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Breaking: Sinkhole opens outside Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach

Luxury Gardens club gets $8 million for new restaurant, spa, upgrades


A luxury Palm Beach Gardens club is about to get $8 million in renovations, including a new golf short course and instruction area, a new restaurant, a renovated spa and a tennis club.

Frenchman’s Reserve Country Club’s plans to reconfigure its golf course and preserve areas and update the amenities around its clubhouse were approved 5-0 by the Palm Beach Gardens City Council on March 2. The 457-home community is on Hood Road on the east side of Alternate A1A.

“In order to remain competitive with some of the other adjacent golf course communities within the area who have had recent upgrades to their areas for their members, Frenchman’s has decided to add a couple of enhancements,” planner Nicole Plunkett said when she presented the plans to City Council.

RELATED: Upscale Palm Beach Gardens country club planning another expansion

The enhancements include the addition of a putting green and three practice holes on a roughly 4-acre short course; a golf teaching center that’s protected from the elements; a roomier tennis club; cabanas and a children’s splash pad near the pool and a new, freestanding restaurant to replace the Parc, she said.

When it’s raining, golfers in two bays of the training center will be able to hit the opposite direction into a simulator against the wall of the training center, said Jay Walkinshaw, the club’s general manager. Sensors can monitor how the body is performing.

Using technology in golf instruction is one way for clubs to stay relevant, he said.

“Being able to offer it on property is tremendous,” he said.

The fitness center and spa will also be expanded. The spa will have three new private courtyard/garden spa rooms, Plunkett said.

“It will just be a nice, special little touch to the spa,” she said.

An area that’s used for tennis will be remodeled into an expanded youth center where kids can be entertained, do homework and play video games, he said. The club is building another tennis court, bringing it to a total of eight.

The restaurant to be built where a courtyard is now will be more casual, serving golfers and pool-goers with a more open kitchen, Walkinshaw said. It will have about 20 more regular seats and eight more bar seats, plus more outdoor seating.

The club is about halfway through a $16 million renovation, Walkinshaw said. The club’s money for capital improvements and initiation fees for new members will pay for the improvements, he said. Club members’ fees will not increase.

Frenchman’s Reserve in May 2015 reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum in a lawsuit with Toll Brothers subsidiary Binks Estates Limited Partnership. The club, which was seeking more than $15 million, alleged the developer held onto the clubhouse to offset losses instead of turning over control to members at the appropriate time.

Some of the money from the settlement is being used to pay for the renovations, Walkinshaw said.



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