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Delray Beach enhancing empty storefronts to help connect city

DDA plans to add signs, use artists, merchandise to fill vacant spaces
Empty storefront in downtown Delray Beach
Posted at 4:29 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 18:38:10-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Delray Beach is hoping to add some life to its vacant storefronts in the downtown area.

The Downtown Development Authority has started a new program that will blend empty spaces and connect the downtown better.

COVID-19 impacts have made it more difficult to fill vacant spaces and the DDA said it wants this to help bring life to empty storefronts.

Slash Fitness owners Austin Brock and Joe Ardagna said they are in support of any idea that could help the city.

"The more things we can try to bring the community together the better," Ardagna said.

The DDA plans to add signs, use artists or merchandise to fill the vacant spaces.

'Prime Space For Lease' sign in downtown Delray Beach
This "prime space for lease" sign fills an empty storefront in downtown Delray Beach.

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DDA Executive Director Laura Simon said they are working with landlords to find the best fit for spaces. She said they want people to walk or drive by and not see a "for lease" sign in an empty window.

"The connectivity is really important and makes the walkability much more inviting," she added.

Brock said if people walk outside of Atlantic Avenue more, there is a better chance to find their gym a few blocks away.

"Just get outside and walk around and maybe you find a building or a restaurant or store you didn't know existed because you never walked in that area before," he said.

Simon said anyone interested in filling their empty storefronts can contact the DDA.