Topgolf vies for final approval from Henrico County

driving range

A Topgolf driving range in San Antonio Texas. (Courtesy Topgolf)

With its plan of development approved, a national chain of golf entertainment venues is looking to clear one more hurdle with Henrico County this evening.

Representatives for Dallas-based Topgolf, which is looking to build a multi-level driving range facility on 14 acres at 2308 Westwood Ave., will go before the county board of supervisors for a vote on a provisional use permit.

The permit would allow two-dozen poles, some of which will rise 170 feet, to be erected on the site. The poles would connect netting around the driving range to contain balls flying from about 100 stacked hitting bays.

Tonight’s vote is the final major approval needed for the facility, which would be Topgolf’s first in Richmond.

The county already approved a plan of development for the project. It would then only need building permits, pending finalized versions of the plans and construction drawings being submitted to the county. The company hopes to open the venue later this year or in early 2019.

Topgolf is under contract to purchase the land, which is owned by a partnership between local developers Fountainhead Properties and Rebkee Co. That group paid $6.5 million for the property in a September deal that also included the 220,000-square-foot Sears Outlet and distribution complex and its surrounding 12 acres at 4100 Tomlynn St.

Attorney Jim Theobald of Hirschler Fleischer is representing Topgolf before the county. The company has declined to comment on the project throughout the county approval process.

Timmons Group is the engineer on the project. A general contractor has not yet been enlisted.

The Henrico location would be one of three-dozen Topgolf facilities operating nationwide and internationally. It has three in operation in Virginia: two in Northern Virginia and one in Virginia Beach. It has more than a dozen other sites in the works, according to its website.

Topgolf facilities allow customers to tee off from climate-controlled bays that include TVs and tables for drinks and snacks. They aim at lit targets spread across the range, hitting balls fitted with computer chips to track where each shot lands, letting friends compete against each other. It charges for each bay by the hour – between $25 and $45 depending on the time of day.

The company’s main competitor, the nascent New York-based Drive Shack, has been planning a similar $25 million facility on 13 acres off West Broad Street in Goochland County, just west of the Henrico line.

Drive Shack representatives have not returned messages seeking comment in recent weeks.

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