Uptown Atlantic offers more money to get West Atlantic redevelopment project started

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By: Marisa Herman
Associate Editor

Uptown Atlantic developers increased their offer to purchase 6 acres of Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency owned land on West Atlantic Avenue from $1.2 to $2 million.

The agency’s board will likely consider the new offer during its scheduled Aug. 15 meeting. If the board opts out of this deal, it will likely review a new request for proposals to be issued to interested developers.

The new Uptown deal includes purchasing the land and building three mixed-use buildings in The Set neighborhood. The agency spent years and about $7 million to assemble the land. A recent appraisal valued the property at $15.4 million.

The developer’s first agreement with the agency was to purchase the land for $1.2 million. The first deal fell through when the developer John Flynn, then known as Equity Delray, failed to close on the property. The agency board, which recently was taken over by city commissioners, decided to try to revive the agreement after Flynn expressed interest in moving forward again.

Residents urged the agency board to get the best possible deal for the property, which has increased in value since it was first put out for bid several years ago.

The new deal outline in the purchase and sale agreement features: 50,830-square-feet of retail space, which includes a grocery store, 23,000-square feet of office space with areas for start-up and incubator businesses and about 112 units with 39 of those located in a townhouse style building, according to the proposed purchase and sale agreement.

Of the residential units, 20 percent of them must be dedicated to workforce housing. Uptown Atlantic has also agreed to try to locate a bank and pharmacy for the project.

Uptown will have to help with the relocation of existing tenants to an offsite location, per the contract. They will have to pay up to $50,000 in tenant improvement costs for the operation of the tenant in the new location.

During the period of relocation, the tenant will pay rent of $20 per square foot in its new space to Uptown. Once the new development is opened, Uptown must offer the relocated tenants 800-square-feet of retail space at a rate of $24 per square foot, which will increase over a five year period to the then current market rate.

If the board accepts the deal, the developer will have to deposit $120,000 into an escrow account three days after the contract is signed. The balance will be paid at closing.

Uptown will have a 90-day inspection period. During that time frame, the contract states that the developer must coordinate financing for the project, negotiate with prospective tenants, coordinate its construction contract and obtain any required governmental approvals. Uptown has the ability to back out of the deal during that time period.

The contract states the general contractor for the project must host at least two job fairs in the city prior to commencement of the project, hire at least six subcontractors who are located within city limits and host a job fair after the project is completed to showcase available jobs.

The agency will have the right to repurchase the land if Uptown fails to start construction within 300 days of the closing date.