Local neighbors save Westchester Golf Course

Bryan and Tammy Wallake, who live near Westchester Golf Course in Canal Winchester, Ohio, acquired the course for $1.7 million on Nov. 30, saving it from closure. 

The local government entity that oversees parks in the region, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, had planned to acquire the course earlier in the year for $1.8 million and to turn it into a park. 

Residents of the adjoining neighborhood, a 900-home development, created online petitions and informational websites to protest the acquisition. The Wallakes had just built a home near the 16th green. 

“I was ready to walk away from my house,” Bryan Wallake told ThisWeek Community News. “A lot of people were concerned about their property values. We were hearing they could drop by 20%.” 

The Metro Parks’ board of commissioners decided to drop the acquisition in September.

The Wallakes had previously owned the Upper Lansdowne Golf Course in Ashville, Ohio. To make the deal work, they refinanced property where they own two businesses. They plan to move one of those businesses, a pizza and coffee shop, to the golf course. 

“The community is what really drove us,” Wallake told ThisWeek Community News. “We knew it’s probably not the best investment for our dollars, but after I spent some time going through the course’s financial books, I thought this could be a good investment.” 

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