By Rob Carey
By creating a lifestyle community adjacent to Medford’s
Mill Pond GC, the head of The Beechwood Organization gives
Long Island a rare treat: affordable golf-course homes with their own clubhouse and amenities.
The Beechwood Organization has made an enduring impression on Long Island—literally. Over the past 20-plus years, the firm had created dozens of neighborhoods full of its signature homes. It started with the Beechwood Homes brand in the late 1980s, and then in early 1990s the firm began building what would become communities under the Country Pointe brand, in towns like Melville, Dix Hills, Kings Park, Coram, Medford, and Manorville.
“Many of those were gated communities with small clubhouses,” says Michael Dubb, president of The Beechwood Organization and a lifelong Long Islander. “But when we found an opportunity to create a true lifestyle community nearly a decade ago, we jumped at that.” The result was Meadowbrook Pointe in Westbury, a community of 720 townhomes for people ages 55 and up, with amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, and lounges. And the location is ideal: It’s set in the heart of Nassau County, with great shopping plus several restaurants and movie theaters—and it’s just a two-minute drive from Eisenhower Park’s three golf courses.
“Meadowbrook Pointe became synonymous with ‘lifestyle community’ on Long Island, and after it was done we started looking for Suffolk County’s answer to that project,” Dubb says. “Because of the cost of housing in Nassau, we thought that a Meadowbrook Pointe community in Suffolk would interest those who recognized the brand name but who preferred a Suffolk location.”
Just then, a unique opportunity presented itself to Dubb. His firm started talking to the owners of Mill Pond GC about purchasing the scenic 27-hole facility in Medford and converting it to a neighborhood of homes, each one set on an acre of land. But “I thought about it more, and it hit me that if I could keep 18 holes of golf and build homes alongside that, then it would preserve a beautiful links-style course and still create a great 55-plus community.”
So Dubb created a footprint for 280 semi-attached homes, and then worked out a deal with Brookhaven Town to take back the 18-hole course and have it managed by a professional golf-course operator. The result: “Mill Pond is a public course that feels like a private course,” says Dubb. “The carts all have GPS systems, the driving range is impeccable, and the rest of the facility is top quality.”
And for the people who buy into the new community—called Meadowbrook Pointe Links & Spa—they have a choice of homes ranging in size from 1,500 to 2,500 square feet, with the master bedroom on the main level. Each home has a guest bedroom and a den on the second floor “so the children and grandchildren can visit and have an area for themselves,” Dubb says. There’s also a lot of natural light coming into each home as well as up-close golf-course views and lake views. And “all of this is in an area that feels very much like the country, with lots open space and even horse fields, yet it is just a five-minute drive from the L.I. Expressway and lots of shopping,” Dubb adds.
As for amenities, the gated community will have tennis courts, two swimming pools, walking trails, and bocce courts. But the most critical element that makes Meadowbrook Pointe a complete lifestyle community is the clubhouse, which will be a $3-million, 7,000-square-foot facility containing a spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, card rooms, sports bar, and a sundries shop “where residents can get grocery-type items so they don’t have to get in the car every time they want something,” Dubb notes. “This will let people be in the neighborhood more and enjoying their lifestyle more.”
When it comes to using Mill Pond GC, “the community can access all the amenities of the course and its clubhouse. But the beauty is that the homeowners who want to play can walk over and play, while those who do not play golf won’t have to pay for maintaining the course like other golf communities require,” says Dubb “And the residents who do play are paying a small fee each time relative to what a private-club membership would cost, but this will actually feel like a private course to them.” Lastly, he notes that “residents’ property taxes will be very reasonable versus many other places on Long Island,” with rates in the range of $5,000 to $6,000 on homes whose purchase prices start in the low $400s.
Meadowbrook Pointe Links & Spa broke ground last winter on its first phase of 88 homes, and model homes opened in early May. “There was lots of pent-up demand from people who wanted to make a move in recent years, but the economy made them hold off until now,” Dubb says. “In fact, even before we opened the models we sold 30 homes.” The 280 homes will be built in three phases; the first phase is well underway, with the homes, streets, and sewer/drainage systems all on their way to completion. And Dubb expects that the clubhouse will start going up in the summer.
With so few golf-course communities and full-amenity 55-plus communities on Long Island, “it’s really important to do projects like these to compete against the Carolinas and Florida, and keep people on Long Island once they become empty nesters,” Dubb says. “The way to do it is to give them a sense of lifestyle and sense of purpose here, so they’ll meet new friends and then they won’t leave Long Island for much of the year, or leave altogether. It keeps families closer together too.”