It has been more than a decade since a group of partners bought the old Canyon Club on Bedford Road in Armonk. They sought to transform the 156-acre property and golf course into a 21st century country club community with a redesigned course and luxury condominiums.
Since December 2009, when they bought the parcel and renamed it Brynwood Golf & Country Club, there were innumerable debates about residential density and obstacles galore over water supply, potential traffic generation and the partners’ difficulty in obtaining financing.
While 2020 has proven to be a tough year for nearly everyone, the pieces have finally fallen into place for the project that is now called The Summit Club at Armonk. In recent months, renovation of the course redesigned by Rees Jones has been steadily progressing, with an April opening planned, said Jeffrey Mendell, the project’s managing partner and a 25-year Armonk resident.
Just before Thanksgiving, the formal application for the residential component was submitted for site plan review. The project is on the North Castle Planning Board’s Dec. 14 agenda. That will be followed two nights later by a special Town Board meeting where the applicant’s representatives will present an alternate plan to Water District No. 2 residents in hopes of bringing adequate water to the site for the proposed 73 condominiums.
“We’ve been getting inquiries steadily since we closed (the golf course) four years ago,” Mendell said. “People want to know what’s going on, when it’s going to open and if it’s going to open. Now I can comfortably say that the project is moving full speed ahead.”
Mendell said crews will continue with the golf course renovation through Dec. 19, then take off for the holidays and resume over the winter, weather permitting.
Course improvements will include three new holes on the back nine, the rebuilding of all fairway and greenside bunkers along with the adjustment of some bunker locations to give players additional shot options. Several greens and landing zones are being reshaped to improve playability for the 6,700-yard course.
Mendell said the 10th hole was eliminated and the former par 5 hole 17 has been split into two holes, one a par 3 and the other a par 4.
The goal is to open the front nine by Apr. 1, followed by the back nine, where many of the new greens are being installed, before the end of April. Mendell said the course will be served by a trailer that will be home to the pro shop and the membership director. Adjacent to that will be a patio with food and beverage with fire pits and music.
After more than 10 years of fits and starts, it took a pandemic that has made life so difficult on so many to breathe new life into the project.
“There’s no question the pandemic has been a plus for both the golf business and the residential business in Westchester County,” Mendell said. “Most golf clubs are filling up or are full and raising their prices. Golf is a great pandemic sport. In fact, the worse you are at it, the farther you are apart from everybody on the golf course, and since most people are not very good, they’re very safe out here.”
Furthermore, the residential market in Westchester and other suburban communities has gotten a significant lift as families flee the city and more congested parts of the tristate area for open space.
Mendell said he expects the site plan review to move smoothly and efficiently. With the zoning in place, he’s hopeful his team can receive its approvals relatively quickly and start construction on the condominiums next summer. Current plans call for the 73 market-rate units to be housed in seven buildings, and seven affordable units to be built at a yet-to-be-determined location off site.
The units will feature two- and three-bedroom residences with a den. Price points for the units have not been released but it will be a luxury residential community with a sports and wellness orientation for people who want to live well, Mendell said.
“I think it will take three to five years to build out and we’ll probably be building multiple buildings at the same time,” he said. “So it’s really a function of the market, but I’m confident it’s going to go a lot quicker given the strength of the residential market in this area.”
Mendell said the decision to rebrand the facility The Summit Club at Armonk was to give the project a fresh start. It’s also a nod to the property being at one of the highest elevations in the area with spectacular views.
“It’s a really special piece of property, which is why I was first attracted to it many, many years ago,” he said.
For more information, visit www.thesummitclub.net or call 914-273-9300.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/