By Andrew Brinker, The Boston Globe
BARNSTABLE — A sense of peace permeates the air here, in the wind that swirls over shaded greens, through the brilliant orange leaves that line the fairways, and under the wings of the shorebirds coasting overhead.
Janet Milkman pauses atop a grassy ridge to take it all in, then sighs and shakes her head. “Why,” she says, “would anyone want to develop this?”
It is indeed tranquil as Milkman walks the grounds of the Twin Brooks Golf Course — 40 acres of greens and fairways in Hyannis about a mile from the Atlantic Ocean — on a pleasant autumn day. But a bitter fight rages here too, over what will become of the place, and, some say, over the future of Cape Cod’s economy.
Despite its charm and prime location, Twin Brooks, built in the 1960s, has long struggled to attract patrons due to its short layout, and two years ago a national housing developer, Quarterra, agreed to buy the place from the real estate firm that has owned it since 2007. (Quarterra declined to say how much it’ll pay.)
It plans to erect 13 buildings holding 312 apartments. It’s the sort of
higher-density development that housing advocates say the Cape
desperately needs to confront its acute housing shortage, which is squeezing out the workforce that sustains the region’s economy at an alarming pace. Already, 48 percent of the region’s workforce commutes in over the bridges linking the Cape to the mainland.