Did you see the foreclosure listing for 660 Rivervale Rd, River Vale, NJ and think to yourself "hey! I have $6.6 million laying around I think I'll pick myself up a country club at the Sheriff Auction!"
Well if you did, you're too late. The township of River Vale purchased the River Vale Country Club yesterday for $17.5 million in municipal bonds.
Last July the deal almost closed for $16.95 million but the owner, Kwang Ho Keh backed out of the deal. Then in September River Vale filed papers to claim the property under eminent domain.
Keh's company Chemitek 2006 LLC purchased the property in 2006 for $22 million planning to build housing on parts of the country club but that never happened due to permit disputes and lack of financing.
“I really believe this is a watershed moment,” said River Vale Mayor Joseph Blundo. The township hopes to eventually turn a profit from the club while also protecting the course from further development.
A management company that the receiver hired to run the club will remain in place until at least January, when the township will conduct a competitive bidding process to hire a new management firm that will hire and fire employees, keep track of membership roles, and maintain the 99-acre club’s greens.
Now that the golf course will be municipally-owned, the town will forfeit more than $400,000 yearly in property taxes, but township officials say that that money will be more than made up in revenues from the course. The township will also be paying an untold amount yearly in bond payments related to the sale’s financing.
The township will now target an adjacent lot, known as the Mesker site, for a small-scale development, leaving the course, built in 1939, intact.