Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Atlantic Blue School of Polytechnic

"So there's $10 million for the USF students, then $22 million for Polytech, which right now doesn't have any students," Dockery said.

Sen. Paula Dockery's remark summed up the insanity of making a USF Polytechnic an independent university. The Florida House voted 86-31 to make Polytechnic independent. The Senate, where JD Alexander rules, as Budget Committee chair, voted 36-4. With the exception of the House and Senate members that voted against a bill that sole purpose was to increase the property values of Alexander's family-owned company Atlantic Blue. Alexander needs the university to justify the state building a toll road near his ranch.

The proposed 110-mile road stretches through the ranches, farms and swamps of inland Florida, from Collier County to I-4. In real estate, that's a good thing. Land prices typically skyrocket for property adjacent to newly built transportation facilities.

Nearly all of Blue Head Ranch, a massive piece of property controlled by one of Alexander's companies, lies directly in the path of the proposed roadway. The company, Atlantic Blue, plans 30,000 residential units and 11 million square feet of nonresidential development on 7,500 acres of the ranch, according to its website.

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