Delray Redevelopment Agency Inks Agreement With BH3 For West Atlantic Avenue Project

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Staff report

Delray Beach’s West Atlantic Avenue is one step closer to receiving a redevelopment project.

Last month, Delray Community Redevelopment Agency board members agreed to a purchase and sale agreement with BH3 Management to bring its project to the 600-800 blocks of the downtown on West Atlantic Avenue.

“We are married,” Mayor Shelly Petrolia said after the board voted on the agreement.

Commissioner Shirley Johnson challenged the board attorney and developer’s attorney to negotiate a contract in 60 days.

The negotiations still carried over to the dais on decision day. Ultimately, the board agreed to the terms the developer proffered.

The project will bring a community desired grocery store, open space and parks, office space, housing including workforce housing and parking.

The agreed upon purchase price: $10.

Attorney for the developer Neil Schiller said the project will bring more than $15 million in value. He said the parking is estimated to be worth $10 million and the workforce housing $5 million.

“Even though we aren’t giving you a check at closing, we are providing extraordinary value in this project,” he said.

Because the developer is not paying for the land, the board wanted to create safeguards in the contract to protect the land and ensure the project will be built. The board wants to protect the developers from flipping the land over to another owner.

“I am all for the project,” board member Pam Brinson said. “But if anything happens, we are going to take the fall for it.”

To help protect the CRA and the land, the contract states that the agency will have the right to repurchase if the installation of a concrete foundation where the grocery store will be built is not completed within 180 of the construction commencement date.

It also states the developer will be on the hook for paying $4 million if it doesn’t retain a certain percent of ownership in the project.

Chairwoman Shelly Petrolia wanted the number to be higher, but the board agreed $4 million, which is the price other developers submitted as purchase prices before BH3 was selected was high enough.

The project still has to receive city approvals including site plan approval before construction can begin.

Board member Adam Frankel said he wants to make sure the city provides the staff necessary to get the project rolling.

“I want to see this project built now,” he said.