The golf course issue may not be on the agenda for this week’s city council meeting, but it is still expected to be discussed by city staff and/or council members during their comments at the end of each meeting.  The acquisition of the Ocean Breeze golf course is expected to require the city to cooperate with the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District so residents are encouraged to attend these meetings and speak in Public Comments in support of Keep Golf In Boca.

At the recent city council candidate forum all of the candidates voiced their support for the acquisition of the ocean breeze golf course property.  BUT, only one of the five candidates is currently on the city council, Scott Singer, and he has not publicly supported the city acquiring the golf course property.  There have only been two current city council members that have supported the city acquiring the golf course in Boca Teeca, Jeremy Rodgers and Susan Haynie, so what will happen at the Valentine’s Day meeting?

Supporters of the non-profit Keep Golf In Boca have discussed the value of the property relative to other land the city & the Beach & Park District have acquired in the past.  By comparison the city paid over $2.5 million/acre for the Wildflower site which has been vacant and a constant thorn in the side of the city.  Also, the city paid $150,000 per acre for the land where the new De Hornle Park was built on Spanish River Blvd.  The Beach & Park District acquired the 132 acres for Sugar Sand Park in 1988 for $18 million or $136k/acre and the 15 acres at Ocean Strand was bought for $15 million or $1 million/acre and this property has not been utilized since the 1994 acquisition.  The average price per acre for all four of these properties was $946,000 per acre and two of the four properties remain unused for many years.

Accordingly, the valuation of the 200+ acres within the Ocean Breeze property should be viewed on a comparable basis to past recreational use acquisitions by the local government entities where the property is not waterfront would be the Sugar Sand and DeHornle valuations.  Based upon these two properties the average price paid was $124,000/acre, so the relative valuation on the Ocean Breeze 200 + acres would be $28.6 million.  Therefore, if the city and park district can acquire the Ocean Breeze property for any amount less than $28.6 million then they are getting a bargain compared to their past property acquisitions for recreational purposes regardless of what amount may be claimed as the appraised value of the property.

Bringing championship level golf back into the city is a Win-Win for city, the residents and the park district and the city will pocket at least $41 million in their bank account on behalf of taxpayers.  Please consider attending the meeting on Tuesday night to show your support for the acquisition of the Ocean Breeze golf course property by the local government entities, with the city or the beach & park district.