recent memory.

More than 800 golf courses have closed across the United States in the past decade, and millennials don’t appear to be as interested in the sport as generations past.

Shifts in work culture and the economy are partly responsible for this decline in popularity, as more people are working long hours and no longer have as much time to invest in golf.

But there’s an upside to these closures: lots and lots of new space for developers.

Former golf courses are now being turned into residential areas, industrial spaces, parks, and detention ponds. Take a look at a few of the ongoing projects below.

The Apple Ridge Country Club, which was formerly an apple orchard, opened its doors in 1966.


play

The Apple Ridge Country Club, which was formerly an apple orchard, opened its doors in 1966.

(Sarah Jacobs)

Located in Mahwah, New Jersey, the club was a popular gathering place for the surrounding community. The 108-acre property included an 18-hole golf course, a swimming pool, and tennis courts.

Apple Ridge closed in late 2015. Last year, it was being treated for lead and arsenic contamination in the soil.


Apple Ridge closed in late 2015. Last year, it was being treated for lead and arsenic contamination in the soil.play

Apple Ridge closed in late 2015. Last year, it was being treated for lead and arsenic contamination in the soil.

(Sarah Jacobs)

The country club was left uncared for after it officially closed.


The country club was left uncared for after it officially closed.play

The country club was left uncared for after it officially closed.

(Sarah Jacobs)

Curtains remained hanging inside, and vandals degraded the property, breaking windows and covering the walls with graffiti.

In this photo from May 2017, a water fountain outside the country club is empty.


In this photo from May 2017, a water fountain outside the country club is empty.play

In this photo from May 2017, a water fountain outside the country club is empty.

(Sarah Jacobs)

But in the past three years, developers have built nearly 80 upscale homes on the 108-acre property.


But in the past three years, developers have built nearly 80 upscale homes on the 108-acre property.play

But in the past three years, developers have built nearly 80 upscale homes on the 108-acre property.

(Toll Brothers)

Andrea Mack, a spokesperson for developer Toll Brothers, told Business Insider that two separate neighborhoods are being built on the land.


Andrea Mack, a spokesperson for developer Toll Brothers, told Business Insider that two separate neighborhoods are being built on the land.play

Andrea Mack, a spokesperson for developer Toll Brothers, told Business Insider that two separate neighborhoods are being built on the land.

(Toll Brothers)

One of them, Orchard Ridge at Mahwah, includes 34 homes.


One of them, Orchard Ridge at Mahwah, includes 34 homes.play

One of them, Orchard Ridge at Mahwah, includes 34 homes.

(Toll Brothers)

The other development, Preserve at Upper Saddle River, has 44 sites.


The other development, Preserve at Upper Saddle River, has 44 sites.play

The other development, Preserve at Upper Saddle River, has 44 sites.

(Toll Brothers)

Both Upper Saddle River and Orchard Ridge at Mahwah are in a relatively convenient location for New York City commuters.


Both Upper Saddle River and Orchard Ridge at Mahwah are in a relatively convenient location for New York City commuters.play

Both Upper Saddle River and Orchard Ridge at Mahwah are in a relatively convenient location for New York City commuters.

(Toll Brothers)

Each of the new developments is located on a 36,000-square-foot plot.


Each of the new developments is located on a 36,000-square-foot plot.play

Each of the new developments is located on a 36,000-square-foot plot.

(Toll Brothers)

Beyond residential units, some developers have decided to turn former golf courses into detention ponds.


Friends reunite in the middle of a flooded intersection as water continues to rise in their neighborhood following Hurricane Harvey on August 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas.play

Loading...

Friends reunite in the middle of a flooded intersection as water continues to rise in their neighborhood following Hurricane Harvey on August 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

(Getty Images)

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston last year, it destroyed between 30,000 to 40,000 homes, damaged power lines for thousands of residents, and waterlogged roughly 500,000 cars.

Scientists say climate change will keep making storms like Harvey more destructive, so flood-prone areas like Houston are looking for ways to reduce future impacts.

In Clear Lake City, which is about 20 miles outside of downtown Houston, the water authority is turning a former golf course into detention ponds that can reduce flooding.


In Clear Lake City, which is about 20 miles outside of downtown Houston, the water authority is turning a former golf course into detention ponds that can reduce flooding.play

In Clear Lake City, which is about 20 miles outside of downtown Houston, the water authority is turning a former golf course into detention ponds that can reduce flooding.

(Jerry Hamby/Exploration Green)

Four of the ponds were not yet built when Harvey devastated the city, and the fifth one was only 80% complete. Still, that pond kept about 100 million gallons of water from reaching Houston’s drainage system.


Four of the ponds were not yet built when Harvey devastated the city, and the fifth one was only 80% complete. Still, that pond kept about 100 million gallons of water from reaching Houston's drainage system.play

Four of the ponds were not yet built when Harvey devastated the city, and the fifth one was only 80% complete. Still, that pond kept about 100 million gallons of water from reaching Houston’s drainage system.

(Jerry Hamby/Exploration Green)

This project, which broke ground in 2016, will cost $28 million and is expected to be finished by 2021. The five detention ponds will be able to hold half a billion gallons of stormwater.

Kelly Shipley, a project manager, previously told Business Insider that about 200 nearby homes were saved from flooding due to the pond.


Kelly Shipley, a project manager, previously told Business Insider that about 200 nearby homes were saved from flooding due to the pond.play

Kelly Shipley, a project manager, previously told Business Insider that about 200 nearby homes were saved from flooding due to the pond.

(Jerry Hamby/Exploration Green)

By the time the project is done, the five ponds will be able to protect about 2,000 homes from flooding, Shipley said.

In Belton, Missouri, a $105 million plan was recently approved to turn a former golf course into a 148-acre industrial campus.


In Belton, Missouri, a $105 million plan was recently approved to turn a former golf course into a 148-acre industrial campus.play

In Belton, Missouri, a $105 million plan was recently approved to turn a former golf course into a 148-acre industrial campus.

(City of Belton)

More than 10 years after the golf course closed, the Southview Commerce Center is slated for groundbreaking later this year.


More than 10 years after the golf course closed, the Southview Commerce Center is slated for groundbreaking later this year.play

More than 10 years after the golf course closed, the Southview Commerce Center is slated for groundbreaking later this year.

(City of Belton)

The development will include five buildings and is expected to create 1,400 new jobs.


The development will include five buildings and is expected to create 1,400 new jobs.play

The development will include five buildings and is expected to create 1,400 new jobs.

(City of Belton)

When built, this project will feature light manufacturing, warehouses, and distribution space.


When built, this project will feature light manufacturing, warehouses, and distribution space.play

When built, this project will feature light manufacturing, warehouses, and distribution space.

(City of Belton)

Leanna Garfield contributed to this story.



Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Politics of deceit: Anatomy of MoUs built on backstabbing, empty words

Published

on

Loading...

Just like prior to 2002, Kenya is on the cusp of a regime change in 2022 hence the heightened political deal-making.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Rafiki Microfinance in fresh crisis amid internal fall out – The Informer

Published

on

Loading...

A deep pocketed investor is mulling walking away from a possible takeover of scandal hit Rafiki Microfinance bank which is under the management of Kenya’s deposit insurer, the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) amid internal management wrangling at the bank pitting rival camps, The Informer has established.

Those close to the foreign investors say the investors are likely to end possible buyout plans after reports of internal fighting and possible cover up of financial mismanagement by new management at the loss making micro-financier.

Rafiki -the third largest microfinance institution in Kenya – is currently over-sighted by KDIC which is headed by KDIC chief executive Mohamud Ahmed as the company hunts for a strategic investor to buy out the Chase bank shareholding.

The fights are likely to attract the eye of Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) investigators which has been keen on reining in possible bank collapses, after the fall of Chase Bank, The Informer has learnt.

The troubled Rafiki, which was owned by the collapsed Chase Bank, is in the middle of a transition and is seeking to recruit a chief executive officer (CEO) to replace its former Managing Director Ken Obimbo who recently left the post.

Obimbo who has been CEO since 2015 exited the company in March this year in controversial circumstances after a near six year stint.

Obimbo took over from Daniel Mavindu currently serving as the lender’s chairman.

Rafiki is working with an executive headhunter on the CEO search.

“The CEO will be expected to provide effective strategic leadership and direction to the management team with a view to accomplish the mandate of the bank,” said the firm involved in the search in a notice published in newspapers on April 16.

“Minimum qualifications (include) at least ten years of direct experience in financial services, seven of which should have been in top management positions in a Microfinance bank or similar environment.”

Ahead of the expected corner office hiring Rafiki has tapped its Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Paul Karanja Macharia to the helm of the CEO post in acting capacity.

Macharia has previously worked at Equity Bank and Chase Bank (Finance Departments) and was a Finance Manager at Chase Bank before joining Rafiki in 2016.

The roles were on the spotlight after the collapse of Chase Bank.

He will be acting CEO from 1st April 2021 for 90 days as the search for a substantive CEO is undertaken.

Amid the search for new CEO, the microfinancier is recording a string of high profile exits.

Insiders contend that Macharia has a reputation for bullying and harassing staff who approach him for approvals and is widely feared.

Macharia’s appointment has compounded the internal wrangling as employees form different camps to defend their roles.

“He enjoys being feared and mistreats staff in Finance Department leading to high number of staff exit in the department.” Another source intimated.

Under his brief role, the bank has been hit by high profile exits. Some say he has targeted non-Kikuyu staff at the bank in what raises the specter of possible tribalism at the micro-financier.

Among those who have faced the purge include former long serving Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs Zak Syengo who is among the senior executives who have left the company in recent weeks under Macharia’s brief reign.

Syengo who is a close ally of the current chairman Daniel Mavindu and a former Strathmore alumni has resigned but is serving notice pending his exit.

Mavindu is a well-connected business man who still has vast interests in the lender does not see eye to eye with the acting CEO.

Loading...

It is alleged it is on this basis that the acting CEO Macharia has initiated a purge of senior level managers deemed not to be in his camp.

Other high profile exits include that of Derrick Lwatati who was the General Manager – Business Development.

Lwatati has been moved by Macharia to Rafiki Homes (a subsidiary of Rafiki dealing with development and sale of properties) as General Manager.

The move is widely viewed as a demotion considering the standing of the two companies and Rafiki homes not yet being operational and a continuation of the purge of non-Kikuyus.

Other high profile exits by Heads of Departments (HoDs) are expected at the bank in the near future.

At the centre of the mass exits are allegations that staff including HODs are being intimidated by the Acting MD and are fearing for their jobs.

Prevailing atmosphere among staff, The Informer, understands is that of fear and uncertainty staff are going through work motions just to protect their jobs.

HOD’s are said to be targeted and victimised and anyone deemed not to be in the CFO/ Acting MD’s camp is targeted for elimination.

Our investigations have established that the Head of Credit is on suspension, Head of Marketing has resigned, about 3 or 4 other HOD’s are already being targeted for suspension.

“The CFO/Acting MD is unprofessional and on a wide scale witch-hunt campaign. How many more staff must undergo this kind of injustice,” says part of a petition being filed for presentation to the National Assembly by workers.

“If this injustice is happening to senior managers then what is to expected to happen to the rank and file will this not adversely affect productivity,” adds the petition which is to be copied to KDIC, CBK and other regulators.

Workers have asked the CBK, KDIC, and the Rafiki Board that is led by Mavindu to address the complaints before it’s too late.

“How is the Board correcting these irregularities, are staff safe to air views contrary to those of the CFO/ Acting MD without fear of victimization,” says the petition.

The disputes have raised concerns among investors seeing that Rafiki’s parent company collapsed under duress.

Rafiki Microfinance Bank was a subsidiary of Chase Bank and launched its operations in the Kenyan market in 2011 targeting the microfinance industry.

Chase Bank was placed under receivership on April 7, 2016 following a run on deposits after reports of liquidity problems spread online.

Chase Bank was re-opened on April 27, 2016 under the management of the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC).

Mauritian lender SBM Bank in 2018 carved out and bought 75 per cent of certain assets and liabilities from Chase Bank in what was considered as cherry-picking ‘good assets.’

Rafiki was a subsidiary of Chase bank but was not bought by SBM.

Rafiki has 19 branches spread across 11 counties in Kenya.

The fights have threatened to derail multibillion ongoing programs by the lender.

Jubilee Insurance in 2015 inked a bancassurance deal with Rafiki Microfinance Bank to distribute life insurance products in a bid to further boost its presence in the country.

Jubilee Insurance CEO Patrick Tumbo said then the partnership with Rafiki will help in improving access to life insurance products among Kenyans.

“This partnership will enable Rafiki Microfinance Bank customers to access our life products with ease from their banker across the country,” Tumbo added then.

Germany’s insurance and asset management firm Allianz which serves more than 100 million retail and corporate customers in more than 70 countries worldwide recently completed the acquisition of 66 percent stake (1,522,622 ordinary shares) in Jubilee General Insurance Company (Kenya), leaving the holding company (JHL) with 34 percent of the shares.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

June Ruto Engaged To Nigerian Professor In A Low-key Ceremony –

Published

on

Loading...

June Ruto, daughter to Deputy President Willian Ruto on Saturday, May 8, 2021 got engaged to the love of his life, Alexander Ezenagu.

Alexander Ezenagu is a Nigerian who works as an assistant Law Professor at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar.

According to Nigerian politician and businessman Osita Chidokevent who attended the event at Ruto’s Karen home, the event was “small and simple, and family-focused”.

“His position as Deputy President was relegated as he played the role of a father. Hon. Ruto and his wife (Racheal) were great hosts. I regaled them with Igbo customs, proverbs, and more. They are looking forward to visiting Ani Igbo to eat roasted yam and red oil. They also want to see Umuaro and Umuofia as described by Chinua Achebe. Well, I told them that visiting Obosi and Alex’s village Uli will suffice,” posted Chidokevent on Facebook.

Read: Junet Castigates DP Ruto For Proposing Further Amendments To BBI Bill

Loading...

Chidokevent says that he was the chief negotiator for the brideprice, which has already been agreed upon.

“I was the negotiator at the bride price settlement ceremony. We haggled, we negotiated and at the end, we agreed on how many cows would be a fair price for the hands of June,” he added.

It is not yet clear when the wedding will be held, but it might not be far away.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending