AFFTON, Mo. (KMOV.com) - The land where Tower Tee once thrived might not look like much right now. But News 4 is learning more about the new owners' big plans for the popular South County attraction.
The 27-acre property is nostalgic for many families in the Affton area.
"I was here all the time growing up," said Mandy Huemann, whose parents' backyard now faces the greenspace. "They always had snow cones."
"My dad and I spent a lot of time at the old batting cages at Tower Tee," said Mike Shamia, who grew up in South County.
Those memories are part of Shamia's motivation as new co-owner of the Tower Tee property. He and his business partner Steve Walkenbach have big plans to bring this now quiet land back to life.
"Obviously we are going to respect the legacy of what the Lotz family did here for over 50 years, but we are adding some things I think the community is going to be excited about," said Shamia.
Those plans include a 9-hole golf course, driving range, short game practice area, mini-golf, bocce ball, playground, batting cages, clubhouse, and footgolf.
"All the footgolf holes are going to start at the same tee as the regular golf holes and we are going to have two different footgolf holes off to the side," said Art Schaupeter, course architect. "You can show up with your soccer ball, I can show up with my golf clubs, and we can both tee off at the same time and I’m going to be playing a soft wedge to the first green and you’re going to be kicking your soccer ball down to A or B."
Neighbors, who strongly opposed a different developer's previous plans to turn this into a subdivision, say they are relieved to see the new owners’ multi-million-dollar plans that restores the greenspace in their backyards.
"We are very excited to have it back. It will be great," said Mandy Heumann.
"Oh, I think it's fantastic. I'm so happy they are building that instead of more houses. And most of the neighbors feel the same way," said Skip Culli, who has lived in the subdivision for 53 years.
Right now, the owners are going through the planning review process with the county, hoping to secure permits soon. Since the property was already zoned for a similar use, the approval will not take any County Council action, however, the developers will have to ensure they meet all current ordinances.
"We are to break ground in the next few weeks and if we can get that done, we can still meet our fall 2020 target," said Shamia.