Loch Alpine is not your typical suburb. For the most part, it’s completely surrounded by dense foliage, and in the parts where it’s not, it has a lovely view of… an overgrown and abandoned golf course.
The golf course was once the main attraction of the neighborhood, having been modeled off of Barton Hills by Ward Blakely in 1928. When Blakely died in 1935, his son took over construction, adding the clubhouse to the original plan for the neighborhood. In 1954, however, the golf course and clubhouse were sold, and since 1961, the ownership has been transferred often.
In 2001, the membership prices increased in order to increase revenue and many members left AACC (Ann Arbor Country Club); however, the funds needed were met, and AACC owners opened a pool and a new clubhouse a year later.
Unfortunately, membership still continued to steadily decline until 2010, and faced foreclosure. A member persuaded Lewis Whaley to purchase it.
Under Whaley’s watchful eye, the golf course and the country club’s appearances improve greatly; however, there was not any marketing done, and Whaley lost large sums of money despite financial support from Loch Alpine residents from 2010 to when he closed the club in autumn of 2015.
In 2016, Whaley approached a realtor about developing on the land to build homes. However, he needs ¾ of Loch Alpine residents to support his decision. Only a handful of residents were even remotely open to the plan Whaley brought to the table, and the opinion of the residents doesn’t seem to be heading towards any change in the future.
On the lawsuit, LAIA (Loch Alpine Improvement Association) board president, Peter Logan, said “Since December 2016, the LAIA has been in litigation with the A2C2 (Ann Arbor Country Club) Partnership … In essence, the owner wants to sell the golf course property for residential development. The LAIA Restriction Agreement, which is legally binding on the golf course property, does not allow residential use of the golf course parcels.”
Logan stated that “Because the Association is in litigation, the Board of Directors is not commenting on the situation to reporters and journalists.” As of April 4th, the lawsuit continues.