A new Topgolf facility, the first to open in Southern California, is coming to El Segundo in 2022, replacing The Lakes at El Segundo municipal golf course. (Rendering from City of El Segundo)

The Lakes at El Segundo is out, and Southern California’s first Topgolf facility is in.

The Lakes at El Segundo golf course, which is owned and run by the city, has until Feb. 1 to move out to make way for a three-level high-tech arcade-style driving range and redesigned nine-hole course to be operated by Topgolf.

The move comes after the City Council officially approved the project in the fall of 2019. Topgolf decided to move forward this past fall after pausing in June due to the pandemic, and construction is now slated to be completed by summer 2022.

To allow for the project, El Segundo is leasing the space to retail development company CenterCal Properties, which is then subleasing it to Topgolf. CenterCal is also loaning the company around $35 million for the redevelopment; it’ll cost Topgolf at least $40 million for construction and improvements.

The new facility will preserve 16 of the existing course’s 26.5 acres, and the driving range will have 102 hitting bays, nearly double what’s at the existing course. Unlike at traditional driving ranges, balls are microchipped with tracking technology.

The new nine holes will:

  • Be shortened by 100 yards total;
  • Have lighting for night golfing;
  • Include larger putting greens and chipping areas that are almost triple the current size;
  • Have new landscaping;
  • Include a new pro shop, clubhouse and patio, and a community event and meeting space; and
  • Include two new restaurants — one at the Topgolf portion and another at the clubhouse.

Some area residents and golfers, though, have pushed back on council’s decision to allow for Topgolf, citing concerns with how the entertainment venue would alter the golf course’s and community’s character.

But city officials have touted the benefits, including making more than $100 million over the 50-year lease. Under the lease agreement, El Segundo will receive:

  • $1.3 million in ground lease payments for the driving range per year, with a 10% adjustment every five years;
  • At least $200,000, or 3%, of gross beverage sales;
  • More than $50,000 in estimated additional sales tax, property tax, utility user tax and business license revenues; and
  • $20,000 in ground lease payments for the golf course, a with 10% adjustment every five years.

The revamped site will also reverse several years of The Lakes’ operating losses, averaging $275,000 per year, according to annual budgets.

The community could see 500 new permanent jobs, most of which would be full-time positions with benefits. El Segundo Recreation and Parks “Rec ID” cardholders and military, meanwhile, will get 10% discounts, and kids will be able participate in school-sponsored programs for free.

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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