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Delray close to settling $40 million lawsuit with Atlantic Crossing


The developer of Atlantic Crossing, a mixed use complex planned in the heart of Delray Beach’s downtown, is close to the end of a two-year legal feud with the city — but not quite there.

Ohio-based Edwards Cos. has accused the city of deliberately stalling development, costing the company $40 million, in a lawsuit filed in 2015.

A proposal to settle the suit against the city by developers of the 9-acre office-retail-residential complex planned at Federal Highway and Atlantic Avenue, was sent to the company two weeks ago.

But before Edwards Cos. signs, it wants to add “minor but critical clarifications,” Dean Kissos, chief operations officer at Edwards Cos., said Monday.

» READ: Ring in the spring at Delray Morikami Museum’s Hatsume Fair

Edwards Cos. agrees to conditions outlined by the city, Kissos said, but requested details on how each party will execute the project’s conditions, including an obligation to fund traffic calming efforts in nearby Marina Historic District and Palm Trail neighborhoods.

Kissos wrote in an email: “It’s important to specify how each party will satisfy its obligations when it comes to executing the project’s conditions of approval.

“We’re ready to move forward once the City signs the addendum. With the final agreement in place, we can end the still-pending lawsuit, provided there is no third-party legal challenge, which would void the settlement.”

The revised settlement agreement will go back to the city commission for approval.

If both parties agree, Edwards Cos. still has to run the previously-approved project by three boards for the OK to develop: the Site Plan Review and Appearance Board, the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission.

Atlantic Crossing wouldn’t be approved for construction for at least two or three months, said Jamie Cole, an attorney for the city.

And Edwards Cos. has the legal right to pull out of the settlement agreement at any point if a third-party sues the city.

The project was first proposed in 2011, and developers have gone back-and-forth with the city for appropriate approvals.

The project would include 82 luxury condos, 261 apartments, 83,000-square-feet of office space and 76,000-square-feet of shops and restaurants in six three or four-story buildings.

The lengthy legal battle has cost Delray $458,000 in legal fees, Commissioner Jordana Jarjura said.



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