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GL Homes agrees to wait on municipal golf course closing

GL Homes has agreed to put off closing the city’s municipal golf course sale.  The move would help guarantee to keep golf in Boca by not closing the city’s course until the new Boca National Golf Club opens.

“We were approached to keep golf in Boca and that’s where the date October 2020 came from,” GL Homes vice president Larry Portnoy said. “We could amend our plans to do it.”

But it’s unclear what city council will decide Tuesday night. Council will consider extending GL’s inspection period to Aug. 31, 2019, and the closing from May to this Oct. 31, 2019.  Prolonging the closing would cost taxpayers money, City Manager Leif Ahnell told council at their workshop Monday.

The city also hasn’t heard a firm timeline from the buyers when the new course would open, said deputy city manager George S. Brown.  The former Ocean Breeze course in Boca Teeca was bought by the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District. Price Fazio is the design team redoing the former 27-hole course to an 18-hole and executive course.

In a surprise move, GL Homes put another $5 million on the table to ensure it will buy the municipal golf course in west Boca. “That eliminates any market risk,” Portnoy said.

The $7.5 million deposit was the first time city staff and council heard about the offer. “That will help them feel comfortable we won’t walk away,” Portnoy told Boca Voice after the meeting.

The land is worth more now, since Palm Beach County gave GL development rights to build 564 single-family homes, Portnoy said. The property grew by seven or eight acres with a new buffer agreement from an adjacent neighborhood.

Also in the mix is a new agreement to combine a city and county communications tower on the site into one, Brown told council.

By Marci Shatzman

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