Recreation vs. Restaurant: Boca Raton City Council to Hold Hearing about Usage of Former Wildflower Property
By: Aaron Tefel
This coming July, the Boca Raton City Council will hold a hearing about plans to develop a waterfront restaurant for downtown Boca Raton.
The 2.27 acre property, which is located at 551 E. Palmetto Park Road, is the subject of being made into a Hillstone restaurant. Discussions of a proposed plan to build the property into a Hillstone restaurant have been going on since 2012.
The property used to be the host of a nightclub in the 80’s called Wildflower, but has been vacant ever since it closed down. The city of Boca Raton proceeded to purchase the property back in 2009 for $7.5 million.
With people being excited for the promise that a new waterfront restaurant holds for the city of Boca there are those who would rather use the land as a green space or park.
That being said, while there seems to be a good trend at the moment for developing the property into a Hillstone restaurant, there have been several times where the plans for making the establishment have fallen through. More recently back in October of 2015, Hillstone pulled their offer out for the property as talks were not going as smoothly at the time.
This decision at the time had some citizens of Boca being more persistent that the city council rethink about the idea of developing the area into a park or even a space that boaters could utilize like docks.
However, the Boca Raton City Council turned down the idea at the time citing that the cost to safely develop a temporary park would be $313,500. Additionally, the issue with creating docks immediately is the fact that the city council is still waiting on the results from seagrass testing that is currently underway. The results from these tests will be available in the coming weeks.
While the concept of developing the property into a park might seem counterintuitive to Hillstone’s plans moving forward, talks of creating a dock on the property are not. Hillstone does not mind the construction of a dock as long as it doesn’t interfere and obstruct the view of the intracoastal.
Until the final hearing on July 26, citizens of Boca Raton will be waiting eagerly to see what the concrete plans for the former Wildflower property will be.
photo by: Veronica Haggar