Commissioners sign off on proposed Atlantic Crossing settlement

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Atlantic Crossing is another step closer to reality.

Delray Beach commissioners unanimously signed off an amended settlement agreement Wednesday night.

The $200 million redevelopment project plans to bring apartments, offices, restaurants and shops to 9 acres of East Atlantic Ave. The project was approved by the city in 2013. It has been in litigation for more than a year.

Now, the new settlement will go before the developers of Atlantic Crossing, Ohio-based Edwards Cos. to agree to the deal.

“The time has come to move forward with a settlement,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said.

The settlement adds an east-west access road into the project from Federal Highway that many residents advocated for.

Commissioners agreed to a settlement proposed last March, but the developer wanted to see several minor changes and submitted an addendum to the agreement. After a bit of negotiating, this version of the settlement will be up to the developers to sign off on.

“If we are negotiating there can’t be perfect for both sides,” Commissioner Mitch Katz said. “We are pretty close here. We all have concerns about this project. We all have concerns about the size. We all have concerns about the traffic. We all have concerns about the green space, but those are all decisions that have been made.”

The agreement provides a timeline for funding and improvements the developer must make to the project.

If the settlement is finalized, the proposed road and changes to accommodate it will have to go before the city’s site plan review and appearance board.

If a resident or third party challenges the approval process moving forward, the proposed settlement is subject to going away, which would land the city and the developer back in the court room, according to the city’s outside legal counsel.

“While reaching settlement has been challenging, we’re eager to work with the City to get Atlantic Crossing underway, and finally bring the east end of Atlantic Avenue to life,” said COO Edwards Companies Dean Kissos in a statement.”As a private investment of more than $200 million, Atlantic Crossing will deliver hundreds of jobs, millions in annual tax revenues for the City, and a high quality destination to anchor Downtown’s east end. We’re excited to get the ball rolling and to work with the City to obtain final approvals as soon as possible. We look forward to having the settlement become final, enabling us to dismiss the state and federal lawsuits, assuming there are no third-party challenges to the agreement.”