Construction is underway for the new 170-acre Atlantic Beach Country Club.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday morning for what will be one of the few member-owned, not-for-profit country clubs in the U.S.
During the groundbreaking, people were allowed to walk around the construction site and get an early tour of the community. The developers marked the grounds and posted blueprints to show residents exactly what things are going to look like once the project is complete.
Just a couple weeks ago, much of the Selva Marina Country Club was torn down after Atlantic Beach partners purchased the property for $4.3 million.
With the scoop of the shovel, new construction began on the Atlantic Beach Country Club (rendering pictured).
Tony and Kathy Hicks said when they first took a look at the plans for the new country club, they couldn't resist.
"For years our kids have been trying to get our family together in one neighborhood," Kathy said. "It's going to be fun to start fresh and build a new home with everything exactly what we want. We're downsizing because we're close to retirement, so this is perfect for us."
There will be 178 new homes built. The golf course will get a facelift, and there will be a new clubhouse, along with a Junior Olympic-size pool and seven Har-Tru tennis courts.
Project developers are doing all this while preserving more than 100 acres of land surrounding the country club.
"It's very important to this community to preserve the green space and the quality of life in Atlantic Beach, so that was the primary motivation for this project," said Mike Carlin.
Carlin was the president of the former Selva Marina Country Club and is now the president of the new Atlantic Beach Country Club. He said he wanted the new country club to preserve the memories of the former one that had been around for 55 years.
"A lot of people learned to swim here, a lot of people had their first date here, and a lot of people had their weddings here, so we wanted to preserve the memories, but we wanted to do it in a brand new facility," Carlin said.
Project managers said they expect the Atlantic Beach Country Club to open by Nov. 1.