After more than a year since Boynton Beach’s leaders approved the waterfront Riverwalk Plaza redevelopment, construction began Wednesday.
Owner Isram Realty plans to provide a major update to the southeast corner of Federal Highway and Woolbright Road, which backs up to the Intracoastal Waterway, and will add 10 stories of rental apartments. One-, two- and three-bedroom units are estimated to be priced between $1,800 and $3,500.
Isram’s project will renovate a building that currently houses Walgreens and Jo-Ann Fabrics; it will build a commercial structure that will front Federal; and it will demolish the buildings that house the now-closed Winn-Dixie and restaurants such as Sushi Simon and Rice Fine Thai restaurants. Also in that restaurant building is Josie’s Ristorante, but that portion will not be torn down and the restaurant will remain there, said owner Stephanie Setticasi.
The most contentious piece of the project has been the apartments because of their height, which commissioners have already signed off on.
Isram president Shaul Rikman gave the update Tuesday at a community meeting hosted by the Boynton Intracoastal Group just south of the property on Federal. BIG past president Tom McClure said Rikman will be an “outstanding neighbor.”
Rikman touted his project as an upgrade for the area and said residents will get a “bang for your buck.” Despite that, some neighbors are still worried about increased traffic and people the development will bring. The intersection currently attracts 39,000 cars per day, according to Isram’s website.
Rikman said all the cars that Winn-Dixie attracted over the years will be replaced with the new residents. But the store closed in January 2015 so the intersection has been without that traffic for awhile.
The project will be built in four phases, with the first being the renovation of the Walgreens and Jo-Ann building. Both stores are expected to stay open during the work, said Rikman. That phase is expected to take three to four months. The Bond and Smolders bakery next to the Winn-Dixie and Sushi Simon will move to that building, which Rikman said will be “state-of-the-art.”
“You’re going to start seeing quite a bit going on over here,” Rikman told the group.
Phase 2 is the 4,600-square-foot commercial building fronting Federal which should see construction start in about four months. Phase 3 and 4 includes demolishing the Winn-Dixie, which should happen later this year, and work on the apartments, which should start at the beginning of 2019, Rikman said.