By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Delray Beach will be increasing its portfolio of workforce housing thanks to the Corey Isle project.
Ten single-family workforce homes will soon be built in the Southwest Neighborhood at the Northwest corner of Southwest Seventh Avenue and Southwest Fourth Street.
The homes will be either three or four bedrooms with two bathrooms and rear-loaded garages and will be between 1,800 to 2,300 square feet.
Construction officially broke ground last month with a ground breaking ceremony. The project is being constructed thanks to a partnership between the Delray Community Redevelopment Agency, which owns the land, and the Delray Beach Community Land Trust, which responded to a proposal from the agency to develop the 10 homes.
The land trust’s mission is to create healthy communities through the provision and preservation of affordable housing for low to moderate-income households. The land trust will pre-qualify the potential buyers, who will have to meet the requirements for workforce housing.
Workforce housing is defined as housing that is affordable for families whose incomes are within 80 percent to 140 percent of the County’s area median income (AMI).
At the ground breaking, land trust executive director Evelyn Dobson said they already have 16 pre-qualified homeowners interested in purchasing one of the 10 homes.
The homes will be built in the design style of American Craftsman, which pays homage to the cultural history of the neighborhood. Historically, this area was settled in by Bahamians and other Caribbean Islanders. The aesthetic design elements of the Corey Isles project were designed with this culture in mind.
The American Craftsman style, or the American Arts and Crafts movement, is an American domestic architectural, and interior design that began in the last years of the 19th Century. There are three distinct elevation schemes in the Corey Isle project using the Craftsman style of architecture, accented with an island flair.
Delray-based Stuart & Shelby Development, Inc. will construct the homes.
The project is named after Corey Jones, a former Delray Beach housing authority employee, who was shot and killed by a plain clothes police officer while waiting by his disabled car in Palm Beach Gardens in 2015.
Jones was involved in the Delray Beach community as it was where he worked and where he spent time mentoring kids and teaching them to play drums.
“This is a great day,” his father Clinton Jones said during the groundbreaking. “I thank God for the city of Delray and CRA and all of those that have a part in bringing this all together.”
He pointed to an area across the street from the construction site and said his son spent a lot of time mentoring kids in the neighborhood.
“I really miss Corey,” he said.
Corey’s grandfather Bishop Sylvester Banks Sr., said he has lived in Delray for over a decade and said the project is a blessing and example that people still have the heart to do good.
Mayor Shelly Petrolia said the project addresses a crucial need in the community, which is providing more affordable housing options.