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“Smell the roses; you only get to play one round” – Ben Hogan
At the May 2nd Federation of Homeowners meeting, attendees were provided an advance look at the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District’s Executive Director, Attorney Art Koski, report scheduled for a joint meeting of the District and the City Council scheduled for May 8th .
Wells Fargo Bank holds a $17.6 million foreclosure judgment against Ocean Breeze Golf Club. Keep that figure in mind while mentally calculating the purchase price of this property.
The Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District is recommending the City join them in purchasing the debt and the land for Lennar Homes’ asking price of $24 million dollars.
In 2004 the same property sold for $7.2 million dollars, that was thirteen years ago, and Boca Raton was not faced with the reality of losing the Glades Municipal Golf Course at the time.
So let’s tally up the score card.
The Ocean Breeze parcel is 202 acres in a prime location less than a mile east of I-95 and a similar distance from US1.
When acquired, the Ocean Breeze parcel will fulfill the community’s demand for greater access to recreational activity created by the loss of Glades Municipal Golf Course.
The current thinking also provides an opportunity to sell off 76,371 square feet of clubhouse if the District and the City don’t want to be in the hotel and conference center business.
Of course, the devil is in the details…but, based upon what is now being uncovered, even a fiscal conservative like the City Manager has to agree – this is a deal, even as a passive investment.
Over the years Boca Raton has seen commercial real estate busts, residential real estate busts but never a vacation destination bust.
Boca Raton was established first and foremost as a resort community.
Wise city planning, preserving beaches, parks and the Mizner brand have assured Boca Raton’s place among the top resort destinations in the world.
Boca Raton will continue to meet and exceed these expectations by also providing a 27 hole publically owned golf course to the city’s portfolio of ‘world class’ activities.
The Beach & Parks District will lay out their plan for the City Council’s consideration on Monday May 8th at the joint workshop.
Boca Raton is a wealthy city about the get $73 million dollars wealthier.
Boca Raton can afford a joint venture with the Beach & Park District to acquire this recreational activity.
Boca Raton can pledge its full support for the many different financing options under consideration to achieve the goal.
Along with the possibility of divesting the clubhouse property from the recreational opportunity, other options like a ‘world class’ golf training facility can be incorporated for additional income to cover operational costs of the facility. All this can be accomplished with a little patience and financial creativity.
Providing the community with additional green space and outdoor recreational options sure beats the notion of touring a new government campus, a destination that will not be on most trip advisers’ agendas any time soon.
Interested residents should plan to be at the joint meeting of the City Council and the Beach and Park District scheduled for May 8th where all interested residents will hear of the proposed details in acquisition and financing options.
I strongly support the acquisition of Ocean Breeze. However, if Lennar cannot build on the property due to the restrictive covenant that the property must be used as a golf course, why is the purchase price so high?
I’m all for buying Ocean Breeze – at its appraised value. I also believe we are not “faced” with losing the municipal course – we are choosing to do so. In my mind we would do well to keep the muni as an open space as well as buy Ocean Breeze at a reasonable price.
Ocean Breeze is worth over $73 million without the deed restriction so it makes no sense to seek to remove the deed restriction simply to justify a higher valuation. Take the $24 million offer by Lennar and bring this valuable amenityt o our city.
Ocean Breeze should be purchased. There is substantial value in doing the same now. While the numbers are all off (the face amount of the foreclosed mortgage was $6.7MM the amount of the judgment $17MM is irrelevant as to value–post judgement interest stops when sale takes place and has NOTHING to do with value of property.) Wells Fargo got this property from the failed Wachovia Bank for 10 cents on the dollar–again all irrelevant. This property can be made into a gem and City CAN make money. There are a few tweaks to the deal which could help defray the cost to Beach & Parks, Further the City has other opportunities to save tax dollars (City Hall) which can also help.