Lindsey Co. Faces Changing Market as Golf Course Demand Drops

by Marty Cook  on Monday, May. 26, 2014 12:00 am  

Lyndy Lindsey: “Dad is fair — you work your butt off, you get rewarded. That is how he has always been. That is the foundation.” | (Photo by Beth Hall)

“The way Dad invented and created the whole thing, with having a construction company that could build the project at wholesale without trying to mark up anything, and then to be able to manage it — we’re getting it as cheap as we can get it,” Lindsey said. “We’re getting the wholesale cost. If someone else took our plan and went and built it, they ain’t going to build it for what we’re going to build it.”

Lindsey said 2013 was a good year for the management company. Lindsey Management oversees apartments in eight states that total about 37,000 units. That number is growing, even if some of the apartment sites are shrinking in size.

“It comes down to the best use of the property,” Rogerson said.

A Lindsey complex with a golf course is usually between 80 and 100 acres, Lyndy Lindsey said, while trail-oriented apartments might take up only 30 acres of space. The Trails at Rockwell, a soon-to-be-completed complex in Oklahoma City, has a half-mile trail around the apartment buildings, and there are also all the other amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts.

“We are looking at smaller sites,” Lindsey said. “We encompass the buildings around those so it feels like a resort with that walking trail around the outside. We still have some golf properties that we’re still looking at doing, but the tough thing about golf is people are so busy it’s hard to find time to go play.

“We started small and then got into big parcels and big pieces, and now we’re coming back to small tracts and building them out. There was a point in time where the golf course greased the skids. I don’t think the golf course has quite the appeal now.”

Design is in Lindsey’s blood, though.

“It’s funny because when we were over doing the one at Rockwell, I was telling the guy cutting the path, ‘Don’t make a straight line. Give that thing some curve,’” Lindsey said. “I love doing the golf courses, but they are an enormous amount of work. You’re trying to take 80 to 100 acres of land and you’re trying to make it pristine like your front yard. That ain’t easy to do.”

Rogerson said the addition of trail-associated complexes to the Lindsey portfolio is just part of doing business. The company will still look for good sites for development, whether they add golf courses or trails or something else.

“There are always obstacles out there,” Rogerson said. “We’ll always identify good locations to go build apartments in for LM to manage. I don’t really think we market them differently.”

Jim Lindsey started it all when he used his NFL signing bonus to buy the land that would eventually become the site of the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville. That led to the next real estate investment and then the next and so on.

The first Lindsey apartments had 44 units. The Trails at Rockwell will have 468, and the Bentonville apartments will have a similar number of units.



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