ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Topgolf leaders are expecting to get final approval on permits to build this a modern driving range in the Carillon area of St. Pete this week.
Yet, there are growing concerns from nearby residents about the impact the facility could have on their daily lives.
Jason Ray lives just across Carillon Parkway from the proposed Topgolf site at Fountain Parkway North and Carillon Parkway. Developers want to turn the 12-acre grassy area into a 67,000 square foot building with a driving range and 450 parking spaces.
“I would say to the tee-off area, we're only about 100 yards so maybe a 9 iron would get us over there. It’s going to be really close," he explained.
While he welcomes the new development, he worries about the impacts of noise, bright lights and traffic.
"Will I be having a party on my porch every night whether I want to or not?” he added.
Ray is not alone. More than 100 Carillon area neighbors took their concerns straight to developers this week during a meeting at the Hilton Carillon Park. The proposed development is very close to residential developments Back Bay and Saxony Place.
“They're going to have to try to find a way to balance the activity and the residents and I think it is really going to be a fine line,” Ray said.
Topgolf developers are now making changes to help appeal to everyone. They say the facility won't be as large as this one in Brandon, and will be closer in size to their Topgolf location in Roseville, California, which is also nearby homes.
Developers plan to use smaller LED lights and glare shields to dim lights in the outfield. They'll also use an acoustic sound spray to soundproof the building and point speakers inward. Lights, live music and speaker volume will be reduced by 25% after 11 p.m.
“That would all be great. It would all be helpful,” Ray said in agreeance.
But what about golf balls flying over the nets?
“This is a main street behind right here through Carillon. There are a lot of nice cars in this area," Ray explained.
Topgolf leaders say chips inside the golf balls help identify who hit the ball and that person would be held responsible for damages.
Edwin Guevara, who also lives across from the new Topgolf site, says it's exactly what Carillon, which is a mixture of office space and homes, needs.
“I think it’s going to be great for the community. It will bring a lot of people in and do a lot of good for the businesses in the area,” Guevara added.
Developers hope to open the new top golf in Fall of 2020.