Redevelopment Plans Put on Hold for West Palm Beach (Fla.) Municipal GC

The course was closed in September but scheduled to be part of a multimillion-dollar redevelopment project that would include a new clubhouse, boutique hotel, apartments, and a Topgolf franchise. But city commissioners voted to withdraw the original Request for Proposal and accept unsolicited bids from potential developers.

Plans to redevelop the West Palm Beach (Fla.) Municipal Golf Course are now on hold after city commissioners voted to hit the reset button on the project, WPTV NBC 5 of West Palm Beach reported.

The golf course closed in September but was scheduled to be part of a multimillion-dollar redevelopment project that would include a new clubhouse, boutique hotel, apartments, and a Topgolf franchise (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/west-palm-beach-fla-municipal-gc-to-close-until-revival-deal-completed/).

But now the plans to move forward have been put on hold after city commissioners voted on November 5th to withdraw the Request For Proposal (RFP) for the project, WPTV reported.

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The City of West Palm Beach issued a statement about the decision saying: “The City Commission voted to withdraw the Request for Proposal for the redevelopment of the municipal golf course, which now allows the City to accept unsolicited bids from potential developers that meet the requirements of the original RFP.

“After 30 days, we’ll report back to the City Commission. Our priority is ensuring that, at the end of the day, this process will result in a golf course and amenities that meet our residents’ needs and that they can be proud of. We look forward to receiving these new proposals.”

The statement was signed by Jeff Green, City Administrator, and directed anyone interested in submitting a proposal to call the city of West Palm Beach’s Procurement Director, Frank Hayden.

“Here’s another great opportunity for public golf for all our great consumers to play, and if this thing doesn’t happen it will be terrible,” Ken Kennerly, Executive Director for The Honda Classic pro tournament that is held in Palm Beach County, told WPTV.

Kennerly, who has attended some of the meetings for the redevelopment plans, told WPTV that reports of the redevelopment and promise of a Topgolf venue had no doubt spiked an interest in the sport and promised to bring new revenue to the area.

“I just think Topgolf and Drive Shack are enormous vehicles to help grow this great game of golf,” Kennerly said.

While Palm Beach County is Florida’s golf capital, Kennerly noted, it’s lacking public golf courses. But redevelopment projects like the one that was planned in West Palm Beach would drive more people to the area, he told WPTV.

“The future of golf is very bright in South Florida and that’s why it’s critical to have daily-fee courses developed and redeveloped to give people an opportunity to play,” said Kennerly.

The residents who now have to look at the abandoned golf course from their properties are also upset, WPTV reported, and are expressing a hope that its decades-long history doesn’t get completely erased.

“It’s just turning into a wildlife refuge at this point,” resident Lorraine Smith told the station.

Smith has lived across the street from the golf course for the past 15 years and said she enjoys watching all the activity from her front yard.

“I’m disappointed that they decided to just put a stop to it,” said Smith. “It’s been here over 50 years. It used to be a really busy course, and it would be great to see it come back and flourish.”

To view the video of WPTV’s report on the project and decision, go to https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/west-palm-beach/palm-beach-county-commissioners-reject-redevelopment-plans-for-wpb-municipal-golf-course