NEWCASTLE Golf Club has joined with two of the Hunter's biggest property players to develop a seniors living complex at Fern Bay.
The club, which boasts one of the best golf courses in Australia, has signed a preliminary agreement with Principle Living, a joint venture between the McCloy Group and Stevens Group.
Stevens property group director Brett Harrod said the plan included 64 units in two four-storey towers and 80 houses and villas overlooking the course along Nelson Bay Road.
The development, which Mr Harrod labelled "upmarket", will be the fourth seniors village in Fern Bay.
The golf club's members voted three years ago to investigate opportunities to redevelop part of the course to shore up its financial future.
The club talked to Woolworths about building a supermarket, but these plans have been abandoned.
The seniors housing will be on land now occupied by the course's closing holes. The club has drawn up plans for four new holes on vacant land to the north.
Newcastle is regularly rated among the top 20 courses in Australia and is listed with the National Trust.
The housing development is subject to member approval and to development approval from Port Stephens Council.
Club president Michael Coughlan and development subcommittee chair Alan McKelvey told members in a letter last week that the club and developers had entered into a "conditional, non-binding term sheet" giving the parties three months to finalise the development plans and commercial terms.
If the project proceeds, the club will receive an up-front cash amount then lease the land to the developers after a five-year rent-free period.