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The following article was originally published on http://bocateecaresidents.blogspot.com/
At this week’s meeting of the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District there were several important issues discussed by the commissioners and the executive director:
1) Executive director Arthur Koski indicated that a 110-120 room hotel would be planned for the current hotel property at NW 2nd Ave & Jeffrey St. Mr. Koski indicated that he was working with hotel companies who informed him that this would be the minimum size that they would be interested in building on this site using a ground lease agreement with the owner of the building
* Is this in the best interest of the Boca Teeca residential community?
* It would be expected that this size of a hotel would require additional parking – where?
* This would be expected to require widening of NW 2nd Ave.-is this what residents want?
2) New commissioner Craig Ehrnst asked if the Boca Teeca residents would consider removing the deed restriction so the District could use part of the golf course for other park uses, as he stated that residents should be expected to compromise
* Is this new commissioner really asking Boca Teeca residents to remove the deed restriction?
* Is Commissioner Ehrnst suggesting that an 18 hole golf course would generate more revenue than a 27 hole golf course? He had been inquiring about the financial impact of acquiring the property for $24 million at previous meetings so this would be very inconsistent to question the financial impact and then suggest reducing the revenue capability by 33%.
Residents may send their comments directly to this commissioner at: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Mr. Koski assured residents in attendance that the city was not going to select a winner for the bidding the sell of the current municipal golf course until after a deal is reached by the District & Lennar on the purchase of the Ocean Breeze property.
* No contract has been signed by the District to purchase the Ocean Breeze property, so residents are being asked to trust Lennar in this process.
* Did Mr. Koski see the last city council meeting? Apparently not, as the city council considered selecting a winning bidder and it was obvious that the majority of the council were leaning to the selection of GL Homes over Lennar. There is no legal agreement that Lennar’s current offer to sell the Ocean Breeze property to the District for $24 million will continue to exist in the future, especially if they lose the bidding process for the city golf course.
4) There will be another joint meeting with the City Council & Park District on May 8th at 4:30pm at 6500 Congress Ave. It is expected that a more thorough presentation by the Park District will get the financing approval process started with the city – requires a 2 council meeting approval process as an amendment to the city budget. The city plans to issue bonds for these funds with an agreement with the Park District to pay the city all principal and interest on these bonds. This is a similar process to how the Park District has acquired other properties in the past. The Park District executive director has stated that there will be no requirement to increase taxes to pay for any estimated costs in acquiring the Ocean Breeze property.
Is this a replay of the Wildflower fiasco? Why would the park district want to be in the hotel business? They have little ability to manage the properties and budget they have now, as the city spends the park district tax revenue with minimal oversight by the park district. The park district should buy the former Ocean Breeze golf property and get that done ASAP before the city destroys this possibility by selling the current municipal golf course to GL Homes. The city has passed along the Ocean Breeze hot potato to the park district and they appear to ready to fumble the ball at the goal line if commissioner Ehrnst is any indication of this process.
If considering a bond issue for the golf course, why not throw in an additional opportunity for the City and or B & P D – include enough money to purchase the residential lot north of the Wildflower land and the lot on the corner of Palmetto Park and 5th Ave.?
Obtaining the corner lot would provide the City more flexibility to reduce or eliminate the traffic issues at the corner, something that must be done now or more expensively in the future.
Aquasition of the residential property to the north will have huge returns for the downtown by assuring the usability of the area as a park for the people.
Just a thought.
A hotel, new clubhouse, good restaurant and Greg Norman Learning center would be a huge improvement to the decaying, abandoned inn and clubhouse which are an eyesore and detract from our community. Let’s look at the possibilities to make this a vibrant community. We all want a world-class chamionship golf course and that should include amenities that make it a cut above ordinary.
There is no way the old Ocean Breeze golf course will EVER be a world class championship golf course or that anyone I know will EV ER use it. TOO bad the city is so greedy that it wants to sell a vibrant, money making course and buy a dog that will NEVER be profitable.
Thank you. Finally someone who understands how ridiculous this whole situation is. If the city wants to spend money on a golf course so badly why not spend it on the municipal course which is currently used and loved by so many Boca residence.
The object in the biggining was to save the open green space for generations to come or keep the golf course which would accomplish both of these goals this is why the Beach and Parks was approached that is what they were created for so why would the Beach and Parks buy the Ocean Breeze golf course to save the the largest open green space in the city left and then turn around and build a large commercial hotel on the property they just saves from development something is wrong with their decision were did the BPD ever become commercial what’s next commercializing all the open space the BPD own that what the city would love to do just like the wildflower property wake up thats not what we the people want
Regrettable some people have no vision of what could be. I will remind you the current municipal course was a bean field OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS of Boca Raton. The Ocean Breeze property is the only open large tract of land IN the City. Fortunately Mr. Koski does have a vision for a great 27-holes of golf. We asked the Beach and Park District and the City to look at the possibilities and economic benefits a quality golf course would bring to east Boca. Leasing the ground currently occupied by the old abandoned inn and social center to a hospitality company who would build, manage, market and maintain a hotel makes sense. This will draw players and provide good accomodations for serious golfers interested in attending the Greg Norman Learning Center if we are fortunate enough to have this facility.
Some people argue the City needs to make a profit operating a golf course at Ocean Breeze. Other people condemn the Beach and Park District for making an effort and having the foresight to look at options that will make the property at the very least financially self-sustaining, and ultimately profitable. If it is profitable, and it certainly can be, that is less tax dollars needed for operating expenses.
It is terribly cliche but I’m going to say it, “If you build it they will come.”
Thank you to the commissioners of the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District for upholding your mandate to acquire, improve & operate recreational park facilities in our city. There is no place for a hotel on property acquired by this District & a community center would be much more consistent with the mandate.
The residents of Boca Raton would be better served with both golf courses operating. I play Boca Muni all the time and played Ocean Breeze in 2011 and 2012 when it was going down hill. It is a great location and should be open and operating. It would be a treasure if it was reopened by the right management company.
I also wonder why Boca Watch has not mentioned anything over the federal judge who dismissed the lawsuit and which will allow Chabad to be built now on Palmetto. I assume there a lot of things the citizens of Boca who are against this location could be doing and it is usually Boca Watch leading the charge. Just wondering why no one has mentioned anything about the article that was in the Palm Beach Post. A new location would certainly be better than this proposed site that so many Boca residents are against. Thanks for your time.
While I am no longer a resident of the city of Boca I frequently used the parks when I was. Having tax payer input into developing the properties is applauded. My only suggestion is police the parks after hours to prevent vagrancy. I am blessed to have a roof over my head and know not every body does, but allowing the homeless to make the parks their home after hours is not acceptable. I think this creates a safety and health hazard. I suggest gating the parks and if necessary a small fee to maintain them and provide on-site security. Good luck with what ever design feature you choose but please consider my suggestion
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