Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Mayor Hiremath: ELCON is "A Calculated Risk" for Oro Valley and A Great Opportunity
In an email to us, Mayor Hiremath addressed some of the concerns residents have voiced with regards to the purchase of the The El Conquistador Country Club and its conversion to an Oro Valley community and fitness center.
We want to share his thinking directly with you. The headings, added for your reading convenience are ours. The comments are the Mayor's.
The Decision Was Not Rushed
"Unfortunately, the appearance to the general public was that it was "rushed" but that couldn't be further from the truth. The entire council knew about it as well during that time so their "surprise" was a surprise to me!"
"What it comes down to for me is who is going to "control" the 330+ acres in the middle of our town?"
The Deal Is A Bargain To Preserve Our Land and To Protect Our Property Owners
"In my opinion, $1,000,000 for 330 acres over a three year interest free payment is a bargain deal to preserve what we currently have especially given the entitlements that are currently on that PAD. If a new owner, or HSL for that matter, wanted to build on that property, they could do that legally and no one could stop them. There are 2,500-3,000 sq ft homes worth $750,000 and upwards. Imagine 330+ acres for $250,000 more that we could OWN. There are over 1,300 homes that will be affected. "
There are additional amenities for Oro Valley's residents
"The icing on the cake would be that we have tennis courts, could have basketball courts by converting three of the courts, a turn key community/recreation center and yes....even a golf course!"
Sun City: "We are not building new courses"
"I know Sun City is very concerned about the Town acquiring the golf course and the resulting competition. But ask yourself this? If a private company acquires it, don't they think that it would be worse for them as a private company is out to make money? I would imagine that someone private wouldn't care about any course around the area and will do anything to get the lions share of the golf market. The Town is willing to at least try to find ways where we both can be successful. Also, keep in mind that the El Con golf courses are not "new courses". Sun City should not be threatened as the courses have been there for many years. We are not building new courses."
Oro Valley Is Starting From A Better Position Than Most Golf Courses
"Regarding the other metro region golf courses and the loss of revenue, keep in mind that they all had to raise an enormous amount of capital to acquire the course in the first place. Secondly, what is the trend they are all defaulting to? They are all going to a management company.
Here in Oro Valley we will have zero debt and starting with one of the best management companies in the golf world going into it. A very calculated risk in my opinion."
My Job As Mayor Is To "Open Doors"
"At the end of the day however, it comes down to this....my job as Mayor is to open doors of opportunity for our Town. This is nothing more than an opportunity being presented to Oro Valley. If it pans out, fine. If not, then that is fine as well. Life will still go on. I will still continue to provide and present opportunities for our Town!"
Dr. Satish Hiremath has been Oro Valley's Mayor since 2010. One of his 2014 campaign pledges was to bring community center to Oro Valley. The The El Conquistador County Club purchase, as approved by council, would do that.