Margate rejects proposed apartment development, may face litigation

New Urban Communities may sue Margate for turning down its proposal to build 922 apartments as part of a downtown-style, mixed-use development

Margate City Center rendering
Margate City Center rendering

Margate city commissioners rejected the site plan for the proposed construction of 922 rental apartments by a Delray Beach-based developer New Urban Communities , which may sue the city.

New Urban Communities had planned to buy 36 city-owned acres in Margate near the intersection of Margate Boulevard and State Road 7 for the proposed project. From 2004 to 2016, the Margate municipal government spent more than $30 million to acquire the 36 acres for a downtown-style, mixed-use development.

New Urban Communities originally proposed buying the 36 acres and building a mixed-use development called Margate City Center with 968 apartments, a hotel, an amphitheater, a parking garage, retail stores and restaurants.

Last year, the Margate City Commission approved that development plan and conditionally agreed to sell the land to New Urban Communities for $10.04 million.

But after the November 2016 election, newly elected members of the city commission urged New Urban Communities to downsize its planned development, and the company agreed to build 750 apartments instead of 968.

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New Urban Communities subsequently proposed a site plan with 922 apartments, which city commissioners rejected last week.

Margate Mayor Tommy Ruzzano

The rejected site plan would have put 316 apartments along the east side of State Road 7 and 606 on the west side. Margate Mayor Tommy Ruzzano said he had expected a development with all of the apartments on the west side of State Road 7 and none on the east side.

Michael Moskowitz, an attorney for New Urban Communities, has notified the city that the company plans to file a lawsuit to overturn the commissioners’ rejection of the site plan with 922 apartments. According to the company, 922 is the maximum number of apartments allowable under its development agreement with the city. [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth