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Boynton Beach businesses petition against new mixed-use development

Businesses owners fear reducing parking, congestion
Artist rendering of a new mixed-use development proposed to be built at 115 North Federal Hwy. in Boynton Beach.
Posted at 1:45 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 17:39:56-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A proposal to build a new mixed-use development in Boynton Beach is provoking a backlash from some local businesses.

This week the city accepted a letter of intent from a developer to build an approximately $60 million project at 115 N. Federal Hwy. on 2.60 acres of land.

The development would create 229 residential units, 18,000 square feet of commercial space and 544 parking spaces.

The property was purchased by the Community Redevelopment Agency in May 2018 for $3 million. The CRA then leased the building to the city for use as a temporary library during the construction of the city's new Town Square.

By accepting the letter of intent, it will give the city 90 days to negotiate and talk about the project with the developer, Ocean Avenue Residences and Shoppes, LLC. The public can offer their input at meetings held to discuss the issue.

The mayor said he would like to see a train station added to the plan.

"We want this as a downtown location and a commuter location," Boynton Beach Mayor Steve Grant said.

However, some local businesses fear this project will hurt their revenue, prompting a petition that has been signed by 1,880 people.

The business owner who started the petition, Kim Kelly, said the new development will eliminate parking at Hurricane Alley seafood restaurant.

Kelly started Hurricane Alley in 1996 and says the project is not a good fit for the area. The development will be built right behind her restaurant.

"After helping build it up, they want to tear us down!! Help STOP this travesty," the petition reads. "Look around you and realize the buildings and storefronts they have already built are vacant and gives a bad look."

Hurricane Alley owner Kim Kelly
Hurricane Alley owner Kim Kelly is worried a proposed development behind her restaurant in Boynton Beach, Fla., will take up parking and hurt her business.

The petition goes on to say that "our City caters to a working-class and we do not want to become another DELRAY! Congested, overpopulated and NO where to PARK!!"

"If you just have more of a walking community, shopping district so to speak, it would really bring more people down here," Kelly said. "We are all for redevelopment. We are just not for development."

"We are not set or we are not bound to make any sort of decision," Grant said. "The community can speak up at any CRA meeting about what they want."

Kelly hopes the project is not built for the sake of her business.

"If that happens. I don't know if we will survive," Kelly said.