Mayor's Update on City Golf Course
I bet you didn’t know that May 18th is National Golf Day?
For the ninth year, industry leaders will be in Washington DC to meet lawmakers and the Obama Administration to discuss golf’s 15,000-plus diverse businesses, two million employees, tax revenue creation and tourism value.
What a great time to talk about what’s happening with our city-operated golf course and the adjacent 8111 South Dixie Highway.
The city is making good progress on following the direction given by the City Commission. Last fall, the City Commission voted to move ahead and reach out to multiple developers.
We are gauging interest in not only developing 8111 South Dixie Highway, but a new clubhouse and golf course. As we continue to move forward, we will ensure the public gets the best project the market can generate.
We have talked with Palm Coast Plaza, the shopping center next door to 8111 South Dixie in the hopes that we can work together to assemble an even larger property for an even more impressive project.
There have also been meetings with private developers to get their ideas, and we’re anticipating a full report from the firm heading up the outreach in about thirty days.
The golf course and 8111 South Dixie are among the most valuable pieces of land owned by the city. We have an obligation to you, our residents – the taxpayers who own these properties - to ensure we get the best project and the best taxpayer value.
I am a big believer in learning from history, and this city has a clear history when it comes to how to best develop its land. We need to look no farther than the city-owned “Tent Site” in the heart of our downtown. If we have learned nothing else from Digital Domain and later from a failed privately-planned medical complex, it is this: Good stewardship of public assets and transparency demand an open process that invites all to participate.
That is exactly the path I intend to take.
When the city issues a public call for multiple participants, it is the city – and by extension the public – that ensures we get the best project with the biggest benefit.
I can’t tell you how many meetings I have had over the past five years with individuals who have grand ideas, beautiful pictures, and lofty promises. In the end, it doesn’t matter how exciting a project appears.
What has always been best for our taxpayers has been a public, open process where competition leads to the best deal.
I am excited by the progress we’re making on the golf course and 8111 South Dixie Highway.
We will soon begin the public discussion over exactly what kind of a project and clubhouse we would like to see. We’re close to the finish line in what has proven to be a long marathon. Let’s make sure we reach the finish line in a way that is transparent and ensures what is best for our city.
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