In partnership with the City of Delray Beach and local developers, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) held a meeting on Thursday, June 19th at the Delray Beach Library to launch and discuss the creation of a new district known as “South of Atlantic,” or SOFA. The new district is expected to become an important investment into the revitalization and growth of downtown Delray Beach. This SOFA district consists of the area from SE 1 Ave. east to SE 5 Ave., and from SE 2 Ave. north to the Alleyway just south of Atlantic Ave. The meeting gathered the business and property owners within this community to announce the beginning of several new development plans that are expected to begin in August. With over 25 attendees at this first meeting, DDA Executive Director Marjorie Ferrer delivered an informative presentation alongside Jim Knight, owner of the Knight Group, showcasing seven approved private projects for the new SOFA district. “This is the first of many meetings to come as construction begins to take place,” said Ferrer. “It is very important that the community stay abreast of the progress and impact that will take place throughout the next 18 to 24 months and the DDA will be the resource for communicating this information.” Jim Knight added, “I am honored to collaborate with Marjorie Ferrer & Laura Simon with the Downtown Development Authority to bring the SOFA District to the forefront of responsible development. This up and coming area will bring about the same vibrancy South OF Atlantic as Pineapple Grove has generated north of Atlantic. Keep your eye on SOFA and the national interest it is generating.” The SOFA district is an unnamed commercial area that has been slowly growing over the past few years, and city residents have been eager to learn more about the new development set to extend the downtown area south of Atlantic Ave. During the meeting, many questions were raised about the upcoming projects, including parking, the amount of office and retail space expected, as well as potential for road closures. For a full list of the projects and a scheduled timeline, the DDA has produced a brochure that contains both the private development projects, as well as the public development projects. The brochure is available at City Hall, the CRA office, and the DDA office. It is also available online at www.downtowndelraybeach.com. For over 40 years, the DDA has assisted in successfully branding Delray Beach as the “Village by the Sea.” Its mission is to enhance and stimulate balanced economic growth through position marketing activities that engage Downtown businesses, residents and visitors while creating a clean, safe place to live, work and invest. The next meeting with the SOFA community will be held in August. The date has yet to be determined. For details and information, please contact the DDA at 561-243-1077.