Monday, December 19, 2011

Environmental Update/Ocean Breeze-Boca Teeca

The environmental report requested by the FL DEP has been filed with the West Palm Beach office of the DEP as of early Dec. - This entire report is available online via the DEP's OCCULUS system.

While there was some significant discrepancies between the EPA/DEP testing results and the environmental firm hired by the property manager, the primary recommendation by the last report is for a deed restriction on the property area containing the golf course maintenance so that it is not developed nor used for any other purpose.

The DEP staff member has yet to review the latest report for the official DEP recommendations, but it would appear that with this recommendation by the environmental firm hired by the property manager to restrict other uses of the land, then it is unlikely that there will be any development of this specific site without significant remediation of the dirt in this area.

Meanwhile, the golf course continues to be a success under the management of the Arnold Palmer group that has been operating the Ocean Breeze Country Club since a receiver was approved in Jan. 2011. The property is still in foreclosure and it appears that the bank, Wells Fargo, is in no hurry to complete the foreclosure since they have not filed any new documents in several months with the county to complete the foreclosure process - started approx. March 2009

Friday, July 29, 2011

Boca Teeca Golf Course Foreclosure Update

The owner of the property, MCZ Centrum and the loan guarantors have retained new legal counsel in the foreclosure case by Wells Fargo bank (formerly Wachovia bank). The receiver continues to operate the property under the management of their affiliated company, Arnold Palmer Golf Course Management Co.

The golf course (d/b/a Ocean Breeze Country Club) is open daily to the public and remains the only championship level golf course within the city that is open to the public. The condition of the golf course has improved steadily since the receiver took control in February 2011 and the number of golf patrons appears to be at the highest level in many years as a result of the improved conditions and the promotional rates. Area golfers should call the golf course to make a tee time and to learn about the current promotional rates: 561-994-0400

The environmental consulting firm retained by the receiver has conducted testing on the portion of the golf course that was determined to be incompatible for residential or industrial use according to the EPA & FL DEP report issued in August 2010. The FL DEP is awaiting the analysis by the private environmental consulting firm in order to determine the size of the impacted area and the possible solution to cleaning-up this problem. It should be noted that there are several area golf courses that have had similar environmental problems that have been monitored for several years, but these other golf courses retained their use and was not proposed for other development uses. Adjacent property owners are obviously concerned that the hazardous chemicals may have migrated to their property or ground water and are of course watching this issue closely.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Boca Teeca Environmental Cleanup Update

On June 14th Environmental Assessments & Consultants, Inc. was granted an extension until Nov. 30th to provide a site assessment on the environmental cleanup at the Ocean Breeze golf course. Florida DEP staff have indicated that the environmental testing was scheduled to begin on June 29th. Based upon these test results the testing will continue with the water monitoring in the area near the maintenance facility on the South golf course.

The correspondence with the FL DEP indicates that "the property owner (MCZ Centrum) has not been directly involved for some time and the property has been placed in receivership."

The property continues to be open for business as the Ocean Breeze Country Club and remains the only championship level golf course within the city that is open to the public. The receiver is affiliated with The Arnold Palmer Golf Course Management Co. and is operating the golf course under this management company. The foreclosure is still pending with recent court documents indicating that the owners and their principals have retained a new legal representative for their defense. Several MCZ Centrum developments in Florida are also in foreclosure with the recent foreclosure completion of a Boynton Beach property that was never developed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Keep Boca Beaches Public - Ocean Strand Update

The Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District held a meeting yesterday at Sugar Sand park to kickoff the long awaited design of the Ocean Strand park on North Ocean Blvd. For over a year residents have been promised that their input would be considered for the ultimate design and use of this property. Even though the meeting was attended by a large number of residents seeking to provide input into the design of the park the meeting was adjourned WITHOUT ALLOWING PUBLIC INPUT!

Many residents attended this meeting which was moved to a large room from the normal board room used for meetings of the park district. The presenter from the design company hired by the GBRBPD requested input from the public and from the commissioners, but when it was time for the expected public input, the executive director of the district explained that the district has setup a web site to accept recommendations and commissioners quickly adjourned the meeting without allowing public input--as is normally the case for such meetings. There was no mention of the next scheduled meeting for providing public input on this park design. The web site referenced in the meeting does not have any icon or web page seeking input from residents on the park design.

Was this meeting being run by the attorney, Arthur Koski? Who is recommending the district not cooperate with residential requests even though the city attorney has publicly indicated that all that is needed for the city to change the land use on Ocean Strand is a letter from the park district to request a change in the designated land use to parks & rec. The historical medium density land use has been in place prior to the acquisition of the land by the district when the land was purchased to prevent a residential development. Is the attorney for the park district racking up thousands of dollars in additional legal fees by recommending against the resident's wishes to change the land use?

Residents have obtained over 1,500 voter signatures to require the city to hold a referendum to prevent any private uses of the publicly owned land all along the beach area of the city. The city attorney has refused to accept these petitions and initiate the referendum process due to her legal opinion. This petition effort for a referendum by voters has already upheld by a PBC court, yet the city and the park district continue to oppose residential efforts. The city and the park district are now spending thousands of taxpayer dollars to appeal this court decision and oppose the referendum initiative that is allowed under the city charter.

All of this wasted spending could probably be avoided if the park district commissioners would simply send a letter to the city in order to officially request the land use change on the Ocean Strand property that would restrict the use to parks & rec. for the public.

For more information on this residential effort to Keep Boca Raton Beaches Open to the Public, please visit the web site:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Update of the Boca Teeca/Ocean Breeze Proposed Golf Course Conversion-Development of >200 Townhouses

Dear Boca Raton Neighbors,

The approved development of over 200 townhouses on the South portion of the Ocean Breeze golf course has received an extension of the original conditional use deadline of 4/12/11. According to city records Mr. Jeff Evans requested this extension in Sept. 2010 under a new State law that provided for automatic extension of 2 years for such a development so this development is pending until at least 4/12/13 as confirmed by correspondence from the city to & from Mr. Evans.

Why didn't the owner of the property, MCZ Centrum, request this extension?

Is Mr. Evans acting legally upon the request of the property owner, or is there some other legal right that he has to request this extension?

Tthe property remains in foreclosure and is operating as the only 27-hole championship level golf course within the city limits of Boca Raton that is open to the public. The foreclosure precess started in March 2010 and the current receiver was appointed in Jan. 2010 after large tax liens were placed on the property. It is estimated that the tax liens now exceed $650,000 based upon non-payment of property taxes to PBC, sales taxes to PBC & sales taxes to the State of FL. If the 2010 property taxes are not paid then the tax liens would be approaching $1 million.

Additionally, the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has action pending versus the property owner for cleaning up the hazardous levels of arsenic and other toxic chemicals found on the property by the EPA & DEP in Jan. 2010. It is our understanding that the property owner has until July to respond to the DEP with their own environmental assessment and their proposed plan to cleanup the property.

Neighboring property owners are interested parties since the DEP report indicated that the source of the contamination found on at least one adjacent property was due to the activity on the golf course property. What are the costs of this cleanup on residential property and how much is the legal liability to the resdiential property owner(s)?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boca Raton Approves Future Development on Environmentally Sensitive Land

The city of Boca Raton has changed the Land Use (similar to rezoning) on 79 acres of land that the city's own comprehensive growth management plan has designated as Environmentally Sensitive Land. Why do city officials talk about being green or responsible environmental stewards and then bend over backwards to bailout a poor real estate investment? This property is located between Spanish River Blvd. & Yamato Rd. & East of I-95 and West of NW 5th Ave. The current city leaders approved over 1 million sq.ft. of development on this property against the wishes of the area residents.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Best Golf Deal in South Florida - Ocean Breeze Country Club

All-Inclusive Golf Promotion:
* Unlimited Golf/27 Chamionship Holes
* Breakfast Buffet
* Lunch Buffet + 1 Free Draft Beer
* $32 / FL Resident Seniors (Age 60+)
* $39 / FL Residents (Under Age 60)
* $45 / Non-FL Residents

Twilight Golf Special - after 1pm daily

$19- Includes Golf and 2 Draft Beers

FL Resident Rate ($24/non-FL residents)

Tee Times - 561-994-0400 ext.241
(up to 7 days in advance)

This promotional deal will not last forever "at these rates", so take advantage of this offer while it lasts. Help keep public accessible golf in the city of Boca Raton by supporting the only championship level golf course within the city - Ocean Breeze Country Club - (5800 NW 2nd Ave./North of Yamato Road).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Arnold Palmer Golf Management affilate takes control of Boca Teeca Golf Course

The new management of the Ocean Breeze Country Club has been very busy since being appointed as receiver of property which remains in foreclosure by Wells Fargo bank. The receiver is an affiliate of the Arnold Palmer golf management organization which owns or manages over 40 golf courses throughout the U.S., including the famous PGA Resort in Palm Beach Gardens and the Weston Hills Country Club.

The receiver's affiliate corp web site indicate the company owns private clubs and golf courses that it acquired in partnership with Walton Street Capital and other investment partners. It also manages additional clubs and golf courses for third party owners. Century Golf Partners, d/b/a Arnold Palmer Golf Management, is focused on driving revenue, increasing market share and profitability by building member and guest retention, loyalty and referrals. Century’s portfolio of owned and managed golf courses is expected to generate more than $250 million in total revenues during 2010.

Century Golf Partners employs several thousand highly dedicated people who are committed to superior management of all facets of club and golf facility operations including: member acquisition and retention, revenue generation, yield management, expense control, agronomy, food and beverage and tournament sales, clubhouse operations, capital improvements, accounting and technology systems. The team has pioneered industry leading revenue-generation and yield management programs and is an acknowledged industry expert in private club membership programs and golf revenue concepts. At a time when many are focused solely on cost containment, Century Golf Partners is successfully driving revenue growth through aggressive capacity utilization.

The current owner remains in foreclosure and it appears that a judgement against the business operation for over $76,000 in December for sales tax which was expected to be a contributing factor in the need to appoint a receiver. It is our understanding that the operating manager on property under the MCZ Centrum LLC ownership, Dennis Taback, has been relieved of his position and a new general manager should be in place by Feb 1st.

We look forward to learning of the improvements planned for the property under this acclaimed Arnold Palmer Golf Management company.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Receiver Appointed for Ocean Breeze Golf Club in Boca Teeca

The court overseeing the foreclosure proceeding of the Ocean Breeze Golf Club property in Boca Raton has agreed to appoint a receiver of the property while the foreclosure proceeds through the legal process. While MCZ Centrum's LLC remains the owner of the property, the receiver will be responsible for the management of the property in order to protect the value to the mortgage holder, Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Wachovia Bank).

What does this mean for the future of the golf course? The receiver would be expected to bring-in his own management of the property since he is affiliated with a major golf course owner and management company. Hopefully, this receiver's management will result in long-promised improvements to the property which is located in the financially attractive area of eastern Boca Raton.

Golfers and area residents would benefit from improvements and professional management of this 27-hole championship golf course which is open to the public. We look forward to learning of the plans by this new management for this property.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Boca Teeca Golf Course Foreclosure Heating-Up

The foreclosure on the Boca Teeca golf course is heating up as the bank has filed a motion to appoint a receiver which would take control of the property from the current owners, MCZ/Centrum. On 1/11/11 there is a hearing at the PB County courthouse to hear this motion by the bank.

The golf course is still open and operating under the name Ocean Breeze Golf & County Club. Is Wachovia/Wells Fargo bank concerned that the current owner is not protecting the value of their collateral which also includes all furnishings and assets of the country club and hotel on the East side of NW 2nd Ave.? Or, would the bank's receiver plan to improve to the golf course in order to improve the value of the property that secures their loan?

According PB County public records the MCZ/Centrum LLC has not paid taxes for 2008 or 2009 and has liens on the property totaling almost $500k. The property is also subject to an investigation by the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the EPA concerning contamination that was confirmed in ealry 2010 on a portion of the South golf course at the location of the maintenance facility. The DEP has a specific time deadline for the owner of the property to complete an environmental assessment and provide a plan for resolving the contamination issue. Considering the lack of payments to creditors this environmental issue is a concern of adjacent residents who's property may have been affected by the historical operation of the golf course and are awaiting more details from DEP on this matter.

WPB attorney Lawrence Rochefort represents Wachovia/Wells Fargo in this foreclosure case.