Not needed for golf…212-acres in Boca Teeca

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How much say will the city have in 212 acres in Boca Teeca now that another public golf course isn’t needed?

The city just accepted an 18-hole course and Boca Country Club with nearly a year to work out the kinks.

Now the site owners are exploring their next step to redevelop the closed Ocean Breeze golf course at 5800 NW Second Ave. The next time the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District meets again to possibly discuss the issue is Nov. 16.

The site was already designed by Price Fazio and most of it cleared, including a hotel that was demolished. The property is bisected by a street and the original plans called for a tunnel. The district owns the east side, so it’s not clear if the city would even have a say on there.

“You have the right to do whatever you want on the east side,” Greg Galanis, president of 200 golfers at the city’s municipal course, told commissioners at a public meeting. Golfers still want a par three executive course and practice area on what was designed to be Boca National Golf Course, Galanis added.

The district’s next step is refining the original agreement with the city. That could give them more wiggle room. Legally, “the district can use the golf course property for other than a golf course,” their attorney told them.

The city’s only 18-hole municipal course on Glades Road is still open for play. But the land was already sold to GL Homes. The developer plans to close the deal next fall to build single family homes there.

The tax money the district paid for Ocean Breeze figures into this, too. The district bought the closed course with a city loan and and purchased a small parcel outright. “If there’s an option where we can pay back the money and extinguish the bond is something we need to consider,” Commissioner Bob Rollins said. “We stuck our neck out and purchased.” The loan was for $19 million and the controversial deal was finalized in February 2018.

The district held a series of charettes for public input on the original plan for the course. Once they work out what’s next with the city, they’ll have another round of public input.

“Let’s make it easy as possible for all of us and amend the agreement to suggest we will look at other options with the city to remove restrictions and give us a little more time,” concluded Commissioner Craig Ehrnst. “We want to get the city, the community and  everyone’s opinion for best use of the overall property.”

By Marci Shatzman

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