The City now has eleven offers from development companies for the acquisition of their City owned golf course on Glades Rd outside the Boca City limits.
The receipt of these offers was prompted by the closing of the 27 hole Ocean Breeze Course (“OB”) in east Boca by a Wells Fargo Bank foreclosure earlier this year. Wells Fargo now has a secret deal, the terms of which are undisclosed, with Lennar Home Builders, to convert the Ocean Breeze course into a massive development in violation of the neighboring 1,660 property owner’s rights.
The Boca Teeca Plat in north Boca, consists of 1,660 residential properties, and the Ocean Breeze golf course, and is covered by a 42 year old recorded Restrictive Deed Covenant that guaranteed the adjacent property owners would always have a 202 acre golf course next door, forever, “in perpetuity”!
Wells Fargo inherited a Wachovia delinquent mortgage or uncollected debt in taking over that Bank in October 2008. After six years in foreclosure the Wells/Lennar plans were recently exposed to the light of day and the neighborhood erupted into a defensive fighting brigade against them.
The Boca Teeca Unit Owners Association (BTUOA), whose membership numbers are uncertain, represents a portion of the whole neighborhood, and played a role in fighting the last course owner’ s property modification plans for several years. That resulted in that owner going under and was a precipitating cause underlying the foreclosure that has now closed the OB course and had a detrimental impact on all the 1,660 neighboring home owners.
The leaders of BTUOA, have disappointingly capitulated on the closing and became involved privately with Lennar and Wells attempting to get them to cut a deal with the City for the Glades course instead. Some 1,600+/- homeowners don’t agree on that.
Though some see their intentions as well meaning, many see them as a shortsighted and naive long-term path not focused on a swift reopening of the course to mitigation the fast accruing damages. The property owners protected by the Covenant now hear real estate experts say their properties are worth $50,000 to $150,000, or maybe $250,000 less, not being on a golf course. That amounts to a potential class action damage claim of between $83 to $415 Million Dollars, focused on Wells and Lennar. Another claim Wells must face from their Wachovia inheritance out of the “Too Big To Fail” banking meltdown era.
The recently formed “Ocean Breeze Golf & Tennis Club Neighborhood Association” (OBNA) has a more positive focused action plan speaking for the entire 1,660 owners demanding the Covenant be enforced and the course be reopened immediately or damages will be accessed.
At a September 26th, meeting of the Boca Raton City Council the BTUOA announced their endorsement of the mythical tripartite deal between the City, Lennar and Wells. They proposed the City sale of the Glades Course to Lennar in exchange for the city acquiring the now closed and defunct 27 hole OB course on terms, prices and a timetable that are unspecified in a complicated, multi-million-dollar, government action!
The OB course has been closed ninety days and is no longer being mowed or safely maintained. It has quickly become an overgrown eyesore. It is also fast becoming an insect, snake, fox, racoon and possibly alligator infested breeding ground and nesting haven endangering our families and neighborhoods.
The City Manager projects it will cost $6 to $12 million to revitalize and reopen it as it was, or as the city would require any municipal course to look.
Some of the BTUOA dreamers think the City can get all eleven of the pending proposals resubmitted in a couple weeks, to be able to compare them apple-to-apples, by October 21. Then acted upon by November 22, with negotiations and document drafting to be done between buyer and seller by their January meeting! What universe and century were these people living in or born in? What government have they been living under for the last decade? Not to forget the Glades course is a county rezoning issue!
I note all current offers are contingent on all city and county approvals and permits being granted before any closing on these dealings! The City Manager estimates the county will take 18 to 24 months! Only a naïve and poorly informed individual, on the subject of governance and politics would expect or believe these matter will be concluded in less than … YEARS!
Unfortunately, all of that ignores the damages and dangers already accruing. The closed course is in violation of our Covenant right and this path to close such a deal is complicated. The city also has to confront nine competitors for Lennar, and their attorneys, who want the Glades Course for development.
Now the Glades course neighborhood is upset about losing their course but without a covenant to protect them!
The city said they would try to move fast but for government fast is anything short of forever! There are also rumors the county will not go along with the Glades course closure.
The City is formally requesting the different bids be rewritten, into a common comparable format and resubmitted by October 21st. The Council can then review, apples-to-apples, as to purchase price, deposits, non-refundable amounts, timetables, agreed inspection period, closing dates, outside deadlines, closing conditions, terms and contingencies required that can vary the closing or price. The city suggests they would try to take action by November 22nd focused on a final deal being negotiated and drafted by Council’s January 2017 meeting! If you believe that is at all possible you are naïve about government and blind to everyday reality.
Even if that impossible dream scenario were realistically possible the County government then needs their 18 to 24 months of reviews and approvals! If that can be an on target path and schedule, with government that is highly unlikely, that ultimate completion will likely take us up to the next U.S. Presidential election cycle! Our golf course reopening to mitigate already building damages won’t wait until the closings and contingencies are all met!
Discussions with Wells Fargo are about to begin and if Lennar needs to be at the table, as a responsible party who may have the keys to the club and may have foolishly given Wells a hold-harmless… then so-be-it as the damage target will be that much clearer.
The City is being requested to address the safety issue resulting from no maintenance.
Stay tuned here!
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