On Halloween of 2014, nothing scared the members of Meadowbrook Country Club (MCC) more than a letter.
Members were advised that as the golf season came to an end, so would the club.
“Over the last two months, we have seen a steady decline in our membership,” the letter from Jeff Smith of VanTrust Real Estate read, “As we evaluate these scenarios, it has become clear this will be MCC’s last season.”
Nearly two months later, plans have been made on what will become of the 136-acre championship golf course that closed in October. Meadowbrook could have opened the tee boxes to the public, like Deer Creek did in late 2010 when the club faced with a similar situation, or could have sold some of its property like Homestead Country Club. However, VanTrust Financial has decided to turn the property into a park and a residential area.
The plans include creating an 88-acre park, which would be larger than the 75-acre Loose Park. The Meadowbrook park would become the second biggest park after Shawnee Mission park, which sprawls over 1,000 acres.
According to the column by Steve Rose of the Kansas City Star, it has been estimated that the park will have several miles of walking and jogging trails. The Meadowbrook park will more than double the 44 acres at Johnson County’s existing Antioch Park. It would be at least eight times longer than the nearby 11-acre Franklin Park.
The residential third of the development area will mimic a European style neighborhood, with narrow streets lined with houses, but also have expansive housing areas that would be backed by the park.
Since the plans have only been recently approved, there is no set date for the beginning of construction on either the park or the residential area.
How it will affect the club members
One of the appealing selling points about Meadowbrook was the fact th
at the monthly fees for access to the entire club, including the 18 hole golf course, was only $169 month
ly. According to long-time member Joe Cannova, there was also no initial fee. This is significant cheaper than the monthly cost of the nearby Indian Hills Country Club, having $1,500 monthly dues.
“I was actually really disappointed Meadowbrook closed because I went there almost everyday this past summer. It’s really laid back there and is a great place to golf and swim. I’m not going to be joining another country club since we recently got a pool in my backyard, but my parents are considering different options for golfing.” – Emma Cannova
How it will affect the golf team
With the closing of Meadowbrook’s golf course, the golf team will be forced to find a new home for their invitational tournament, and to also find a new course to practice during their tryout schedule. Originally, the Shawnee Mission East Invitational was held at Meadowbrook and featured all of the Shawnee Mission schools along with a handful of Olathe schools. Now the tournament will be hosted at Milburn Country Club.
“Well it’s disappointing to lose such a great course. We seemed to always play well in tournaments there. But on the up side, we get to play great courses all over town, and our tournament this year is at Milburn, which is a great course. We also have a few kids on the team that are members there, so we will still have a little home course advantage.” – Lucas Jones
How it will affect the joggers
Because the park going to be built with seven to eight miles of jogging trails, running-oriented sports like cross country and track & field will have a new place to send their runners that isn’t along major streets or through local neighborhoods. However, many varsity runners like sophomore John Arnspiger aren’t impressed with the construction of the new running trails.
“The world is my jogging trail. I think it would be cool. But not necessary.” John Arnspiger.