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Officials Say “No” to buying Golf Garden Property

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A new sports center and performing arts venue was in the works for a county in the Panhandle. After new information was presented, Walton County officials pumped the breaks. The information might stop this project from going any further. 

“We have a saying in the real estate industry. Pigs get fat, while hogs get slaughter. Y’all need to slaughter this hog, right now,” referenced Jim Bagby, a concerned citizen. 

Walton County Commissioners were presented with an opportunity to buy one of the last large pieces of land in Miramar Beach. 

At first many of the Commissioners showed interest in buying the Golf Garden but, their minds were quickly changed when new information was presented. A concerned member of the public claimed a gauging of price. 

“I don’t mind somebody making a profit but, this is gauging,” claimed Bagby.

Golf Garden sits along Highway 98 and has been listed on the market several times. According to Bagby, in 2016 when the property was intitially listed, the ask was $9.95 million.

“It stayed on the market for 572 days,” said Bagby. “Which tells you nobody in the world thought it was worth that much money.” 

Then in 2018, the price was lowered to $4.5 million.

“….and guess what,” asked Bagby. “Stayed on there about 179 days. Then all of a sudden February 28, when the county showed some interest, they did what? They went back up and raised (the price).”
     
“Maybe yall want to look at getting a real estate person to kind of advise the board on property that yall are looking at,” said Suzanne Harris, Walton County Resident.

Now, it’s under contract for full price, almost $10 million.  

Despite the concerns, TDC Director, Jay Tusa urged commissioners, to move quickly on this piece of property because he didn’t think the owners would wait four months to get the Request for Proposal for a feasibility study or the appraisals. 

But, the Commissioners now want to look deeper at the issue before making any more wild swings. 

“Based upon that I did not support with spending any money to look at whether it’s going to be feasible or not, if that’s the way they are going to act,” said Bill Chapman, Walton County Commissioner.

Even though the 2-3 vote halts the process, appraisals will still be presented in the future, since the appraisals have already been paid for. 

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