The University Club of Jacksonville notified members Wednesday night it will close Dec. 20 after 48 years in business.Operated by Dallas-based ClubCorp Group, the club occupies the top two floors of the 28-story Riverplace Tower at 1301 Riverplace Blvd. on the Southbank. Dining and club functions are on the 27th floor, with athletic facilities on the 28th floor and the ground-floor concourse level.
The letter to members, dated Sept. 15, is from Everrett Butler, regional vice president of ClubCorp.
It says after 48 years as a proud part of Jacksonville, the company is “sad to announce” the Dec. 20 closing of the club.
The letter said the ownership and members have weathered “many ups and downs during our nearly half-century of service to the Jacksonville community.”
Butler wrote it was a business decision that was not easy, but one that is necessary.
ClubCorp spokeswoman Patty Jerde said late Wednesday the club has "enjoyed a positive and supportive relationship with our landlord and neighbors” but made a business decision to close.
"We will treasure the memories of the great relationships that were made with the members of the club and the community for years to come," Jerde said.
A membership town hall meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 to explain an opportunity to relocate memberships to one of three clubs within ClubCorp.
Three local clubs — Deercreek Country Club, Marsh Creek Country Club and Queens Harbour Yacht & Country Club — are offering preferred memberships. Members must apply at those clubs before Dec. 20.
If members do not want to continue a home club membership, they can learn about a traveling benefit program called ClubCorp Travel.
Representatives from the area clubs and ClubCorp will be at the meeting, the letter said.
Butler wrote employees will be referred to other clubs in the area and to colleagues in Jacksonville’s hospitality industry.
He said a farewell event will be planned for early December.
“This isn’t ‘goodbye,’ but rather ‘until we meet again’ as I look forward to seeing all of you at one of the select clubs within the ClubCorp family,” he concluded, asking members to call the club with questions.
Riverplace Tower, which changed ownership in 2014, has been adding tenants and recently signed a lease for a café on the ground floor.
Gate Riverplace Co. sold the tower to Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners of Glen Allen, Va., near Richmond.