Heron Bay Parkland
The City of Parkland (City) City Commission voted unanimously at the August 16, 2023 City Commission meeting to sell the approximately 21 acres that comprise the so-called "dog log" portion of the Heron Bay property to Toll Brothers for $19.5 million for development of no more than 52 homes. This sale to Toll Brothers, developers of Parkland Golf and Country Club, follows the City's purchase of the entire parcel of approximately 65 acres for $25.4 million in January 2023.
In an extensive call for developers process, the City enlisted the assistance of Colliers, an independent organization well-versed in real estate, development, and securing developers. At the June 7, 2023 City Commission meeting, the City Commission ranked the top three prospective developers for the residential portion based on a variety of factors including potential purchase price and development details such as home size and style, lot size, and how well the development would integrate with the surrounding homes in Heron Bay.
The City and Toll Brothers, which mutually envision the project as a high-end complement to the surrounding area that integrates seamlessly with the Heron Bay Homeowners Association, will work closely through the approvals for the project.
Commercial / Retail Portion
The City moved forward seeking a conceptual plan design for the commercial / retail portion of the Heron Bay property. This resulted in a selected planner to create a concept for the property that is a complement to the immediate surrounding area and Parkland as a whole.
At the June 7, 2023 Commission meeting, the City Commission approved a Request for Proposal (RFP) committee ranking which selected 505 Design to create that concept design for the commercial property. The design will be an idea of what might go on the property and be an appropriate complement to the community while maintaining successful service to the area long-term.
History of the Property
With a storied past of having hosted the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic for six years (1997-2002), the property was no longer an operating golf course. In fact, the golf course and the accompanying clubhouse closed in 2019.
The North Springs Improvement District (NSID), which, among other things, provides water treatment, wastewater collection, and stormwater management to nearly 40,000 residents in the cities of Parkland and Coral Springs, bought the entire golf course (approximately 223 acres) for $32 million in 2019. At that time, it was reported that it appraised for $33.5 million. Nine years earlier a Canadian-based golf course management company named ClubLink bought the golf course for $4.75 million.
After its purchase in 2019, NSID indicated that approximately 150 acres of the property would be used for stormwater management. That open green space will also allow for recreational walking trails. A portion of the property will be the site of a memorial for the 17 victims of the February 14, 2018, tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
That left approximately 70 acres of available land from the original NSID purchase—land NSID intended to develop in an effort to recoup the cost of its purchase. Land that can be developed is valuable and developing a portion of the golf course could defray much, if not all, of the original purchase price. NSID initiated an RFP, then released another, but, before moving forward with a developer, eventually accepted the offer from the City of Parkland to buy 65 acres.
It was in late Summer of 2022 that the City began exploring the possibility of purchasing the property. Ultimately, on September 21, 2022, the City Commission approved the purchase for $25.4 million.
The City’s desire to buy the property was born out of a lack of exciting proposals that would be a complement to Parkland. The prevailing logic was, the City has greater control over the fate of the property if it drives the process and generally directs prospective developers. Once a developer is selected by the City, the developer’s knowledge, experience, and resources will serve to ensure the completed project has sufficient appeal to be successful and last long-term.
Sometime after the residential site development has taken shape, the City will begin the search and selection process for a developer for the commercial / retail portion of the property. Ultimately the firm selected to design a concept for the commercial / retail portion or the developer itself will facilitate a public charrette--a planning session that would likely include residents, planners, City officials, architects, a landscape architect, a transportation expert, public safety officials, and others. This charrette would seek to elicit input from stakeholders to ensure all perspectives have been considered. This collaborative planning mechanism would enable the most desirable outcome for all of Parkland.