Delray Beach Gives Land away to Developers
By:AJ Walker; Sun Sentinel - February 5, 2019
Controversial land along Atlantic Avenue, long for sale by the city, will be given to a developer that plans to do a lot with it.
Real estate developer BH3 won the bid for the land, which is worth about $17 million even though several other developers offered about $4 million for it.
In the end, many said it just made sense to give to BH3 after reviewing their proposal.
Commissioner Adam Frankel said BH3’s proposal was selected mainly because the developer was able to provide 700 parking spaces that are badly needed in the area, and that it was the only developer that offered a “destination place” that people could go to.
BH3’s pitch included a retail-office-apartment complex called “Atla West” which will front Atlantic Avenue. It will include a pedestrian strip of stores and offices called “Frog Alley”, paying homage to that historic neighborhood nearby. It will have a grocery store, urgent care and pharmacy, and will include about 700 parking spots in three garages.
All of the other proposals that developer BH3 beat out had offered plans to build a grocery store, housing, stores and parking, but the city felt this choice would make the biggest impact on blight in the area.
“Let’s complete Atlantic Avenue from 95 all the way to the beach. This is the destination, the missing piece for downtown and we’re very excited about it,” said Richard Jones, whose architecture firm is on the project.
There was talk of BH3 getting $13 million in tax money toward building the complex, but Frankel said that’s not going to happen.
Although BH3 has been selected, it will still take another 60 days to finalize the deal.