Fletcher Building is one of three businesses trying to buy 2.5ha of Papatoetoe's The Grange Golf Club for an intensive housing project.

Rob Chemaly, Grange chairman, said eight to 10 parties responded to an expressions of interest document out earlier this year. A shortlist now has three parties on it.

"Fletchers are certainly one of the people we're talking to," he said yesterday.

David Halsey, Fletcher Residential's former boss, is negotiating with the club "and he's very knowledgeable, very useful to talk to", Chemaly said.


"We are still in the process and at present we are seeking clarification from a number of the interested parties which is required in order to ensure we have the comparatives in place. We expect this might take us a few more weeks to come to any final conclusions," he said.

The 2.5ha had already been designated a Special Housing Area, allowing fast-track housing, he said.

The Grange, eight-time host of the New Zealand Open, needs to sell the land to generate money for a much-needed facilities upgrade but will maintain the current 18 holes as well as a "spare" hole.

A decade ago, The Grange had around 1400 members but now has only about 700, paying $2225 annually. The 2.5ha under discussion is understood to be on Grange Rd and money will be used for course improvements and repaying debt.

The Grange expressions-of-interest document said prices were needed for a clubhouse upgrade or rebuild, new greenkeepers' facilities, NZPGA professional facilities, golf-practice facilities, roading, services, fencing, gates and security.

The buyer must propose a plan for the upgrade as well.