By Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Parkland closed on a large tract of land, which will be set aside as part of their future park master plan.
On December 3, the city purchased 24.3 acres for $7.1 million from Beasley Media Group, an owner/operator of radio stations based in Naples, Florida.
Located on the northeast corner of Nob Hill Road and Hillsboro Boulevard, the property, along with the 11.2-acre adjacent land already owned by the city, gives the city 36-acres for future parks or open space.
The idea to purchase the property, which sits in unincorporated Broward County, was born at the August 2018 city commission meeting. While discussing developing the adjacent 12-acre property into a park, Mayor Christine Hunschofsky suggested the city consider purchasing the Beasley property next door.
“I just thought that our city’s needs would be much greater than what was possible with only 12-acres and wondered why don’t we just reach out to the owners of the 24-acres next door and see if they would be willing to sell to us.”
There was a consensus on the commission, and they moved forward.
In September of 2018, the city budgeted $11.2 million for the 2018/19 fiscal year to purchase land and develop it into a park. But first, they needed to agree on a price with Beasley Media.
According to City Manager Nancy Morando, the $8 million price tag was out of reach for the commission.
After the commission urged her at the April 2019 Strategic Planning Meeting to negotiate a better price, Morando continued further negotiations. Additionally, Hunschofsky met with Chief Executive Officer Caroline Beasley in June to convey the city’s position.
Eventually, Morando and Beasley settled on the price of $7.1 million— the sale equating $292,181.00 per acre.
Next up will be the year-long process of incorporating the land, and soon, the towers will be coming down. However, don’t expect to see any cows grazing there. The city is already tax-exempt and doesn’t need them.
Hunschofsky said the 24 additional acres provides a wonderful opportunity now that the city has purchased it.
“Originally, Lennar had been interested in acquiring the property. Since the property is now in city hands, it provides three benefits: The radio towers will be removed, the property will not be used to develop additional housing, and the city now has more options for parks and recreation facilities as needed.”