New entrance into downtown Delray Beach

The city wants to build an entrance on Atlantic Avenue that will make downtown feel seamless from I-95 to the beach. It’s part of a long- awaited project to spruce up West Atlantic Avenue. “A lot of people want to see this done. As soon as you get off I-95 they want to see a beautiful area,” says Delray Beach City Commissioner Adam Frankel. The Gateway Feature, anticipated to be completed by Spring 2013, will create a grand entrance to downtown Delray Beach. Six 30-foot concrete columns decorated with unique designs, will line West Atlantic Avenue between I-95 and NW/SW 12th Avenue, paying homage to the rich culture and history of Delray Beach. Additional improvements will include landscaping, a winding sidewalk, and trellis feature. The community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is providing nearly $1 million for the project. “The money comes from our budget, it’s tax increment financing. A portion comes from property taxes that goes toward improvements and redevelopment projects,” says Diane Colonna, the executive director of the Community Redevelopment Agency. A $200,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation will also help offset the cost. Colonna hopes the project will help spur other development on West Atlantic where vacant lots are available.