Monday, April 24, 2017
A hi tech golf and entertainment venue plans to invest approximately $25 million dollars to build the area’s first Drive Shack. It will be located on 31.1 acres behind Audi of Richmond. Drive Shack will snug against the curve where Rt. 288 meets Interstate 64.
At an April 20 meeting at the Centerville Fire-Rescue station, adjacent property owners and other interested parties got an early glimpse of the project.
Drive Shack CEO Sarah Watterson explained that the company offers a way to combine golf and entertainment, and “take golf off the course” for busy people. The three story, approximately 60 thousand square foot building—Wegman’s, by comparison, is 120,000 square feet on one level—will contain 90 suites where people will use electronic enable equipment to hit golf balls onto a very special driving range. The activity, said Watterson, will appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike. Someone likened it to a combination of golf and pinball.
Drive Shack will complement nearby golf courses including Kinloch, Hermitage, Sycamore Creek, and Hunting Hawk. Golf is popular in the Richmond region. According to a post on Richmondbizsense.com more than 350,000 rounds of golf were played in the Richmond region in 2016. Hunting Hawk, just up Ashland Road, came in third with 26,000 rounds.
In addition to the golf suites, Drive Shack will include food and beverage service, and space for events ranging from corporate retreats to kids’ birthday parties. Memberships will be available.
Watterson explained that the location, close to Short Pump and major highways is ideal. Because Dive Shack is very sensitive to light concerns, all illumination is contained within the confines of its property and aimed down. She expects external sound to be minimal and drowned out by noise the vehicles passing by.
Access to Drive Shack from Broad Street Road will be via the internal road being built for Audi of Richmond. Three Chopt Road will dead end at the Drive Shack property, putting to rest the silly idea that VDOT floated about reconnecting Three Chopt Road via some sort of “intermodal connector” over, under, or through Rt. 288.
The new entertainment venue, said Watterson, will generate about 350 hospitality jobs and spend around $25 million on the project. She said that Drive Shack “is the best neighbor you can be” and will be an asset to the community.
Adding another business to the Broad Street Road corridor raised concerns about even more traffic is an area that is giving new meaning to the term “dysfunction junction”. Watterson said that that Drive Shack customers will trickle in and out during its operating hours.
Director of Community Development Jo Ann Hunter said that improvements to the Broad Street Road/ Rt.288 intersection have been approved and funded and will be installed by VDOT—the state agency whose motto is “Oops!—sometime in the next four years.
Drive Shack, which is a publicly traded company, NYSE symbol DS, will own and operate the venue.
This is an excellent use for this parcel of land, which, given its location, might have been otherwise somewhat difficult to develop. Adding entertainment to the mix in eastern Goochland will move some spending westward.
Kudos to everyone involved in bringing Drive Shack to Goochland. May it be successful for many years to come. Drive Shack will begin the process to rezone the property from agricultural to business use in the next few weeks. It hopes to be operational by late summer 2018.