Cowan on Mif: No thanks
I finally got around to checking in with local developer Ron Cowan regarding a proposal to swap 12 acres Cowan owns on Harbor Bay for the just-closed Mif Albright golf course. Cowan said he hasn’t been seriously approached by the city regarding any swap, and even if he were, he’s not interested.
“I’ve heard those rumors too,” Cowan said. “As far as we’re concerned, we’re not interested in a swap.”
Cowan said he’s never been “approached on this seriously” by the city, and even if he were, his plan is to build homes on the 12 acres he currently owns – once the economy turns around.
He said his original plan for Harbor Bay included homes on the land.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m going to build on that land,” he said.
I called Mayor Beverly Johnson but couldn’t reach her for comment Wednesday. Johnson said she wanted the city to consider the development, dubbed Harbor VI, in its mix of options for the Mif Albright site. But council member Doug deHaan said he doesn’t want to see it on the agenda again.
A group that included local business owners and the heads of some nearby homeowners associations brought the proposal to the City Council last week, hours after they were scheduled to discuss a potential deal in a closed-door session. (The item was postponed because council members Lena Tam and Marie Gilmore were out sick.)
The group opposed Cowan’s plans to build 104 homes on the plot he owns, which sits between one of his housing developments and a slice of the Harbor Bay Business Park. The Planning Board turned down his request to rezone the land from business to residential use this past May.
The proposal came as the council discussed its options for the land – options that include reusing the course as a park, recreation fields, a BMX park or open space. Golf Commission president Jane Sullwold asked the council to allow the contractor it hired to run the Chuck Corica Golf Complex, Kemper Sports, to look into whether they could reopen the course and run it at a profit.