Boca golf course could become home development

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By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
A Boca Raton golf course is poised to become a home for new Lennar Corp. homes.
A subsidiary of Miami-based homebuilder Lennar Corp. has plans to purchase the 27-hole Ocean Breeze Golf Club, 5801 NW Second Ave.
A deal was scheduled to close last month, but has been postponed, according to records. The course closed last month.
The proposed price of the purchase for the larger of the two Boca public golf courses has not been disclosed. Lennar plans to purchase the course from Wells Fargo Bank, which said the championship course was too expensive to maintain as a public golf course.
Ocean Breeze is located in the Boca Teeca subdivision and is the largest green space reserved for recreation left in the city.
City officials say Lennar has plans to build homes on the course. It isn’t the only course home builders are interested in buying. The company sent a letter to Boca Mayor Susan Haynie stating it’s interested in paying $28 million for the Boca Raton municipal course just outside the city limits, west of Florida’s Turnpike.
Lennar states the offer is contingent on approval of at least 400 homes on the site. No action has been taken on the letter, according to the city.
In order to build on the Ocean Breeze site, Lennar or any developer, will need support from Boca Teeca property owners and a city-approved zoning change to build on the land.
This won’t be the first proposal to build homes on the course. Boca Teeca residents challenged a 2007 plan another developer had to build 211 homes on 30 acres, but nothing was ever built.
The news has some residents and city officials upset about possibly losing the golf course. Councilman Jeremy Rodgers and Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District Commissioner Earl Starkoff have both expressed interest in the topic.
Commissioner Starkoff said he would like to see the district work with the city as it has in the past to acquire, operate and maintain the property. He said he wants the city to take the lead on the initiative, but would support acquiring and preserving the course for public use.
Councilman Rodgers has also stated he would like to see the city partner with the district or another group in order to purchase the course.
The golf course is not an item on the council’s goals for the year. It is also unclear and unknown how much money the city would have to spend to purchase the course. Officials estimate the deferred maintenance on the course would cost several million dollars.
It is unclear if the city will discuss the golf course in an official capacity.