A massive office-residential-retail complex would rise at the empty southeast corner of Boynton Beach Boulevard and Federal Highway, according to a proposal that got a conditional green light from city officials on Tuesday.
The board of the city’s community redevelopment agency voted 7-0 to give developer One Boynton LLC a half-acre sliver of land that once housed the Relax Inn motel. It’s worth about $450,000. But if the project goes through, the developer would combine the lot with an adjacent 3-acre tract it owns that stretches a block down to Ocean Avenue.
And over the next six years, it would construct a $128 million complex rising as high as 12 stories, with a combined 282 residential units and 120 hotel rooms, 18,505 square feet of retail, and 1,168 parking spaces.
The project still is far from a done deal. The developer must work out the land transfer with the city and must have financing in place. The city then would have to approve the actual project.
Another big name in the mix: Kanner and Pintaluga. The large law firm, founded in Boynton Beach, moved to offices near the Arts Garage complex in downtown Delray Beach. It’s now outgrown those digs and has made a $2.5 million bid on the Arts Garage space.
“They’ve expressed their sincere interest in (the proposed Boynton Beach project), and based on that, we’re going forward,” Owen Duke, development director for One Boynton LLC, said Wednesday.
The project would generate about $3.45 million in city construction and permitting fees, and annual property taxes would jump from $28,565 to more than $562,000.
The city had bought the tract in 2002 for $900,000, using all but a half-acre acre of it to extend Boynton Beach Boulevard to the Boynton Harbor Marina.
The three acres owned by the developer hosted a 2-story Bank of America building that has been vacant for about two years. It was razed in December.
The developer would create public plazas, water features, public art and walkways, and would make about 400 of its parking spaces available to the public, mostly after work hours.
“For such a long time, we have been wishing and hoping for a project of this type,” board member and vice mayor Woodrow Hay said.
“We need a flagship hotel, an upscale hotel, that ties in with the marina, ties in with everything else we’re doing,” CRA board member Mark Karageorge said. “That’s even more jobs.”
Noting that Kanner and Pintaluga immediately would bring 200 jobs, Karageorge said, “so you’ve got jobs up front and jobs at the back end, along with temporary jobs that are (in) construction and engineering.”
And board member James “Buck” Buchanan noted that, while he’d have preferred a height limit of seven stories, the city allows 15 stories.
“Our little piece of property can help make this a better project,” he said; otherwise, “we have a useless piece of property (70) feet wide.”
PROPOSED DOWNTOWN BOYNTON BEACH PROJECT:
Phase 1 (April 2013-February 2015): Six-story, 50,000 square feet of offices over 300-space garage. Proposed anchor: Kanner and Pintaluga law firm.
Phase 2: (January 2014-April 2017): Twelve-story, 183-unit residential tower at north end of site; seven floors of apartments over 506 space garage, as well as retail and office space.
Phase 3: (June 2015-June 2018): Eleven-story, 99-unit residential tower on south end of site.
Phase 4: (January 2016-January 2019): 12-story, 120-room hotel at south end of site, with 120 parking spaces.
Source: Washington Real Estate Partners LLC