Joint meeting on Boca National: City seeks more design proposals

70

By: Diane Emeott Korzen
Contributing Writer

What started out as a somewhat promising Nov. 12 joint meeting toward finding common ground on Boca National Golf Course began with Boca Council Member/CRA Chair Andrea Levine O’Rourke saying she had listened to the community and the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District and would be willing to move forward with the District’s Price Fazio Design.

Council Member Monica Mayotte followed with her comment.

“I’ve said several times, ‘Let’s go with the Price Fazio Design.’ There are others up here [however, who wish to have more information]… I don’t think with all the restrictions the property has – it is bordered by I-95, Clintmore Road, and all the condos – that you’re going to come out with a design much different than the Price Fazio Design.”

Council Member Andy Thomson, however, expressed his desire to go out to bid for additional golf course architects – “to compare to the Price Fazio Design.”

Council Member Jeremy Rodgers also said he wasn’t ready to move forward with Price Fazio, saying he had questions and was relying on staff review before making a decision.

As of press time, City of Boca Raton Public Information Officer Chrissy Gibson confirmed that, “Yes, the decision has been made to seek proposals for golf course design and construction. And yes, the City is working on a new Interlocal Agreement for the golf course, which will be presented to the District within the next couple of months.”

According to Beach & Park District Executive Director Briann Harms, the amendment [to the current ILA] will include “details of the City’s intent to construct, operate, and maintain the golf course. How the two bodies come to terms with this arrangement will be in the details,” she said.

The next joint meeting on the golf course is slated for Jan. 27 at 6 p.m.

An agreement from Feb. 2, 2018 holds the key to who has final ‘say’ on the design for Boca National Golf Course. It states the city has the final design say even if the district were to pay for construction of the course.

The District is already paying for the $24 million purchase of the old Ocean Breeze Golf Course Property where Boca National is to be built – as well as having invested money in arriving at a preferred golf course design by Price Fazio.

The District wants the City to pay for golf course construction, which has been value- engineered down from an original $28 million to around $15 million – in keeping with National Golf Foundation (NGF) estimates.

“The whole point of tonight is to get this moving,” Beach & Park Commissioner Erin Wright said. “You guys build it, and pay for it — using the design we’ve worked so hard on.”

The city agreed to undertake design and construction, but wanted to consider hiring its own architects and contractors.

Upon hearing the City wanted to go out for additional design options former District Chair Rollins said, “After interviewing 17 golf course architects, the audience gave unanimous support to Price Fazio (as the District’s No. 1 pick for golf course designer). We then looked at four different designs from Price Fazio, before arriving at the perfect design.

“We got the number down to $15 million without sacrificing the vision we had. We need a concept and a golf course that people want to play! If you do an RFP, you’ll have to add another 3 or 4 months to 12 months.”

The city has agreed to expedite a proposal to seek additional bids for an 18-hole course, short course, driving range and temporary clubhouse.