Cindy Glover lives in Renaissance Commons, next to the development at Old Boynton Road, and emailed the city’s officials Saturday about her concerns. She said the neighborhood already has enough apartments under construction. She wants the plans to stay as approved. The commission will likely decide later this month if the changes are OK.
The residents’ petition is on Change.org and is titled, “Oppose Cortina zoning changes!” It’s garnered 18 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
In 2015, city officials approved the Cortina project put forth by JKM Development. The plans promised homes for 1,108 families, including 115 single-family homes, 350 apartments and 643 condos. Those homes were packaged with an existing commercial element, the Boynton Village & Town Center that includes Target, Michael’s and Total Wine & More.
The first phase of Cortina, the 350 apartments now called The District, is almost complete.
The proposed changes are adding to an already difficult housing market in Boynton and throughout Palm Beach County. A study released in April of Boynton’s housing stock, estimated that about 1,800 families will move to the city during the next five years. But it forecast that fewer than 800 vacant homes would be up for sale.
The proposed changes at Cortina would turn 643 condos to rentals, creating what the study’s author’s called a “significant imbalance” between for-sale and for-rent housing, in addition to contributing to the overall shortage.
There are single-family homes under construction, just not enough. Nonprofits work with the city and the Community Redevelopment Agency to build homes in targeted low-income neighborhoods. But they usually are built one at a time and can’t keep pace with the demand. Some relief is expected from the Casa Del Mar projectgoing up off Federal Highway, but even that adds only 72 homes to the market.
Boynton is about to be flush with apartments. More than 1,000 units are going up from the Intracoastal Waterway to Congress Avenue.
Glover’s email in part:
Higher-density development is more profitable for builders, but it is not good for residents of Boynton Beach. There are at least three important reasons why the City Commission should reject this request:
o Traffic & Parking – Renaissance Commons Blvd. and Congress Avenue will soon be much more congested as a result of apartments already under construction. Increasing housing density will make this worse.
o Public Safety – Higher levels of home ownership are associated with lower levels of crime and less strain on police, fire, and EMT resources.
o Education – The public schools in our zone (Galaxy Elementary, Congress Middle, and Boynton Beach High) have all received C’s or D’s from the Florida Department of Education over the past two years. It is harder for the schools to build strong relationships with parents when residents are transient.
The proposal is for the northwest corner of the intersection, at the Boynton West Shopping Center. The developer is asking to abandon a previous special exception approval that allowed an auto service station. Instead, the developer wants to demolish a vacant building previously approved for a restaurant or lounge and build the 7-11.
The store would be about 3,000 square feet with six pumps and 12 fueling stations.
Also, the developer wants to reduce the right-of-way landscape buffer width along Military Trail from 20 feet to 10 feet, reduce the divider median width from eight feet to two feet, eliminate the trees within the divider median, and reduce the number and dimensions for point of service/queuing spaces from 80 feet to 56 feet.
The zoning commission will vote on the project July 6. The Palm Beach County commissioners will vote July 27.
Lucille’s first location was in Boca Raton. It opened in 1996.
“The successful concept features both signature Baby Back Ribs and St. Louis Ribs, as well as, slow cooked pulled pork, chopped beef brisket, rotisserie chicken, with a variety of sandwiches, salads, burgers and much more,” according to a statement.
The new Boynton location will have a wall mural of an American Flag created by South Florida Artist, Rueben Ubiera. The restaurant will have 50 seats inside with an additional 30 seats on a covered patio.
Davis and his family have outgrown their location in their small corner takeout spot at Federal Highway and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a low-income neighborhood that city officials have for years tried to revitalize. They moved less than 2 miles south on Federal just south of Woolbright Road.
Pollack Shores, which acquired the development in December, is painting the property, renovating the clubhouse, updating and replacing the pool furniture and refurbishing the inside of the apartments.
The clubhouse is still in the design phase. While the complex is now a dark beige color, the plan is to have the buildings painted in warm white colors mixed with a “coastal/hacienda feel.” The residential units are getting: vinyl plank flooring; new quartz counter-tops; new modern lighting, faucets, and ceiling fans, kitchen back-splashes and USB outlets.
“The improvements we’re making to Las Ventanas will add modern touches and style to our property in the heart of Boynton Beach,” Steven Shores, Pollack Shores President & Co-Founder, said in a statement. “Value-add acquisitions are a key part of our overall strategy at Pollack Shores, and when our residents come home, they will know they are living in one of the premier communities in South Florida.”
Manager Susan Lo said the restaurant offers a new concept of Asian dining. She compared it to The Melting Pot. The customer can create their own sauces and pick whatever meat, seafood, vegetable, etc. they want to cook in the broth at the table they’re sitting at. They also serve dessert and fruits.
“It’s something different for people to enjoy,” Lo said. “It’s popular in New York and California, and now it’s growing to South Florida.”
There’s a new type of brewery in town and it’s a little different from what Boynton Beach residents are familiar with– Due South, Copperpoint, NOBO.
Chris Montelius has opened Non-Prophet Brewing Company. Montelius offers kombucha, fermented tea filled with natural probiotics, and ginger beer. The store is at 2910 Northwest Commerce Park Drive. He’s been there about a month.
“I’d like to really saturate south Florida first but then eventually go statewide and see where it goes from there,” Montelius told The Palm Beach Post. “The kombucha market has been growing like crazy.”
As of now, Non-Prophet sells wholesale. On Tuesday, Montelius plans to ask the City Commission for a maximum of $27,000 in grants. He’s asking for help with rent reimbursement and interior build-out. He says with the grants he thinks he’ll be able to hire help to one day have a brewery where people can sit down and taste the drinks.
He said the outlet store is within the actual Macy’s department store of the Boynton Beach Mall at 801 N. Congress Ave. The items in the outlet portion are not available online.
“The point is, is that retail is changing from 20 years ago where there was no internet to buy things online so this is an opportunity for the treasure hunters that are looking for the right priced item that they can only find in the store,” Grant said from the store. “And you get to take it home with you and don’t have to wait for the mail to get delivered.”
The company is asking the City Commission to approve a change in the future land use to Local Retail Commercial, which would allow a commercial use on the property, according to city documents.
The building would be one story and 2,338 square feet. Traffic reports show the project would generate an additional eight a.m. peak hour trips and three p.m. peak hour trips. Code requires eight parking spaces, and the project meets that, with an addition one for handicap use.
The City Commission will take a final vote on the project on May 2.
UPDATE: The City Commission has chosen to work with E2L Real Estate Solutions in redeveloping the Town Square area. They did not vote on any designs or site plans.
Check back Wednesday for a full story.
ORIGINAL POST: Boynton Beach could be one step closer Tuesday night to redeveloping about 17 acres of land adjacent to Boynton Beach Boulevard east of Interstate 95 in a public-private partnership to build a downtown.
The Town Square area is four blocks and includes the old high school, City Hall, the library, the city’s arts amenities, and the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center.
At Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. City Commission meeting, the elected officials will choose whether to move forward with E2L Real Estate Solutions to work with in a public/private partnership.
The City put out a request for qualifications for the Town Square project and received four proposals in November. The city created an evaluation committee which consisted of: City Manager Lori LaVerriere, Interim CRA Executive Director Mike Simon; Director of Development Andrew Mack; Director of Public Works Jeff Livergood; Chair of CRA Advisory Board Linda Cross; and Planning and Development Board Member Ryan Wheeler.
The committee evaluated the plans, and ranked them with the top three being: Boynton Vision; E2L Real Estate Solutions; and MCC, LLC. Commissioners approved the rankings in January, sending the committee back to come up with the best option. The three companies presented their plans in late March, and the committee chose E2L Real Estate Solutions of Winter Park as the best option.
Here are parts of the company’s proposed plan, which includes parks, pedestrian walkways and connectivity:
New city hall: three stories, 30,000 square feet with ground level retail of 5,000 square feet
Historic high school renovation: 28,536 square feet, two stories with 3,000 square feet of ground level retail