Unidentified investors have purchased Ironwood Country Club, but their lawyer says the group doesn’t yet know what it will do with the land.
The west Omaha golf course and club, which opened in 1924, closed last year due to an overdue bank loan. It was sold Friday at a trustee’s auction for nearly $10 million.
“Nobody knows who that syndicate is or what they are going to do,” said Holly Barstow, a member of the Ironwood board of directors. The board plans its final meeting Monday.
At least one person knows who the investors are, but wouldn’t tell. Omaha attorney James Buser represents the limited liability corporation Bella Terra, which registered with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office on Friday, the same day it purchased the club.
Buser said the owners don’t yet know what they will do with the property near 126th and Pacific Streets. Options — and speculation — abound, everything from a housing development and smaller golf course to housing for senior citizens.
“It’s probably going to be some time before they sort through … all the different options that are out there,” he said.
If they develop Ironwood into something other than a golf course, that would require a long process of work with engineers and architects toward a plan that makes sense, he said.
“It’s not something that comes together all that quickly.”
News of the sale disappointed Julie Klein, who in 2001 bought a house with a backyard that faces the golf course.
Klein doesn’t golf. But she enjoyed the trees, the wildlife and the absence of neighbors to the rear.
“We’ve had wild turkeys and all kinds of stuff on that golf course,” she said. “We love having it back there.”
And, she said, there is another, more practical reason for her disappointment.
“I definitely think the value of the house is going to go down,” she said.
The club changed its name from Highland Country Club when the new clubhouse opened. Highland at one time was a Jewish-only club, a response to other clubs that would not accept Jewish members.
Although the golf course’s new owners said they do not yet know the future of the course, Buser said that whatever happens there would be done well.
“I can tell you my clients will do something nice with it,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of people will be disappointed.”