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Johnson buying Ives Hill Country Club for $1.9 million

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Developer Jake Johnson is buying Ives Hill Country Club from P.J. Simao for $1.9 million, Johnson confirmed on Tuesday.

But the deal is strictly a property purchase and does not include any golf carts and only a little in the way of equipment, the two men said.

“The deal has not closed, but it will close shortly,” Simao said.

Johnson is purchasing the nine-hole course’s 56 acres and the clubhouse and restaurant on West Flower Avenue. The land consists of 40 acres on the Ives Street/West Flower Avenue side of the street and 16 on the Weldon Drive side.

The golf course will retain the Ives Hill Country Club name. Johnson is keeping the club’s current staff.

In recent weeks, Johnson began major improvements to the golf course so that he can open it at the beginning of next spring, he said. That work includes rehabbing the greens and fairways, and putting in 27 new tee boxes and 18 bunkers, he said.

The restaurant needs only cosmetic work, he said. Johnson plans to run the restaurant.

“Everything will be done in October,” he said. “P.J. helped a lot to make this go smoothly.”

Johnson stressed that it’s uncommon to take prepossession of a property before a deal is finalized.

When the deal was made public in July, Johnson said that he was interested in acquiring Ives Hill because he knew how much it meant to the city.

His interest also was further piqued by a few people who approached him that they would like to see him buy it.

“I want everyone come in and have fun and enjoy it,” he said.

Asked whether an appraisal has been done on the Ives Hill property, Johnson said he does not want the deal to be intertwined in local politics, he said, referring to the city’s controversial purchase last winter of the former Watertown Golf Club from developer Michael E. Lundy.

The course will continue to be operated as a nine-hole course as part of the city’s deal to acquire Thompson Park Golf Course.

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