Winger wants delay in decision on sale of City’s Dodgertown property

MARK SCHUMANN

Richard Winger
Richard Winger

Vero Beach City Councilman Richard Winger is not warming up to the idea of selling 35 acres of public open space, especially if the deal nets the City a loss of some $7 million dollars.

The land, located southeast of the intersection of 43rd Avenue and Aviation Boulevard, was once a 9-hole golf course own and operated by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Purchased by the City in 2005 for $10 million, the land is now the subject of a possible acquisition by a Palm Beach Gardens developer who is proposing to buy it for $2.7 million for a 280-home development.

Yesterday, Winger submitted an agenda idea for the March 7 City Council meeting proposing that any decision on selling the land be delayed until the Council’s first meeting in April.

Winger wants a closer look, and a public airing, of the considerations that went into the decision to by the land in 2005. Whether or not to sell the land is, Winger said, as much a visions issue as it is an economic one. “While the 2005 Council paid too much; money is a tangential issue,” Winger wrote, adding, “The real issue is whether the City Council of 2005 had the correct vision then and whether that vision is the correct vision now.”

When the 2005 Council bought the land, city leaders planned to develop it into public open space comparable to Riverside Park.

Related Story: Concerns over possible sale of old Dodgertown course raise larger questions about City’s future

2 comments

  1. With the possibility of taking a HUGE loss on the old golf course property, I can understand wanting to look at the proposed deal very closely. The proximity to Dodgertown might not be attractive to all who’d look at one of those 200 plus new dwellings. Traffic issues, closeness to airport, and who-knows-what-else could cause headaches all around. Makes good sense not to rush into a quick sale – if any.

  2. Moss, Howle, Sykes are heading for a new record for bad deals for Vero. Selling Vero Electric for a $17,000,000 loss and selling Dodgertown for a loss of $7,000,000 will set a new standard for incompetence. Yes, a $24,000,000 loss will set a new record an make Vero the butt of jokes for many years into the future.

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