Family golf center eyed for site outside East Aurora

by Joanne Miller

A new golf-themed family entertainment complex may soon be coming to the Town of Aurora in New York. The proposed project, known as the EA Golf Barn, is the brainchild of local developer Harrison W. Kelly III and his wife, Jill. The complex would feature indoor mini-golf, golf simulators, and a restaurant, with the potential for future expansion to include an outdoor mini-golf course and driving range.

The project is planned for a vacant parcel on Olean Road, just outside the East Aurora village limits, but a zoning change is required before construction can proceed. The Kellys purchased the 14.4-acre property in 2019 and are excited about its location, which is half a mile south of the village. They believe that the complex would be a perfect fit for East Aurora, as it would provide visitors and residents with a fun year-round activity option.

The proposed 12,000-square-foot facility would be designed in the style of a monitor barn and would offer an immersive 18-hole mini-golf course, PGA-level golf simulators, and a dining area featuring collaborations with local culinary establishments. The complex is envisioned as an “upscale rural” entertainment venue that aims to fill a void in the area for golf-themed family entertainment.

While outdoor mini-golf courses are more common in the area, indoor courses are relatively rare. The Kellys see this as an opportunity to offer a unique experience to golf enthusiasts and families in the Southtowns region. If the first phase of the project is successful, they plan to expand to include an 18-hole outdoor mini-golf course and an outdoor driving range with various amenities.

Before the project can proceed, it requires approval from the Town Board for a rezoning request. Roughly 10 acres of the site need to be rezoned from agricultural and rural residential to commercial. The Town Planning Board must also make a recommendation on the rezoning and approve the site plan. During a recent work session, Town Board members expressed their interest in seeing more specifics about each phase of the project and urged the developer to communicate with neighboring residents about their plans.

The Kellys are optimistic about the EA Golf Barn project and hope to break ground next spring if they receive the necessary approvals. While the estimated cost for the first phase is still being finalized, they aim to have the complex ready to open by late 2024. The Town Board expects to discuss the application further at an upcoming meeting once they receive an official recommendation from the Planning Board on the rezoning request.

Overall, the EA Golf Barn has the potential to provide a unique and exciting entertainment option for golf enthusiasts and families in the Town of Aurora. Should the project move forward, it could boost local tourism and contribute to the economic growth of the area.

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