Sea Pines Resort eyes new $12M clubhouse

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Sea Pines Resort eyes new $12M clubhouse

By TOM BARTON
tbarton@islandpacket.com
Published Tuesday, August 28, 2012   |  577 Words  |  

Some recreational amenities within Sea Pines are scheduled to get a major facelift.

Sea Pines Resort presented plans Tuesday for more than $12 million in renovations to the Plantation Club, which overlooks the Ocean Course and Pete Dye-designed Heron Point golf course.

Drawings shown to the board of directors for Community Services Associates Inc. call for a two-story clubhouse with a wood-shingled roof and Savannah gray brick.

Craig Ostergard, president of Sea Pines Real Estate and a CSA board member, said the new clubhouse will be on par with those at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and TPC Sawgrass.

"It's going to be something really special," Ostergard said.

Steve Birdwell, president of Sea Pines Resort, made a presentation last week to the Association of Sea Pines Plantation Property Owners' board of directors. Plans have not yet been approved by either the town or Sea Pines' Architectural Review Board.

"It will be a new statement of quality for the Sea Pines community with upscale furnishings," Birdwell said after Tuesday's meeting. "It will be a great, premier golf experience."

CSA maintains common property within Sea Pines and represents commercial and residential owners within the gated community.

The building would be about 16,000 square feet and house an expansive golf pro shop, larger locker rooms, 2,000-square-foot meeting and reception space, modern bar and grill with room for private dining, snack bar, and improved parking, Birdwell said.

Plans also call for a new golf learning center with two indoor hitting bays, equipped with digital cameras and software to help players analyze their swings. The learning center will be run by PGA-trained instructors at the Golf Academy at Sea Pines Resort, Birdwell said.

The two courses would remain open during construction, he said. The current pro shop and cart-storage space would be left as is until the new building has been occupied. Both would later be demolished to make way for overflow grass parking and may later be used to accommodate unspecified future development, Birdwell said.

The fitness club would be moved to vacant space at Sea Pines Center, possibly as soon as Nov. 1, according to Cary Corbitt, Sea Pines Resort's director of sports and operations.

The resort hopes to begin demolition of the current clubhouse, built in the early 1960s, by the end of October and begin construction in December.

"We hope to open the new clubhouse by the end of 2013," Birdwell said.

CSA members seemed receptive.

"I think it's very exciting for Sea Pines," Kathy Carter, CSA board vice president, said.

Regarding other changes planned for Sea Pines, the town's Design Review Board gave final approval July 24 for remodeling facilities at Tower Beach, a park popular with Sea Pines residents.

The proposed changes, which received preliminary approval in June from Sea Pines' Architectural Review Board, include a new beach pavilion, upgraded restrooms, better handicapped access, new boardwalks with arbor swings, security station, shelter, and improved parking that includes additional bike racks.

CSA board members, however, say plans are conceptual and have not been formally approved. Construction costs and funding sources have not been determined.

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