The Board of Supervisors of Amherst County has entered an exclusive negotiation and due diligence period with Waukeshaw Development for the Winton Farm property. Waukeshaw Development proposes that it will purchase the 286-acre property for $800,000 cash. A conservation easement on a majority of the acreage will be gifted back to the county to preserve its rural character. Approximately 70 acres will be gifted to the County for a fairground, park and events venue. Additionally, about 20 acres will be set aside for a future retirement community.
Waukeshaw plans to renovate the existing structures and expand the facilities to make Winton a recreational and event destination. Waukeshaw is still developing plans for Winton but is considering converting the barn into a brewery, adding a splash pad to the pool area, and exploring the idea of building a boutique hotel. The manor house will be maintained as a historic building and can be used as an events center; the banquet hall will continue as a restaurant; the golf course will be retained as long as it is financially feasible at 18 or 9 holes, and other uses are being considered for areas not currently being used.
“Winton is a beautiful property and great historic asset for the county,” said Dave McCormack, Waukeshaw Development owner. “The buildings need a ton of work, but I’m confident we can come up with a financially feasible plan to revitalize it. I’m looking forward to working with the county on this project.”
Chairwoman Claudia Tucker said, “A chapter in the history of Amherst County is closing. However, as with all change, there is an opportunity. The Board was very careful and deliberate to ensure that the rural character of Winton was protected and the scenic views and history that we all enjoy and respect will be preserved. The next chapter will not be the Winton of old, but one that will bring energy, enthusiasm and tourism dollars to the Clifford area. All of the Board members were sensitive to the potential of a retirement community at Winton and the door is still open to that possibility by the structure of this deal. I thank the Board, the EDA, Staff and all who worked on this project.”
In addition to the property being fully taxable real estate, McCormack estimates there will be up to 15 new jobs created and several million dollars in economic activity will be added to the County’s economy as Waukeshaw Development fully implements its plans.