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Freeport golf course to go public, spur housing development

A new 18-hole public golf course will open in Freeport this summer, and about 150 homes along the course could follow.

The Phoenix at Buffalo Valley will replace the former Buffalo Valley Country Club, a private club that closed in 2007.

“We are bringing something new out of the ashes of the old Buffalo Valley Country Club,” Gary Nese said. Nese and his brothers and father formed the entity Trilogy Golf Development to buy and run the golf course, along with another partner.

In addition to the course, there will be a driving range and a clubhouse that includes a restaurant, men’s and women’s locker rooms and bag storage.

The 4,000-square-foot restaurant will be available for banquets and outings. The restaurant will be open yearround.

Golf rates will be competitive with other area courses, Nese said.

The Nese family operates Glengarry Golf Links in Latrobe. A season pass bought at either course will be honored at both, Nese said.

The target date to open is early summer, maybe as soon as June, Nese said. He added that it’s contingent upon spring weather.

They’ve already made changes to the course, which Nese said had a reputation as “a very tight, difficult course.”

About 300 trees have been removed, and every hole has been changed somewhat — fairways widened, trees cut down, sand traps removed.

The goal is to make the course more accessible for the public.

Trilogy Golf Development bought the 200 acres that the golf course sits on and an additional 144 contiguous acres from the Laube family for $920,000. The 144 acres was made up of woods, timbered land and had an office building on it.

Another 15 acres of wooded land was bought from the Laube family’s Freeport Community Park for $1 to incorporate into the development area. The property bought was an unused hillside.

The park is still 75 acres, Nese said.

Plans for 155 residential lots are in the works. Tentative plans divide the land into three areas for development — 42 lots called Highlands at the Phoenix, 42 lots called Parklands at the Phoenix, and about 80 more called Meadowlands.

Nese emphasizes the view at the Highlands plan, the wooded areas at Parklands and the views of the river and meadow at Meadowlands. The Nese family’s property owns up to the borough’s park, and the plans offer access to the park from the housing plan.

The new single-family homes could help bring tax revenue into the borough, Nese said. Lot development is in the early stages of the approval process.

Nese did not say what price range the houses will have.

Nese is confident in the new course, saying Glengarry Golf Links has been very successful.

“We have known of the golf course for 20 years,” Nese said about Buffalo Valley Country Club. “We’ve known of its reputation. And it’s just an excellent golf course waiting to be renovated and redone to suit the public market. Beautiful clubhouse, beautiful layout.”

The property was annexed by Freeport from South Buffalo in the 1960s.

“This just happened to be an excellent opportunity because of the location,” Nese said. “We feel we’re close to a lot of population with Route 28.”

The golf course will add another choice for the region’s golfers to play within a relatively small area. Among the nearby golf courses: River Forest Country Club, in Allegheny Township; Buffalo Golf Course in Buffalo Township; Cabin Greens and Birdsfoot Golf Club in South Buffalo, Saxon Golf Course in Clinton Township.

Freeport Council President Jim Seagriff, Jr. said he’s looking forward to the reopening.

“The borough is happy that the golf course is going to be operating again, and the possibility of the restaurant opening,” Seagriff said. ” … It was always an attraction to the borough, and we’re happy it will be an attraction again.”


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