More apartments and townhomes are coming to Boynton Beach off Congress Avenue by way of a developer who also plans to throw about $500,000 more to expand a dog park overlooking a lake in the same neighborhood.
Boca Raton-based JKM Developers planned to build 115 single-family homes as the last of three phases at Cortina in the Boynton Village and Town Center. But a change in the market pushed him to scratch the single-family homes and instead build 378 apartments in nine four-story buildings and 55 town homes in 11 two-story buildings.
John Markey, the company’s principal, came before the City Commission on Tuesday for approval, which he received. A handful of neighbors from the Sky Lake community told the commissioners they’d rather see single-family homes. However, the city said the developer has the legal right to build apartments and townhomes.
Mayor Steven Grant said he looked at the size of the lots and said: “There’s no way you can put a home on 4,000 square feet and make it feasible.”
Commissioner Justin Katz said he would like to see more home ownership opportunities for residents but “this is what the market bares right now.”
Bonnie Miskel, an attorney for the developer, said the apartments and townhomes could be easily converted into condos should the market change.
The homes were to be one of three phases for a total of 1,108 residences that commissioners approved in 2015. The two other sections were approved as 643 condos and 350 apartments. But that also changed. The condo plan was scratched and will be 324 apartments by Alta Developers. The plan for the 350 apartments survived and is open to the public as The District.
This residential development joins the existing commercial portion of Boynton Village and Town Center, on the east side of Congress at Old Boynton Road. The commercial portion includes stores such as Target, Michael’s and Total Wine & More.
Also as part of Cortina, JKM built a dog park that was recently renamed Officer Joseph Crowder Park & Dog Park in honor of the late Joseph Crowder, a Boynton Beach police officer who died in December 2016 after suffering a heart attack while exercising.
The dog park has become such a hit that Markey wants to expand it.
The expansion would include a pier for fishing, another enclosed area for dogs, more parking and shaded structures and benches. In addition to Markey’s $500,000, Commissioner Katz wants to put park impact fees toward the dog park.
“I think it will become a true focal point for the western side of the city,” Katz said.