Housing style for proposed Cottage District in Boynton could change

Nov 20, 2017
An example of possible housing at the Cottage District. (Handout: Boynton Beach CRA)

The Boynton Beach redevelopment agency recommended that commissioners consider types of housing other than only single-family homes designed like cottages for two blocks in the Heart of Boynton named the Cottage District .

But they aren’t expected to make a decision for at least six months.

Community Redevelopment Agency staff proposes giving developers the option of building single-family detached homes, or clustering homes with shared driveways, multi-family attached homes with parking or common parking and live/work town homes.

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The commission, sitting as the CRA board, asked staff to craft a request for proposals that would be sent to developers to build on the CRA-owned land. But after hearing the ideas last week, the board decided to wait on feedback.

Commissioner Mack McCray, who represents the district that houses the Cottage District, on Northeast Fourth and Fifth avenues, said the agency has “too many things in the hopper” and, concerned about money, said, “the well’s gonna run dry.”

The CRA owns about four acres of land in the Cottage District and has said the area would be redeveloped into single-family homes designed like cottages. The CRA put out a request for proposals in 2016 and received zero responses.

Former CRA board member Mark Karageorge complimented staff for being flexible.

But David Katz, a former city commissioner and chair of the city’s planning and development advisory board, recommends keeping it to single-family homes. He told the board to model the area after Ocean Breeze West , 4.37 acres of land at Sixth Avenue on the west side of Seacrest Boulevard. It’s a community of 21 single-family homes built by Habitat for Humanity and the Boynton Beach Faith Based Community Development Corp.

The CRA board, at the Nov. 14 meeting, gave no opinion.

Meanwhile, the board is giving development another shot at Ocean Breeze East , about 4.5 acres at Seacrest Boulevard between Northeast Sixth Avenue and Northeast Seventh Street. They chose Centennial Management Corp. to develop a three-story building of 123 affordable apartments with about 2,500 square feet to be used as the new Neighborhood Officer Program office and community space. The company is applying for tax credits to build the development and should find out next year if they received them.