Augusta National Acquires New Land

One of the most profitable golf clubs in America, Augusta National, has been slowly buying property in surrounding areas of the course. Over the past 15 years, Augusta National paid $55 million to acquire about 100 acres, house by house. Homeowners in surrounding areas were skeptical to sell their houses to the course over the years, but most were happy to sell when home prices skyrocketed in the area. The median home in Augusta was recently selling for less than $100,000. Since the course began recent renovations, homes near Augusta National’s main parking lot sell for a median of $1 million. Although the course has kept their plans for the acquired land quiet, many speculate the possibility of the land being used as a buffer, to emphasize the exclusivity of the club.

In addition to expanding Augusta National Golf Club’s borders, the club sought out extra parking due to high traffic during the Masters. In February, the golf club paid $8.3 million for a 9.8-acre apartment complex, which the course confirmed will be used for parking. The club also strives to improve traffic in areas near the club.

In order to advance the widening and realignment of Berckmans Road, which runs along the Augusta National’s property line, the golf course will give the city of Augusta an interest-free loan. In this deal with the city, Augusta National will fund the $20 million project, and the city will pay the club back with a 1% regional sales tax. The road will be finished come the Masters in 2016, and fans will benefit from less traffic and a pedestrian walkway between parking and the club. Residents in the area are excited for the abundant changes, but are also aware that the golf course will continue to expand over the next 10 years, and will probably not get to see changes up close.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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