ALAMEDA -- Design firm Rees Jones Inc., which has carried out renovations at golf courses around the world, including in the Bahamas, Japan and the United Kingdom, will work on the refurbishment of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex, the facility's manager says.

Rees Jones will be redesigning the south course, according to Greenway Golf Associates Inc.

Greenway has pledged to invest $6.7 million at the complex on Bay Farm Island under its 25-year lease with the city. Most of the money will go toward the south course, where about $5.1 million will be spent on new grass, a drainage systems and a cart path.

The reminder of the money will go toward similar improvements at the north course.

"The City Council selected Greenway for their creative design and environmentally sound course management, which reflect the values of the Alameda community," Mayor Marie Gilmore said.

The unanimous selection of Greenway in May followed a protracted public battle over the complex's future after city officials considered "swapping" a portion of the complex with a developer, citing declining rounds and revenue.

"We are truly honored and flattered that our company was selected," Greenway principal founder George Kelley said in an Oct. 22 release. "During the selection process I was impressed to learn more about the great history and tradition with golf in Alameda. Our company's mission to love, serve and deliver fun for all combined with our track record in providing superior playing surfaces will serve us well as we continue to enhance and celebrate this tradition with the residents of Alameda."


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The work at the complex is expected to begin in January and be completed in about five years. The north and south hole courses are each 19 holes. The complex's 9-hole Mif Albright course -- where the land swap was proposed -- is used by novice golfers and as a practice range.

Greenway will pay about $3.4 million in rent to the city over the next 10 years.

The 20-year lease, which has an option for a five-year extension, followed the City Council turning down the swap proposal from developer Ron Cowan.

Cowan's plan prompted opponents of the idea to put Measure D before Alameda voters on Tuesday. If successful, the measure will change the City Charter so that voters must approve any decision to swap or sell a city park.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty/.

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