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Gary weighing developer's offer on historic but little used South Gleason Golf Course
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Gary weighing developer's offer on historic but little used South Gleason Golf Course

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Gary is entertaining offers for redevelopment on the historic but little used South Gleason Golf Course just south of the Borman Expressway in its Midtown neighborhood.

Previous Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson put the 18-hole, par 71 public golf course near Indiana University Northwest on the market in 2018, when Gary was staring down a $17 million budget hole.

Last August, now-mayor Jerome Prince was informed of an offer on the property, he said Friday in a radio interview on WLTH.

"There are several city assets that have been up for sale for a while," he said. 

Originally known as Riverside Park, South Gleason Park dates back to 1920 and features a clubhouse designed by the famed architect George Maher. But lately the golf course on the south side of the Little Calumet River has suffered from inactivity, and the city has been forced to subsidize its operations, Prince said.

"From a data-drive perspective, one of the things that really jumped out was our numbers," Prince said on WLTH. "Comparatively speaking, the closest golf course is Turkey Creek, which had 55,000 rounds of golf played there compared to our 5,000 back in 2018. That in itself suggests we should have taken a different look at the golf course."

The incoming administration negotiated with the prospective buyer last year, but no deal came to fruition. The city deemed the offer to be too low and presented a counter-offer that was rejected.

But a new prospective buyer has come forward.

"It just didn't seem to be advantageous toward the city," Prince said. "Since then, a new offer is on the table that's 33% higher than the offer was back in August. At this point, it seems we may be in line for future development."

No deal has been finalized yet.

"I don't like to get ahead of the ball," Prince said. "But if this deal comes to fruition, it will help to increase assessed value. Whatever development takes place there it will be something pleasing to the community. We take into account that IUN is right there. It will increase assessed valuation and provide local employment."

Gallery: Prince sworn in as city's 21st mayor

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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