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Major Delray Beach development threatened by inactivity

Posted at 9:00 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-01 14:43:14-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Delray Beach city officials have put a developer on notice.

The city wants builders to get going on a major housing, retail, and office development it approved more than a year ago when it’s Community Redevelopment Agency gave land, appraised at $17 million to the BH3 Company for free.

A look at the 6 acres along Atlantic Avenue appears to show nothing has been done.

But a lawyer for the developers isn’t worried.

“We are going forward. Full speed ahead” says attorney Neil Schiller.

The developers renamed the former Alta West project Fabrick.

“They really see this as being a major part of the fabric of the Delray community," said Schiller.

Fabrick’s design is more modern, with more parking, more rental units, and an above-ground park.

He says the changes were made in part to satisfy unnamed supermarket chain.

Because there are few grocery options in Delray Beach, city officials made having a supermarket mandatory to anchor the development, project.

Schiller says that has also contributed to the delay, “Once we were down the road with a grocer, far enough down the road, they had a lot of demands for the project.”

But the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency served BH3 with a 30-day notice of default. That means the city could terminate the project.

But CRD member Adam Frankel hopes developers see this as a nudge.

Franke said, “It’s time to start moving on the project.”

Delray Beach resident and artist Lorrie Turner hasn’t seen the new, more modern design of the proposed development. But she says most projects in Delray run behind schedule.

“Oh, it will get delayed,” she said. “But eventually it will get done.”

Schiller says the project will provide a boost for Delray Beach, and believes all the hurdles to the development will soon be cleared.

Neil Schiller believes all hurdles will be cleared.

“We are committed to getting a shovel in the ground before March,” claims the attorney. “March first of next year.”

Developers plan to hold public hearings on the project's new design next month.

One selling point according to Schiller: They project the redesigned development to create 100 more jobs, and generate more money for Delray Beach.