On Monday afternoon, November 21, at the City Council Workshop meeting, after nearly five hours of deliberation, the Council members  determined unanimously to move in the direction of “keeping golf in Boca Raton”.

In October, the Council received 9 ‘final and best’ offers for the purchase of the Municipal Golf Course on Glades Road west of the Turnpike.  Of these, there were eight offers to purchase for cash and one offer for a cash/land swap to include the Ocean Breeze golf course located within Boca’s city limits on NW Boca Raton Blvd. (NW 2nd Ave) in the Boca Teeca neighborhood.

It is suggested that interested readers visit the city website Agenda via this link and view the November 21st City Council workshop.  Below is the presentation by Deputy City Manager George Brown outlining the terms of each cash offer as well as an analysis of the one cash/land swap proposal; a worthwhile investment of time.

The City Council allowed for each interested purchaser present to offer additional comment supplementing their individual submittals as well as public comment for interested residents.

In the end, the Council reduced the offers down to two for further investigation.

Remaining in contention is the GL Homes cash offer to purchase the property with no contingencies for Palm Beach County approval of a designated number of units on the golf course property.  This offer is in the amount of $73 million with GL homes prepared to close after a 90 day due diligence period.

Also remaining in consideration is the cash/land swap proposal made by Lennar Homes.  Lennar Homes currently has a contract with Wells Fargo to purchase the Ocean Breeze Golf Course.  Lennar is offering a $51 million package for the purchase of the municipal golf course that anticipates $41 million cash plus a $10 million valuation for the Ocean Breeze Golf Course lands inside the city of Boca Raton.  The Lennar transaction does not include in the ‘swap’ the former Inn and meeting rooms at Ocean Breeze.

The Council has instructed staff to proceed with further analysis of these two offers and to investigate an alternative method for the acquisition of the Ocean Breeze Golf Course through an Eminent Domain legal proceeding.  The City Attorney has been instructed to provide an analysis of this legal action.

The Council, through a suggestion by Councilman Jeremy Rodgers, then agreed to consider a resolution at the City Council meeting on Nov. 22 that would unequivocally set the City policy for the preservation of the Ocean Breeze Golf Course as green space with its twenty-seven hole, championship golf course.   It is expected that this resolution will pass unanimously at the Council meeting; a truly ‘resident friendly’ outcome.

Dozens of Ocean Breeze residents present throughout the entire evening’s process received the news of this outcome with applause.  These residents have worked diligently with the City, the Beach and Park District, and the community as a whole.  Congratulations.

BocaWatch reported earlier this week that the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District has sent a letter to the City outlining its commitment to work with the City in the Ocean Breeze acquisition.  The District’s Legal Counsel, Art Koski, presented their offer in person at yesterday’s meeting and stated the District’s intention to reimburse the City for its purchase cost and then provide the funds to reinstate golf on the course.  Also reported is the possibility of a Greg Norman golf training school on the property.   More on all this as it is uncovered….

For now…the process continues; golf is to remain the City’s policy for the Ocean Breeze property and the method of acquisition will be researched and presented at the first meeting in January, 2017.

UPDATE: On Tuesday night City Council made a surprise announcement at their regular meeting by allowing an additional  proposal from Compson Development for further consideration.  Does this now open the door to all other proposers to return to the bidding table?  A question yet to be answered.