It’s Peter Gary, Publisher of the Boca Voice welcoming you to read the first letter of 2019! I hope you had a very happy holiday season and you are equally as excited as I am to kick the year off with a positive outlook and mindset!
It’s always nice to wipe the slate clean for the New Year, but December was momentous for Boca’s future.
Boca Raton Regional Hospital took the next step to join a network of 10 hospitals, medical facilities and doctors from here to the Keys. “A milestone,” hospital CEO Jerry Fedele called a letter of intent with Baptist Health South Florida. The agreement is expected to be executed shortly, with the affiliation final by the summer.
In another high-profile move, a title sponsor signed a three-year contract for the PGA’s Champions Tour stop in Boca, two years after Allianz left.
As a hometown team everyone knew, the Oasis Outsourcing announcement took on a more heartfelt feel. Not to mention relief. Last year, the city and Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District had to step in to keep the nationally televised tournament here.
The newly named Oasis Championship will be back at the Old Course at Broken Sound from Feb. 4 and 10.
In other big golf news, the design for the clubhouse on the new public Boca National Golf Club was approved.
Price Fazio Team was directed to put the clubhouse on the east side of the former Ocean Breeze course in Boca Teeca. That means a second tunnel will be dug so the carts don’t have to cross Second Avenue.
The 18-hole course and a short course will be ready before the buildings. The course is expected to be open for play in the fall of 2020.
That’s important for local golfers who don’t live on or belong to a club, as well as visitors and even tourists.
The city sold its municipal golf course in West Boca to GL Homes. The firm is expected to close in May. Without the new club, city’s only public golf in Boca would be the 9-hole on the beach. A new public golf course isn’t the only thing expected to change the face of Boca.
Two major gateways in the city will undergo changes and the first new school in years was just approved.
After public feedback sessions, City council agreed to merge the old Wildflower site and Silver Palm Park across the street. That will mean one big waterfront park along the Intracoastal with a crosswalk under the bridge.
Plans for the Midtown area on either side of the Shops at Boca Center have melted down. Original plans called for major condo and apartment development by Boca Center owner Crocker Partner and two other developers. But Crocker Partners sued, saying the city dragged its feet, creating a de facto moratorium.
Meanwhile, the city just announced that since locals didn’t want major changes, it would go with landscaping upgrades and traffic-calming solutions.
Finally, as the city evolves from retirement to a family mecca, the state announced it approved a new elementary school here. All city and West Boca schools are maxed out. The new site is next to Don Estridge High Tech Middle School on Military Trail.
The city just leased a parcel there to the School District of Palm Beach County. It was supposed to temporarily house students at Verde and Addison Mizner elementary while they’re being rebuilt.
Keeping up with the times, Boca Museum of Art made their outdoor space in Mizner Park and on Federal Highway more inviting, part of a $1.8 million redo.
After 22 years, the weekly Boca Raton GreenMarket moved to the City Hall Parking lot from Royal Palm Place.
Stay tuned to see what happens in 2019 as the city grows and changes. Happy New Year.
Stay in the know and stay informed with YOUR Boca Voice!
Peter Gary – Publisher