The Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders have approved the acquisition of the Hopewell Valley Golf and Country Club in Hopewell Township.
The Hopewell Valley Golf and Country Club is located on Pennington-Hopewell Road and abuts the Stony Brook. The property contains an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, tennis and a pool.
In 2016, the club had reopened under new ownership when Spirit Golf Management LLC took over the property. Three years later, Hopewell Valley Golf and Country Club closed its doors to members and the public in 2019.
“I am very pleased the county has decided to acquire the Hopewell Valley Golf and Country Club. This means the facility will be protected and available for township residents. I look forward to when the facility reopens,” Hopewell Township Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger said.
The freeholders unanimously voted to acquire the property in a resolution at a July 16 virtual meeting. Freeholder Chairman Andrew Koontz, Vice Chairman Samuel Frisby and Freeholders John Cimino, Ann Cannon, Lucylle Walter, Nina Melker, and Pasquale Colavita voted “yes” on to the measure.
According to the resolution, county officials plan to use the course as a public golf course and purchase the property which has been in foreclosure for $1.9 million. County officials are also conducting pre-acquisition maintenance on the property.
“The property in question is just a jewel in Hopewell Township. Even through the coronavirus pandemic I kept getting questions about what is going on with the golf course,” Hopewell Township Mayor Kristin McLaughlin said. “We are absolutely thrilled that the county has stepped in to keep the Hopewell Valley Golf and Country Club functioning as golf course and club.”
The county would acquire the property through bonds and grant funds from the Green Acres Planning Incentive program (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection). The loans would be repaid from the Open Space Preservation Trust Fund, according to the resolution documents.
McLaughlin added that the property had been previously brought to the attention of Hopewell Township Committee members as a potential acquisition for the township.
“Unfortunately the property was too much for us to take on. There would have been a lot of accommodations that would have needed to made to make it safe and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint,” she said. “We just did not feel we were the right entity. In addition to the golf course it takes a lot of money to maintain the property. We just did not feel we could take that on. We had been talking to the county officially and unofficially about the property being available.”
Mercer County will own and operate five golf courses with the addition of Hopewell Valley Golf and Country Club. The county already operates Mountain View Golf Course in Ewing Township, Princeton Country Club in West Windsor Township, and Mercer Oaks East and West also in West Windsor.