It's the end of golf in Candiac.
Maison Candiac Group bought the Candiac Golf Club on Tuesday, with the aim of building a "project that will blend in harmoniously with the surrounding area and preserve the green spaces".
“Our dream would be to offer a mixed development that incorporates a residential component and green spaces that could include bike paths, walking trails or recreational elements that will benefit the entire population. " – says the promoter Maryo Lamothe.
Golf club owners say they have taken the time to choose the developer with the most interesting vision for the community.
They add that the decline of the golf practice has undermined the profitability of the club, which, moreover, required "considerable investments" in the short term to maintain its activities.
"The infrastructures have a limited life span and we are in an impossible situation: an outdated irrigation system, greens that are becoming more and more complex to maintain, as well as many ageing or sick trees, not forgetting the clubhouse, that would need to be rebuilt ", declares Héloïse Hamel on behalf of the owners.
The club will close forever at the end of this season.
The Maison Candiac Group project will, however, encounter two obstacles in its path: the Municipality and the Residents' Association of Candiac (RCC).
The City of Candiac does not intend to modify the zoning bylaw to allow the construction of homes on the golf course of the Candiac Golf Club, even if the buyer and property developer Maryo Lamothe is committed to making a large, ecofriendly, natural space.
After the Maison Candiac Group announced that it acquired the golf course on September 3rd, Mayor Normand Dyotte reinforced what he has been saying for months or even years.
"The city council has positioned itself largely on the issue and it has always been said, and I repeat, that it is a recreational zone area and that it will remain the same because that is what the citizens have asked of us and we listen to them," - said Mr. Dyotte.
To him, no compromise is possible.
"For the moment, it is out of the question for the City to directly discuss a possible real estate development with Groupe Maison Candiac. If the promoter wants to move forward, he will have to convince the populace."
Value of the property
Residents bordering the Candiac Golf Club are concerned about the value of their properties, mainly the possibility of its value decreasing due to the golf course closure. They shouldn't worry too much tho, as there are a few things we can re-consider with the expertise of James He, real estate expert, specializing in the South Shore market.
Impact on the market value
The presence of golf in the neighbourhood has a positive impact on the value of a residence, on average it’s about an 8 to 9% increase. It's different from one city to another. We did experience a large increase in sales from 2017.
However, golf is no longer as popular as it was 20 years ago. The modern lifestyle has rapidly changed, people prefer travelling internationally and going back to nature. Artificial or recreational attractions have become less popular. For golf maintenance “the green” requires so many natural green resources, space and harmful chemicals – it's become a growing concern.
Over time, other factors have become important, such as quick access to a bridge (Samuel de Champlain), neighbourhood, social services, more schools, etc.
Do people buy a residence near a golf course to play? No. They buy it because there is a green space behind their course. Citizens flee the city towards a natural habitat.
At the time, the golf-related prestige factor was a must, especially due to the limited availability of their clubs. Space has been squeezed down, locations are limited in urban areas as well. Golf, as a sports business, barely balances its own costs. Recently a lot of golf clubs had been sold to the real estate promoters/developers, it's nothing new.
A smart development project could be of benefit to local residents.
The challenge is to know what will replace golf. The motto is: counterbalance. It is possible that some of the new facilities can fill the missing 8% or even increase the value further. The city has to ask why people are settling in this neighbourhood. View and access to nature remain the main attributes for residents, they are more afraid of losing the tranquillity it provides than the golf course itself. The insider gave us a little peak on the plan, there might be an aqua-parc, tennis and 9-hole golf club remaining in the green zone.
Future of the real estate market in South Shore
The population has been growing up, young families start to move from crowded downtown to suburban South Shore areas. Immigrants learned to respect the importance of language and culture adaptation, taking advantage of re-modelized infrastructure (Champlain Bridge/ future REM (2021). Following this migration, the local residents feel the social services are too busy and they are starting to move even further to satellite cities (Chambly, Candiac).
The housing demand has been increasing rapidly, adapting the needs of the market, and the prices are going up as the transactions increase by about 10%. People change from renovation/flip/ re-modelling of their houses to a complete demolition to re-built a new home, some confident homeowners even buy a secondary house looking for an opportunity in the future.
Eventually, CPTAQ will gradually loosen its tight control from agricultural zoning to other choices.
All these changes trigger the cities to open their minds to the market offers; which means more property taxes collected and more budget to be put into social services and infrastructure.
Re-zoning more into residential instead of recreational will be happening in various different locations in upcoming years.