Classic Detroit golf course to be converted to cemetery

Rogell Golf Course will be turned into cemetery by Detroit Memorial Garden

Author: Rod Meloni, Local 4 Business Editor, @RodMeloni
Published On: Apr 24 2013 06:13:12 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 24 2013 06:13:43 PM EDT
New Rogell golf course
DETROIT -

They've been chasing the little white pill for 99 years at the Rogell Golf Course in Detroit. It was called the Phoenix course before that.

In a week, golfers won't be able to play 18 holes at Rogell. Neighboring Greater Grace Temple Church bought the course seven years ago from the city to prevent it from becoming a blight on the decaying landscape.

Now, Detroit Memorial Garden is going to convert Rogell's fairways and greens into another kind of green space: the city's first cemetery since Rogell itself opened. The land will be filled in phases.

Avid Rogell golfer James Beeler, who lives in the nearby Malvern Hill neighborhood, is not happy with the next tenant.

"The houses that face the golf course get charged a premium assessment to have a golf course view. They are not going to get any break on their assessment when this changes into a cemetery," said Beeler

Beeler says there already are a couple of cemeteries in the neighborhood.

"This is going to have a detrimental effect to property values, resale value, and citizens of Detroit are already facing that tough situation anyway, we don't need this on top of it," said Beeler.

Detroit Memorial Garden has not negotiated the price yet. There are still regulatory red tape issues to deal with. The hope is to have the conversion from golf course to cemetery started later this summer.