Ibis Golf and Country Club member Bill Blumberg says it’s about time the West Palm Beach community expanded and updated some of its facilities.
The 67-year-old Ibis board member, who’s belonged to the community since 2000, said the project’s been a nearly 2 1/2 year effort. He just hopes he’s alive to see it finished.
The community is now designing expansions and additions projected to finish in late 2015, said John Jorritsma, Ibis’ sales and marketing director. Construction starts later this year on the project, which will add 23,000 square feet to the 50,000-square-foot clubhouse and create a “sports village.”
New amenities will include a sports bar with tabling for 243 people, a new kitchen, a library, card rooms, expanded ballroom capacity and locker rooms, Jorritsma said.
The “sports village” comes with a two-story fitness complex, spa and wellness center and aquatic center. The $33 million project’s funding came from membership fees and Ibis’ reserves.
The expansions should improve current members’ club experiences and help attract new members, Jorritsma said. Home sales have increased 22 percent since members approved the project on Jan. 22, and 12 more home sales will close this month.
Because of how the construction phases are laid out, members should never be deprived of services. The old amenities will be available while the new ones are worked on.
The project will create about 100-150 jobs, Jorritsma said. The Weitz Company construction firm and Leo A Daly architecture firmhave been hired.
“It’s a good indication of what’s happening in the economy right now,” he said. “The fact that we’re spending and home sales are up — it’s good news.”
Blumberg, who chairs the long-range planning committee that shaped the expansion plan, said nearly 80 percent of voting members approved the expansion. Opposition to the project came from some of Ibis’ oldest members.
Blumberg’s excited to see facilities he regularly uses get an update and said residents will see a large enough return on house values that will compensate the cost.
“People are excited about it,” he said. “I think, ultimately, it’s going to be beautiful.”