Lindsey Still Interested in Buying Longhills Golf Course in Benton

Lindsey Management Co. of Fayetteville is still interested in buying the financially strapped Longhills Golf Course in Benton.

Plans are to build multifamily housing along the front nine and operate the property as an upscale golf/apartment development.

Owners Bud Busken and Jeff Hamm are still interested in selling, and Lindsey Management still has a contract pending on the 170-acre property.

You might recall that we reported all of this last fall. But the deal has yet to be finalized, and we hear the golf course closed Sept. 30.

What, then, is the holdup?

An issue with a land covenant needs to be resolved, according to Lindsey attorney Hugh Jarratt. The covenant, which Jarratt said did not appear in the initial title search, restricts the use of the land to golf, tennis and a swimming pool.

There's just one catch - the covenant already has been broken.

Longhills Village, a planned residential community of 200 upscale homes and condominiums, was built in the late 1990s on property adjoining the course's back nine.

Property owners in Longhills Village brought the existence of the covenant to light. Not surprisingly, they have been largely united in their opposition to Lindsey's development plans, fearing a decrease in home values.

Jarratt said a decision on the covenant question would have to be hashed out before Lindsey completes the deal.

"It's a great piece of property and a great town and we'd love to do it," Jarratt said. "We're just working on the title issue."