AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin's Parks and Recreation Department heard a pitch Tuesday night that some say will solve some of the department's money woes. Austin mediation firm Crawford, Huddleston & Co. wants to develop Hancock Golf Course.
Hancock Golf Course is one of the oldest in Texas, founded in 1899.
"It's accessible, which means I don't have to travel outside the city or go south of the river," said golfer Mario Lewis, "Green spaces of this kind are not likely to be found."
Crawford, Huddleston & Co. has a new vision for the space: keep some of the green, but develop it to help the city's parks department.
Jim Huddleston of the first says the proposed plans could potentially generate millions of dollars in revenue for the city.
"It could be done, and nice, two years from now -- $10 million in the bank," said Huddleston.
Huddleston's mediation firm suggests the city should turn the roughly 45 acres into a mixed use development. The plan includes keeping green park space around the perimeter. It would allow for about 55 lots for single family homes. Also, about three acres in the middle would be reserved for commercial space.
The Hancock Neighborhood Association as a whole has taken the position: "We want the golf course and park land to remain as is."
So we asked some people who live in the neighborhood why they want the green space to stay.
"I'm not a big golfer, but I will go run around there, and it is just a nice, beautiful place to spend an afternoon," said Sean Bond.
Huddleston says Hancock Golf Course can't sustain itself for much longer and a change is inevitable.
"Someday this land will be developed. It's a money-losing city property now," Huddleston said.
But for many in the neighborhood, the wide open space is priceless.
"It's a big part of what's important in this community, so it would be sad to see it go," said Bond.
KXAN checked with the city about how Hancock Golf Course is doing financially. The Parks and Recreation Department told us In the past two years, more money has been spent to run the course than money it's brought in.
In 2011, the course lost more than $134,000 dollars. In 2012, the course lost just over $118,000. However, revenue from the city's entire golf course division has exceeded costs over the past two years.
Update at 8 p.m.: The Parks and Recreation Board decided to not move forward with the recommendations for redevelopment.
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