Boynton Beach has timetable for final downtown pitch


Boynton Beach’s 16-acre Town Square redevelopment plan received another nod of approval from city commissioners, but not from all.

Commissioner Mack McCray voted against the project because he doesn’t know how the city will pay for it and Commissioner Joe Casello is still not happy with the location of the new police station at High Ridge Road and Gateway Boulevard, away from the city’s downtown.

Staff plan to host a meeting March 13 and will present the final budget, costs and schedule . The Palm Beach Post previously reported the city has to come up with about $133 million.

Town Square, a private/public partnership, is about four blocks off Boynton Beach Boulevard east of Interstate 95 where the historic high school, library and police station are. It will be transformed into a town center with modern public buildings such as a city hall and fire station, a 40,000-square-foot amphitheater, parks, parking garages and apartments, a hotel and retail space.

Sign up for the Boynton Beach newsletter.

The city will pay $52 million through private equity bonding to be paid off over 25 years, said Colin Groff, an assistant city manager leading the project. The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency will pay the rest — nearly $81 million — over 25 years with the tax revenue it receives from the county.

McCray said he hadn’t heard how the project will be paid for, however.

“I don’t know where we’re going to get the money,” he said Tuesday.

The historic high school is under renovation as a cultural arts and civic center. The Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center will remain. Also, a district energy plant will provide cold water for air conditioning through a central chilled water plant.

Resident Herb Suss was disappointed to hear the plan calls for tearing down the library and building a new one with a city hall.

“That’s a disgrace,” he said.

The library has water intrusion problems and it would be costlier to fix the building and put the new city hall on a different piece of property than it would be to tear the library down and build a new one, said Vice Mayor Justin Katz.

The police station will be demolished and a new one built off Town Square next to Fire Station 5, which is also the emergency operations center. The station will be two stories and 53,800 square feet on land the city bought years ago with the intention that a police headquarters would be built there.

“It was probably a great idea back then but boy times have changed,” said Casello, who prefers it be in or near Town Square.

But Interim Police Chief Kelly Harris said there will be no delay in response times because the officers don’t dispatch from the station; they are always in the field.

The private part of the project — to be built by JKM Developers and E2L Real Estate Solutions — calls for a 120-room hotel at Seacrest and Boynton Beach boulevards and about 700 residential units in three buildings. The developer plans to include workforce housing, which in return the city will allow for a height bonus.

The tallest residential building, which will also have ground floor commercial space, is expected to be along Boynton Beach Boulevard at Northeast First Street. It can be a maximum of eight stories at 99 feet.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Wellington game shooting: Too close for one family in more than one way
Wellington game shooting: Too close for one family in more than one way

It all started with a cryptic text from their daughter. “I’m safe,” Hope Lerman had written to her parents, defense attorney Gregg Lerman and his wife, Debra. “I’m with Coach Pagley.” It was Friday night, and the Lermans had expected their daughter home late from one of the most highly anticipated football games...
UPDATE: Fuel tanker rolls over, injures 2 and shuts down I-95 lanes in Lake Worth
UPDATE: Fuel tanker rolls over, injures 2 and shuts down I-95 lanes in Lake Worth

7:30 P.M. UPDATE: According to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, the rollover crash involved a fuel tanker. Two people were injured and transported to a hospital by helicopter. All lanes were reported to be open. 7:05 P.M. UPDATE: According to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, the rollover crash involved a fuel tanker. Two people were injured and...
Shooting at football game in Wellington not a ‘school’ shooting
Shooting at football game in Wellington not a ‘school’ shooting

Detectives are still piecing together what really happened amid the pandemonium after a shooting at the Palm Beach Central-Dwyer high school football game Friday night. But they, school officials, parents and students alike by Saturday had all reached the same conclusion about the incident: it was not a “school” shooting.  One or both...
Wellington game shooting: Pre-K teacher huddles with teens in lockdown
Wellington game shooting: Pre-K teacher huddles with teens in lockdown

WELLINGTON – The moment pre-K teacher Britt Downey was ushered into a room by the front offices of Palm Beach Central High School late Friday, hours of code-red lockdown drills kicked in. Downey, who teaches students with autism at Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School, wound up under a desk in a room along with six teenage girls after shots were...
Florida man, 88, allegedly set raccoon on fire for eating his mangoes
Florida man, 88, allegedly set raccoon on fire for eating his mangoes

An 88-year-old man was arrested Friday for allegedly setting a raccoon on fire for eating mangoes in his yard in Palm Bay, WKMG-TV reports.  Ezra James told authorities he was afraid the raccoon would bite him and give him rabies, said WKMG.  A neighbor called 911 as the raccoon burned alive. "I throw some gasoline on him and I...
More Stories