As NJ preps $20M deal, Seaview invests amid golf drought

Updated: Seaview Golf Resort, in Galloway Township near Atlantic City, which state-funded  Richard Stockton College has agreed to buy for $20 million, says it's plowing $1.4 million into rebuilding fairways and bunkers and improving drainage at its Bay and Pines courses, plus new lockers and showers at its sprawling clubhouse.

The planned repairs cost almost as much as Philadelphia gas-and-water utilities magnate (and Boca Raton, Fla. developer) Clarence H. Geist, founder of what's now South Jersey Industries, paid to buy and develop the square-mile club property from local farmland, way back in 1914. Though today's dollars buy a fraction of what Geist spent.

The refresher comes amid a golf recession. Developer Donald Trump has been refurbishing the former Pine Hill course into "Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia" after buying it for $3.7 million last year. Cherry Hill's Woodcrest is struggling with its defaulted Sun National Bank mortgage. Woodbury Country Club is shut. Seaview lies a mile from the Galloway National course, backed by ex-Commerce Bank boss Vernon Hill and other South Jersey prominenti; and four miles from Stockton's campus..

Stockton, a New Jersey state school, in September agreed to buy Seaview (two courses, restaurant for the college hospitality program, and a hotel that's supposed to be turned into student housing, four miles from campus) from LaSalle Hotel Properties LLC, for $20 million. The hotel is run Andy Dolce's Dolce Hotels and Resorts Montvale, NJ, and the golf courses have been run since last year by Troon Golf, Scottsdale, Arizona.