Crestview to work with design firm to improve old Foxwood golf course site

Tony Judnich
Northwest Florida Daily News

CRESTVIEW — City officials plan to issue a request for proposals Thursday to design firms interested in providing a master plan for a recreation complex on the old Foxwood Country Club property.

The Crestview City Council plans in January to choose the firm with the best proposal, and the contracted company then will have six months to design the master plan, City Manager Tim Bolduc said Tuesday.

On Nov. 3, more than 63% of Foxwood Estates’ residents who are registered voters approved the annexation of their neighborhood and the adjacent, now-defunct country club site into the city from unincorporated Okaloosa County.

More:Annexation and council district, election changes approved in Crestview

Bolduc said he anticipates the annexation will be finalized after the first of the year. The area that will become a part of Crestview covers 202 acres and has 141 single-family residential lots and 105 homes. It stands south of U.S. Highway 90 and east of Antioch Road.

The country club and its 18-hole golf course were closed in October 2017 after its owners experienced years of financial trouble because of declining demand.

Earlier this year, the city purchased the 129-acre former golf club site with $1.2 million in bond money with the intent to develop it into a recreation complex. Officials plan to use the estimated $85,000 to $100,000 in annual property tax revenue from homes in Foxwood Estates to pay the bond debt.

The recreation complex could include a nine-hole municipal golf course, baseball and softball fields, walking trails, a pool, tennis courts and a privately run restaurant.

“The master plan will show what will get done first and how to turn it into a revenue-generating park faster,” Bolduc said. “Construction of the park will occur in phases.”

Looking back:Photos of the closed Foxwood Country Club in Crestview

Among other tasks, the chosen design firm will determine how to maximize the use of the land, recommend whether to keep or replace the old clubhouse and assess what Crestview’s recreational needs are community-wide, he said.

For example, “We have a plan to put in baseball and softball fields, but I want some data to show that’s the direction we need to go,” Bolduc said.

The firm also will determine the construction cost of the recreation complex. The city does not have an estimated cost yet for the complex, which could serve as a regional draw to the area, Bolduc said.

He said while Crestview officials will seek grants that would be used with city funds to pay for the park’s construction, they currently do not plan to use any of the city’s share of local option half-cent sales tax money.

A majority of county voters approved the 10-year half-penny tax in November 2018. The tax, which took effect Jan. 1, 2019, generates revenue to help pay for various needs of the county and its nine municipalities.

Recreation projects, however, were “not in the things we had described” to Crestview voters as items that would be paid for with the tax revenue, Bolduc said.

He said most of the city's share of the revenue is being spent on the Crestview bypass project. The rest is being used for other road projects and public safety items.

More:Crestview moves closer to annexing subdivision, old golf club site

The current city budget includes $830,000 in bond money for a sewer expansion project in Foxwood Estates, which currently has many septic tanks that are in poor shape. That project might take place late next year, Bolduc said.

An aerial view shows a path and stream at the old Foxwood Country Club in Crestview.
Vegetation grows around the swimming pool at the old Foxwood Country Club in April.
A majority of voters in the Foxwood Estates' neighborhood recently approved annexing the neighborhood and the adjacent former Foxwood Country Club property into Crestview from unincorporated Okaloosa County.