Harrison County

Gulf Coast residents have to drive hours for a Topgolf experience. That's about to change.

A Topgolf location in Naperville, Illinois. The development in Miami Gardens is being scrutinized due to a developer involved in the deal facing federal wire fraud charges.
A Topgolf location in Naperville, Illinois. The development in Miami Gardens is being scrutinized due to a developer involved in the deal facing federal wire fraud charges. PR NEWSWIRE

If you love golf but don't want to spend the day on the course — or hours in the car driving to one of Topgolf's nearest locations — then you're in luck.

Drive Shack is "moving ahead" with its plans to re-purpose the former Times-Picayune newspaper building on Howard Avenue in New Orleans, The Advocate's Richard Thompson reports.

The Advocate previously reported that Drive Shack could potentially come to the Crescent City. WWL-TV reported last month that Topgolf was eyeing the property.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Drive Shack CEO Sarah Watterson made the news official during a 1 p.m. press conference.

So what is Drive Shack?

The company just opened its first "golf-themed entertainment complex" in Orlando, Florida, in March.

Drive Shack says it's "where players of every slice or fade can kick back, kick it up, or kick aside everything they know about the game. It’s where you can play the game your way, with friends, the kids, or just with a couple of beers. It’s the place where fun is bound to happen, no matter your drive."

The New Orleans project will have three levels with 90 indoor driving range bays, a restaurant and more, according to NOLA.com.

Drive Shack reports upcoming locations in West Palm Beach, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; Marietta, Georgia; and Richmond, Virginia.

Drive Shack is swinging into The Big Easy. Let the good times roll!

A post shared by Drive Shack (@driveshackusa) on

According to Forbes.com, Topgolf has opened 30 locations since debuting the concept in 2005 and broke ground on its Baton Rouge, Louisiana, location in February with the hopes of opening it either late this year or in early 2019.

The former Times-Picayune building, which is 62,000-square feet and opened in 1968, has been mostly vacant since 2016.

According to NOLA.com, local developer Joe Jaeger purchased the property for $3.5 million later that year.

The Sun Herald will update this report.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs
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