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Future of Ocean Breeze property in Boca Raton remains in limbo

New architect firm hired Monday by city
Ocean Breeze property in Boca Raton
Posted at 2:16 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 17:42:42-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — There have been plans to build a new city golf course near Yamato Road and Interstate 95 in Boca Raton, but the project was halted when two city agencies could not agree on the design and cost.

The Ocean Breeze property has been the center of numerous debates in the city for years.

The big question surrounding the property is should it still become a golf course.

Currently, the old golf course still sits abandoned on the site.

Plans for a world-class golf course were stopped when the Boca Beach and Parks District and the Boca City Council could not agree on a final project.

The district hired a new architect firm Monday to look at what else can be done.

Greg Galanis with the Boca Raton Golf Association speaks about the future of the Ocean Breeze property.
Greg Galanis speaks about the future of the Ocean Breeze property.

"Both groups need to cooperate," said Greg Galanis with the Boca Raton Golf Association.

He said the back and forth between the city council and the district needs to stop.

Galanis, who has lived in Boca Raton for 30 years, believes there is still an expectation to build a short course on the property.

"It is just preposterous to think that an architect can solve for you what the residents have already demanded," Galanis said.

Boca Raton Beach and Parks District Commissioner Craig Ehrnst said the district is back to square one with ideas.

"I am not afraid of starting over because I have more confidence that we are going to make a destination place, and it will be incredible," Ehrnst said. "We are open to a golf component."

Boca Raton Beach and Parks District Commissioner Craig Ehrnst speaks about the Ocean Breeze property
Boca Raton Beach and Parks District Commissioner Craig Ehrnst said a new golf course is among the possibilities being discussed for the property.

A survey sent out earlier this year was returned with the No. 1 ask being golf, but other ideas included using the 212 acres as green space.

"Walking trails is a high priority. Green space is a high priority, recreation, playgrounds, absolutely all high priority," Ehrnst said.

Galanis said the city is closing Boca Municipal, which has a short course. He said having one at Ocean Breeze is the right choice.

"Nearly 30,000 rounds a year were played on that short course," Galanis said.

The architect firm is being asked to get community input and bring back a master plan to the district. From there the city council will have to give their approval on any future projects.

"This time next year, I think we should have a sense of what we can do and can't do," Ehrnst said.