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$27.5 million estimate for new public golf course

The cost to build the new public Boca National Golf Club came in at $27,550,924.  That’s the Price Fazio team’s estimate for the redesign and rebuild of the old Ocean Breeze course in the city.

The estimate would include construction of 18 holes, a driving range, putting course, maintenance center, restrooms, pump station. A tunnel under Northwest Second Avenue could cost “$2 million and change” the team’s Wayne Branthwaite said. The tunnel will let golfers avoid crossing the street.  “This is a basic golf course and the biggest cost decision you’ll have to make is the turf,” he added.

The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District approved the plans Tuesday, despite price misgivings.  Now the 31-page report will go to the city. A joint meeting will be set to see how much the city will advance the district for another loan.

The city loaned the district more than $21 million to buy the 200-plus-acre course at 5800 NW Second Ave. in Boca Tecca.  The district could absorb some of the new costs, too. “We have to figure if we have the money to pay for this,” said Commissioner Craig Ehrnst.

“This is a giant number,” said Commissioner Erin Wright.  She expressed concerns over the debt service for the loan and the district’s millage rate. The district’s budget is based on property taxes.

The 12,000-square-foot clubhouse cost estimate for phase II is $3.4 million. If they wouldn’t save money by waiting, they should build the clubhouse now, said Commissioner Steven Engel.  Don’t forget construction hasn’t even been bid, so costs could come in lower, the design team’s Wayne Branthwaite said.

Construction is estimated to start on July 14 with a course opening date of September 2020, according to the report.  “We trust the architects we hired to do the right thing for us,” chairwoman Susan Vogelgesang said before the unanimous vote.

The approved plan includes an 18-hole traditional golf course on the west side of Northwest Second Avenue. The course is designed to “avoid placing houses and I-95 on the right side,” for safety reasons, the report said.

The east side will have a putting course to encourage beginners and a learning center.  A family activity center will include activities and amenities for everyone so golfers can bring children or grandchildren, the report said.  The par 3 short courses full-size driving range and eventually the clubhouse will also be on the east side.

By Marci Shatzman

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