By Denise Valenzuela
Posted in Uncategorized
Hundreds of companies are turning to commercial turf installations to save time, money and hassle. Like residential turf the commercial side of the business is booming. Here we highlight a handful of unique commercial turf installations and the companies that have made the switch to turf.
At about 94,000 square feet, the turf replacement at the MillerCoors property is a great start but is small, compared with projects underway at some golf courses.
Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena is removing 870,000 square feet of turf. Costs to replace it, about 70 cents a square foot, are lower than those of most other projects because officials are not buying or adding native plants that golfers wouldn’t want to hit out of. They plan to plant about 200 trees and realign sprinkler heads in where grass used to be. The project will cost about $600,000, much less than the $1.74 million rebate that MWD approved. The golf course will save about $80,000 a year in water costs but will spend about $60,000 a year to maintain the new non-irrigated areas.
Brookside will receive a check only for the amount of money the project ultimately costs, not for the entire amount MWD approved for the replacement. The water district created a new rule in July — about two months after the $2-per-square-foot rebate went into effective — that limits the amount of rebate to the actual cost of the project, instead of giving applicants the entire amount approved based on initial estimates.
The largest of so cal projects is the Rancho Santa Fe Assn.’s plan to replace 810,000 square feet of turf at its golf course, according to water district records. The project cost about $1.2 million. MWD records show the course will receive a check for $1.62 million. The course, which serves 500 members in an affluent part of northern San Diego County, would have gradually replaced the turf even without a rebate however.
UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, praised the rebates — which are as high as $3.75 per square foot in Los Angeles — as a “strong, bold response” to the drought, adding that payments for a smaller number of large projects reduce administrative costs. The incentive gets people to act immediately.
Some other water suppliers that offer turf removal rebate programs limit the size of rebates.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power pays a $1.75-per-square-foot rebate for only the first 1,500 square feet of a residential project. It pays $1 each for the first 10,000 square feet of a commercial project, and 50 cents for additional square feet, up to an acre.
East Bay Municipal Water District, which serves more than 1.3 million Californians, caps residential projects at $2,500. Commercial projects are limited to $20,000.
The city of San Diego, another large water supplier, supplemented MWD’s rebate with up to $4,800 for residential projects and up to $60,000 for commercial and multifamily projects — until the funding ran out.
Long Beach resident Loren Scott, 55, spent $3,700 to kill her front lawn and replace it with drought-tolerant plants. She got a $3,500 rebate from MWD and the Long Beach Water Department, which caps residential rebates at 1,000 square feet.
However – of the more than 14,000 requests MWD has received for turf removal, about 95% came from residents, according to department records. But the roughly 600 commercial customers’ requests account for about 60% of the total projected funding.