Civic leader Kevin Gaughan’s plan for a South Buffalo golf course has taken a significant step forward with the purchase of the land needed for the course. Gaughan’s Nicklaus Olmsted Buffalo Inc. purchased properties along Marilla, Hopkins and Tifft streets yesterday from Steelfields Ltd for $650,000.
The properties are north of South Park and south of the Tesla factory and include 47, 50, 105, 107, 109, 226, 228, and 230 Marilla Street; 558 Tifft Street; 2, 38, and 51 Hopkins Street; and railroad property. The properties were previously owned by Republic Steel and Donna Hanner Coke that ceased operations in 1982. Steelfields acquired the sites in 2002 and began a State-supervised cleanup in 2003.
Gaughan’s non-profit is teaming with golf pro Jack Nicklaus to design a signature course for the brownfield properties. The goal is to remove the golf course from South Park which would allow for full restoration of Olmsted’s Arboretum within the park. The Olmsted Conservancy has not supported the golf course project however since the site is outside of the Conservancy’s footprint and management agreement with the City to maintain Olmsted’s parks, parkways and circles.
Gaughan has not revealed a golf course design but has said he would approach foundations and others to help fund the project that is expected to cost north of $30 million.