The Westwood Country Club will continue to operate through the end of next year, the investor group that owns the Amherst property said today.
Mensch Capital Partners, which is seeking to swap the 170-acre Westwood Country Club property for 170 acres of the town’s Audubon Golf Course to open up the Westwood property for a mixed-use development, said it has extended the contract of its management company, Culinary Productions, to operate the facility for at least an additional year, through the end of 2014.
The Westwood owners said they extended the contract to reassure the club’s members that the facility would remain open for nearly two more years and to let it be known that the club is available for private events during that time.
Culinary Partners had announced in June that it would terminate its 40-year lease to operate the clubhouse, pool and golf course at the end of 2013, but under the extension, it agreed to continue operating the club for an additional year.
The long-term future of the Westwood club is uncertain because of the proposed land swap. Under Mensch’s proposal, the town would gain a country-club style golf course, and Mensch would gain 170 acres of prime, developable property along Maple Road and Millersport Highway, adjacent to the University at Buffalo.
“We are still 100 percent committed to the Westwood-Audubon exchange,” said Andrew J. Shaevel, Mensch’s managing partner, in a statement. “The approval process, as is always the case, will take more time than either party anticipated, but this is a pivotal project for the town and the University at Buffalo, so it’s worth taking the time to do it right.”
Negotiations with the town are expected to continue into next year, he said.
“We’re pragmatic, but also optimistic that we will work out a win-win agreement with the Town of Amherst in the coming months,” Shaevel said. “Our group remains dedicated to working with the town to arrive at a deal that is good for all parties and we’re preparing an updated proposal that hopefully will be acceptable to the town.”