It’s really happening. Delray iPic broke ground last week

A rendering of iPic Entertainment theater complex planned for downtown Delray Beach. (Contributed)

 

DELRAY BEACH — After three years of back-and-forth between city officials and the people behind a luxury movie theater planned in the heart of downtown Delray Beach, construction began on the project Wednesday.

Developer Samuel & Associates broke ground on the 50,000-square-foot complex, called 4th & 5th Delray, that will house the iPic theater and office space at Fourth and Fifth avenues a block south of Atlantic Avenue.

The theater is expected to accommodate eight screens and 528 seats total. And Boca Raton-based iPic Entertainment will relocate its corporate headquarters to the complex, which will have 42,000 square feet of office and 8,000 square feet of retail.

» READ: Delray inches closer to demanding sober home certification

The complex also will have a six-level, 326-space garage and a rooftop garden open to the public.

City leaders and residents pushed back against the plans arguing the complex was too big for one of downtown’s busiest intersection. But three years of negotiations led to its eventual approval.

The contract with iPic gave the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, which sold the land to iPic in 2013, the right to buy back the land if the developer didn’t break ground within a year of approval.

Some city leaders doubted that the developer could beat that deadline

“4th & 5th Delray will be a destination in its own right as the thriving commercial district along Atlantic Avenue continues to expand,” Hamid Hashemi, founder and CEO of iPic Entertainment, said in a news release.