El Segundo hoping golf entertainment company can break ground in 2021
Nearly eight years since it was initially proposed, city officials in El Segundo remain hopeful that the first Topgolf facility planned in Southern California will become a reality.
Topgolf, which many Southern Californians may be familiar with because of its popular entertainment complex in Las Vegas, offers games and activities for golfers and non-golfers of all ages as well as upscale food and beverage service at more than 60 locations around the world.
The project in El Segundo has been planned as part of an agreement that would bring a major upgrade to The Lakes at El Segundo, a 9-hole executive course and driving range owned by the city and located along Pacific Coast Highway, near Los Angeles International Airport and the beach towns of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo.
But after the Covid-19 pandemic hit earlier this year – and the economic uncertainty that followed – the project was put on hold in May, shortly after Topgolf resubmitted construction plans to the City of El Segundo Planning & Building Safety staff.
“We were all set to go,” said El Segundo City Manager Scott Mitnick. “We were in the red zone for a long time, and got all the way to the 2 yard line, then the pandemic hit.”
Mitnick, though, said the city was notified by Topgolf officials in September that the project was back on, and that barring any setbacks due to state and LA County pandemic restrictions (which occurred this week), it would break ground in the spring of 2021, with a timeline of opening to the public in spring 2022.
A big change, however, took place in October as Topgolf merged with Callaway Golf, an investor in the company, to create a “global golf and entertainment leader,” according their press release.
So far, Callaway Golf has been mum on the project and its future in El Segundo with multiple representatives declining to comment, even though it has been touted by city officials as Topgolf’s No. 1 new development project.
“We have no additional comment at this time,” said Jeff Newton of global communications for Callaway Golf, on behalf of the company’s investor relations team.
But as far as the city of El Segundo is concerned, it’s game on, and the project is moving forward, as long as it can avoid shutdowns such as the one that just occurred.
“The only thing we don’t have control over is the pandemic,” Mitnick said.
Under the current arrangement with the city, Topgolf is expected to make major improvements at The Lakes at El Segundo, which include:
• Construction of a state-of-the-art golf and recreational facility.
• Modifications and upgrades to the 9-hole executive course, including lights for night golf, an expanded short-game practice area, and new landscaping.
• A three-level driving range with 102 hitting bays, which will be equipped with Toptracer, the ball-tracking technology seen on television broadcasts.
• A new clubhouse and patio.
• Two new restaurants (one at Topgolf and one in the new clubhouse).
• A new pro shop.
• Community event and meeting space.
The El Segundo Topgolf was first proposed in 2012 , and eventually received approval to move forward a year later. It’s been a somewhat bumpy ride since then with the project running into some resident opposition as well as changes in city council leaders, who eventually walked away from the deal. Another change on the council in 2018 enabled the project to gain approval and move forward again, with the initial hopes of opening in Spring 2021.
Once the pandemic hit, however, everything changed and now golfers will have to wait and see if the first Topgolf to come to Southern California will tee it up anytime soon.
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