Sunrise Golf Club property set to hit the market

October 18, 2013
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The sun is setting on Carmel’s Sunrise Golf Club.

The nine-hole public course at 9876 Westfield Blvd. is scheduled to close at the end of the month after nearly 25 years. Operators Patrick and Mary Ann Amore plan to retire rather than pay more to lease the 75-acre property along the Monon Greenway.

Owned by the Vera Hinshaw Family Limited Partnership, the land will be offered for sale, said Vera Hinshaw’s son Tom.

“We’ve had several people express interest over the years, but Mom never wanted to sell,” Tom Hinshaw said.

But his mother died Sept. 1 at age 88. The lifelong Carmel resident, who had four children, was known for her determination, according to her obituary. Case in point: Hinshaw was the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the owners of abandoned railroad easements like the Monon. Her side won.

Sunrise’s lease expired, Tom Hinshaw said, and the family proposed new terms. The timing was bad for the Amores.

“We couldn’t afford it going into the winter months,” Patrick Amore said, raising the possibility of actually retiring after three previous attempts. “A golf course is not an easy thing to run.”

So he’s wrapping up operations and hoping to unload golf carts, golf clubs and remaining odds and ends like a hot dog machine.

A buyer hasn’t materialized yet, but the residentially zoned land isn’t likely to linger on the market. As IBJ reported earlier this month, M/I Homes of Indiana has proposed a 48-home development on 15 acres of lakeside land on the opposite side of the Monon.

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  • Fingers crossed
    Let's hope a developer and the city work together to create a Monon-centric solution with some meaningful architectural designs. The last thing any suburb needs right now is another mid-range, vinyl-clad pseudo village.
    • Sunrise Golf Club
      Thank you Pat, Mary Ann, Mario, Chris, Pat Jr, and Angelo for providing the golfers of central Indiana the finest nine hole golf experience. You treated all your patrons like family and "we will miss you."
    • Thank you
      I shot my one and only hole in one at Sunrise my senior year of high school. Thank you so much for a great course.
    • No economic sense
      My understanding is that the kids wanted to double the rent beginning November 1. Why close the place down when you could still get some income from leasing the golf course until you sell the real estate?
      • Double the rent
        Furthermore I understand the kids still wanted to terminate any new lease at double the rent if they found a buyer for the property.
      • Agreed!
        Couldn't agree more. It's all starting to look the same...
      • Agreed!
        Couldn't agree more. It's all starting to look the same...
      • Will miss Sunrise
        This breaks my heart a little. While not the best course In town, it offered affordable golf and a convenient driving range (for those of us in Broad Ripple, getting to golf takes a while). I sure lost a lot of golf balls there! I hope the family enjoys their retirement!
      • M/I Homes...Really?
        A plan to put 48 homes on 15 acres...let's see...hmmmm minus the road space that would equate to about .29 acres per home. Sorry to see Sunrise go! Thanks to family for the Monon/Utility lawsuit. It was an unexpected please for us!
      • RENT INCREASE
        A rent increase was proposed that was NOT double the existing rent. The lessees were offered an increase that was less than 1% return on an absolute rock-bottom conservative FMV & month to month rent, as the property is much sought after. The tenants offered no counter proposal. The contract originally negotiated never reflected an appropriate return on the investment.
      • Thanks Pat and Mary Ann!
        Pat and Mary Ann treated my young son and I like family each and every time we were there. They were accommodating, honest, loving, and kind. I'll never forget when pat walked out to the range one day and helped my little boy (8 at the time) and gave him a quick lesson and told him he had potential. My Son has never forgot what Pat showed him. Business is business, I understand. I wish the Amore's the best of life and love in their golden years. You are the best, and thank you for everything over the years.
      • Wildlife
        I live in the Orchard Park subdivision which backs up to Sunrise Golf course on it's north side. The "lake" site (it is really nothing more than a large retainer pond) mentioned in the article is just to the south of my neighborhood on the west side of the Monon Trail. In my own backyard, I have seen deer, a fox, groundhogs (there was an entire family of these living under my deck), raccoons, possums, as well as the usual rabbits and squirrels, chipmunks, mice, etc. There is a veritable bonanza of wildlife here. The old growth trees in this tiny pocket of forest in the middle of suberbia supports Pileated Woodpeckers (the big guys)and a Great Horned Owl (I have seen and heard them both). I know none of these are endangered species, but I'm just wondering - why is it when a piece of undeveloped property goes up for sale the IMMEDIATE thought is "let's build more houses on it". How original when Indiana leads the nation in unoccupied foreclosed homes? How about a new green space or small park that everyone could enjoy and FOR ONCE leave the beautiful old trees alone? Does anyone realize how long it takes to grow a hardwood tree that is several feet in diameter? Do you ever consider what will happen to us, the human race, when we finally drive the last of the wildlife from their habitats and chop down the last tree? When will there ever be considerations beyond greed and profit involved in these decisions? Am I alone in thinking this is just really sad???
      • Please - No More Apartments
        Carmel now seems to have more apartment complexes either built or under constructions that they have roundabouts. Please no more!!!!
      • To Karen
        No Karen, you are not wrong. I recall seeing deer almost every time I played Sunrise. And I agree, the area doesn't need another siding-ville. Too bad someone couldn't come in and save Sunrise or make it a park as you suggest. I'm sure it will be houses in a few years...
      • Petition to Oppose "Monon Lake" Development
        I have started a petition to oppose the M/I Homes of Indiana 48-home development on 15 acres of lakeside land on the opposite side of the Monon referred to in this article: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/oppose-monon-lake-development/ When the developers cast their greedy little eyes on Sunrise, I will do the same. It's not enough just to be upset about it - I want to do my best to try and stop it from happening! Please take a moment to sign the petition and also share with everyone you know, esp those who live in the Home Place/Orchard Park neighborhoods. Thank you!
      • Land use
        I have enjoyed the 25 years of driving homeward & watching gorgeous sunsets over the golf course and thankful each time for the open green space. Living just north of Sunset, and ultimately Vera's wisdom in not selling it/or letting it be developed into something "developed." I have lived here long enough to remember when not only this pro-perty but the "Retreat" condo/apts property were on a big undeveloped natural prairie field that teemed with natural wildlife and nature's rhythms. Carmel's undeterred large scale "Multi-family" multi-level building of condos and apartments have left our jewel schools crowded, over-sized, over-built and available remaining land nearly gone. (Like 116th & Springmill). At one point the Sunset property was considered for a private school location (which would retain some green space and not increase traffic as much). We all throught from the meetings when the property went to Sunrise that the Hinshaw properties were held in "perpetuity" down through the generations and could not be sold-only leased. What happened to that? NO more condo/apts please! We long-time residents lament our small hometown community going to urban sprawl with rude drivers, traffic and big city problems in a small town environ. (Like robbery on the rise).
      • Lots of Time
        Karen, you sound like a good person, but you are completely naive if you think a silly petition is going to stop residential homes being built on this property. A golf course wasn't bought so they could tear it up and make it a friggin park. That "family" of groundhogs is a pack of rodents to most sane people. I would've loved if someone bought the course, made improvements, and increased prices. I think we are in need of some good, quality 9 hole courses. But money talks, and there is a lot to be made by building homes on this property. If you want to be productive, start a petition that spotlights the waste and fraud that is rampant in big government.
      • don't forget the designer.
        so sad. My dad designed and built the course for the Amores and it's sad to see it go away. Pretty much all the major trees that were on the land were intact, that's what my dad wanted to keep with the design and working with the land and foilage, not against it. All the holes in the back side of the property show that (4,5,6,7). Needless to say it's immensely more beautiful than the housing complex that was built on the other half of the property. (original vision was to be an 18-hole course butting up against 465)

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