Midtown Project Postponed Until March

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By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor

Proposed plans to redevelop part of the city’s Old School Square Historic District with a new development known as Midtown Delray will come before commissioners for approval or denial this month.

Originally scheduled to be discussed at a February meeting, attorneys for the developer Delray Beach-based Hudson Holdings asked to postpone the hearing so they could make additional changes to the $140 million project.

Midtown Delray proposes adding a hotel, apartments, restaurants and shops. The 7-acre project is located on the south side of West Atlantic Avenue between South Swinton Avenue and Southwest First Avenue. It is an area that holds historic value to the city, but also an area that needs a facelift as many of the structures are dilapidated.

Attorney Bonnie Miskel called those changes beneficial to the project and said they address concerns residents have raised. The request to postpone will allow city staff time to review the revisions and make a recommendation to the commission on whether they comply with city development rules.

Miskel said the proposed changes will eliminate three of the five waivers the developer is requesting to build the project.

“Our plans will change, not significantly, but positively,” she told commissioners.

In a 4-1 vote, commissioners agreed to delay the vote on the project so the developers can submit their updated version of the development for consideration.

Commissioner Shelly Petrolia cast the sole dissenting vote on the postponement.

“This has been going on for a very, very, very long time,” she said. “It’s been delayed and delayed and here we are again delaying it again. I think we have given plenty of time and I think we should move forward.”

The project has gone through several iterations and names like Swinton Commons since it was first proposed several years ago.

Mayor Cary Glickstein said he had concerns about affording the developer due process and supported the delay along with the rest of the commission.

“Our job is to get the best possible project we can,” he said.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on March 6.