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Palm Beach County group rejects Kushner warehouse plan in West Delray Beach

Proposed project located in county's Agriculture Reserve
Kushner West Delray Beach Project
Posted at 3:54 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 17:22:54-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A controversial project with ties to the father of Jared Kushner, former President Donald Trump's son-in-law, is facing pushback in West Delray Beach.

Kushner Companies, owned by Charles Kushner submitted a plan to Palm Beach County in November asking to build a nearly 1-million-square-foot distribution center at the site.

The 50-acre parcel of land is located north of West Atlantic Avenue and west of the Turnpike. Currently, there is a nursery at the site.

"Really the entire project is just not the right thing for the right place," said Beth Rappaport, the president of the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Association (COBWRA).

Aerial view of land in West Delray sought to be purchased by Kushner Companies, April 5, 2021
Aerial view of a 50-acre parcel of land in West Delray Beach seeking to be purchased by Kushner Companies.

She said their alliance represents nearly 150,000 people who live near this proposed project, and they don't want this built on the land.

"A lot of the times what we want to do is catch things right in the beginning right away," Rappaport said.

Rappaport said the traffic on Atlantic Avenue is already a mess, and a distribution center would only add to it.

She said the project has not reached a public hearing with the planning and zoning board yet, so COBWRA is letting their opposition known to the county.

Beth Rappaport, Coalition of Boynton West Residential Association
Beth Rappaport of COBWRA says the project would only add more traffic to Atlantic Avenue.

"Perhaps [we can] get the developer to realize this is really not the right place for this and to find another location," Rappaport said.

She adds the project is within the county's Agriculture Reserve, which requires developers to follow certain rules. This includes the county having to rezone this plot of land to allow the distribution site.

Kushner President Laurent Morali said Monday they are encouraged about the prospects of the project.

"We are more and more enthusiastic about our development project in Delray. Similar to our experience with other markets, including seven other ongoing projects in South Florida, we are always committed to delivering a best-in-class project that benefits the entire community," Morali said in a written statement.

Jared Kushner's father, Charles Kushner, was convicted in 2005 of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering. He was released from prison in 2006 but was pardoned by President Trump late last year.