Neighbors will finally see a crew working on the closed Ocean Breeze 212-acre site in Boca Teeca. CSR Athletic Construction has started to replace construction fencing, demolish dilapidated structures and trim and prune vegetation at three corners.
Work started Friday, April 23, said Briann Harms, executive director for the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District. The $552,795 contract for land clearing was approved by the district.
Beach & Park bought the property with a city loan and their own budget, originally for a new public golf course. That was before the city was gifted the nearby Boca Country Club for that purpose, due to open in October.
So, starting at square one, the district put out a community request for ideas that closed on April 9. Some 230 residents and golfers responded. The top five most requested amenities were golf, pickleball, tennis, disc golf and walking/running/cycling trails.
“There’s enough space there to do all of those things,” said Commissioner Craig Ehrnst.
“I’m excited about golf on the east side. We have the design. It is what people really want,” chairwoman Susan Vogelgesang said. The district paid for an initial golf plan designed by Price Fazio. Pickleball and lacrosse players told Commissioner Bob Rollins they need more space, he added.
A splash pad, playground, basketball courts, dog park, soccer fields, picnic areas, mini golf and bocce ball were among the other suggestions. Five private companies also presented proposals.
What’s the next step to begin making conceptual plans for the site with the city and more community input? That will depend on results of the city’s Recreation Services department needs assessment, Harms said.
The future for this site is not on the agenda for the April 26 joint meeting with the city, but commissioners expect the subject to come up.
“Our agendas for future [district] meetings have not been set, however Boca Teeca is a standing topic now,” Harms said. The district’s next virtual meeting is 5:15 p.m. May 3.
By Marci Shatzman