There are important meeting concerning the pending Ocean Breeze golf course acquisition by the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District on 9/25 & 9/26. These meetings are critical as the Beach & Park District requires the financing of the transaction by the city council which will be addressed at the 9/2 6 meeting at 3pm at 6500 Congress Ave.
The Beach & Park District will have extensive planning discussions on the plans for the property at their 9/25 meeting at 5:15pm at their Sugar Sand Park offices on S. Military Trail. The big issues are:
1) Current Deed Restriction - the Park District has obtained a legal opinion that indicates that the District would not be subject to the current deed restriction which requires the property to only be used as a golf course. At numerous meetings with city officials there have been suggestions by several elected officials that some of the property could be used for other purposes in the future.
2) Use of the approximate 4 acre parcel located on the SE corner of NW 2nd Ave. & Jeffrey St. which was formally the activities center and hotel for the community. The executive director of the Park District has recommended this parcel could be a 140 room hotel which would support more tourist activity at the renovated golf course, BUT this use would not be as beneficial to the residential community in the area as compared to a community center. Over 1,300 nearby condo units were built in the Boca Teeca area without any meeting or social facilities within their own property, so there is a need within the area to have a community center instead of a hotel that will not support the residential community. There have been numerous hotels built in the NE section of the city over the past 20 years that could support the tourists who may want to use the renovated golf facilities.
3) Consulting study by the National Golf Foundation will be presented at the joint meeting on 9/26 and will be reviewed at the 9/25 meeting of the Park District. This economic study will be expected to provide a positive forecast of the financial benefits of the proposed renovated golf course. This same consulting company provided a similar study to PB county prior to the development of the highly successful Osprey Point golf course located at the western end of Glades Rd.
4) An independent written appraisal on the Ocean Breeze property will be provided to the District commissioners and the city council members. Past criticism of the purchase of the property was the $24 million price which was higher than the estimated value of $5-8 million. By comparison the city has numerous offers for their smaller golf course property for over $72 million which would be developed after the acquisition. The net impact of these 2 transactions would be a benefit to the taxpayer of over $30 million and a new golf course located WITHIN the city.
Hope to see a lot of Boca Raton residents at these 2 meetings to voice your comments on these issues, but if you are not able to attend, then please send your comments via email to the Park District & City Council members at their email addresses located on their respective web sites.