By Andrew Wroblewski
Could Oheka Castle and the Cold Spring Harbor Country Club be changing hands?
A letter sent to Cold Spring Country Club members last month appears to indicate as much.
Club President Marvin Adler wrote to CSCC equity members informing them that retired professional golfer Jack Nicklaus and developer Stanley Gale, are negotiating terms of a 99-year lease agreement for both the estate and club.
According to the letter, the board of the CSCC unanimously agreed last month to terms with the Nicklaus-Gale Group that would include $20 million worth of improvements and additions to Oheka Castle and the country club. CSCC equity members would need to vote for final approval before the deal can go through.
Oheka Castle, a globally-known luxury hotel and catering hall in Huntington, is currently owned by Gary Melius, a developer who purchased the castle in 1984. He has spent millions renovating the estate, and currently lives in it.
Nicklaus, 76, widely regarded as the greatest golfer of all time, has toured the existing course and wants to turn it into The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club of New York, according to the letter. Nicklaus Design, which has designed 390 courses worldwide, would be tasked with designing and constructing the new club.
Under the terms outlined in the letter, Oheka Castle would be converted into a clubhouse for members, featuring locker rooms, a pro shop, dining facilities and more.
According to the letter, if the deal is approved, CSCC members would receive $25,000 at contract closing, and would be eligible for an additional $125,000 payment if the new club opens, which could be as soon as fall 2017.
The letter also states that plans to construct 190 condominiums on the Oheka Castle property – which the Huntington Town Board approved a zone change for in 2012 – would remain unchanged, but would be associated with the Nicklaus “brand.”
On Wednesday, Huntington spokesman A.J. Carter said the town has not received any details of the proposed agreement and therefore could not comment on it.