Tuesday, September 15, 2015

News about the WPB Golf Course and the inevitable impact on the little City of Lake Worth

In April the Post's Tony Doris wrote an article about the West Palm Beach Golf Course that sent a small group here in Lake Worth on an unhinged, manic reaction. It was an incredibly spontaneous outpouring of nonsense which I chronicled on my blog. Here's an excerpt from that blog post on this subject:
As it is right now the cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth share a waterway [C-51 Canal] that does nothing but act as a drain. That's it. It serves no public purpose other than that. Kayakers never use it and neither do people in canoes. Once in a while you'll see a small watercraft in the C-51 turning around when they see the warning signs not to proceed any further. Now and then you'll see people fishing. That's about it.
There is more news! Things continue to move forward according to Mr. Doris. Here are two excerpts from the latest news about the WPB Golf Course and surrounding areas:
     At a city commission workshop Sept. 8, consultants from Redevelopment Management Associates laid out possibilities ranging from sprucing up the 196-acre championship course with new entrance ways and a few amenities to shrinking the course to add hundreds of homes and condos, bike trails, a waterfront clubhouse, fishing pier and kayak-launch area. [emphasis added]
     The price tags — to be shared by residential developers who partner with the city — range from an estimated $5.9 million to $19.5 million to redo the course, which runs from south of Forest Hill Boulevard to the C-51 Canal, just east of I-95.
[and. . .]
     The challenge, RMA economic development director Kevin Crowder said, is that a market study indicates the area doesn’t generate enough economic activity to support major commercial redevelopment. But he added, “the market analysis just tells you where you’ve been.”
     Different developers take different approaches in deciding whether to enter a market, he said. Some go strictly by current numbers but others look at a location and say, “What can I add to make it work?” he said.
Here is the area being discussed:
Note the C-51 Canal is the border between the City of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach. The yellow North-South road is Dixie Hwy. Immediately north of the canal to the west is a large open lot (8111 S. Dixie): that is being considered part of a future project along with the Winn-Dixie plaza across the street. Another excerpt from Mr. Doris:
     The city commission, by general consensus, authorized Economic Development Director Chris Roog to continue pursuing redevelopment plans for the 8111 S. Dixie property and the golf course. The commission also indicated its willingness to work with the adjacent Palm Coast Plaza owners in coordinating redevelopment plans.
This will have a tremendously positive impact on the City of Lake Worth. Stay tuned, as they say. The next time Mr. Doris has news will share it with you on my blog.