The Naples-based Collier family is replacing the former ABC Carpet & Home store in Delray Beach with an upscale storage and maintenance club for car collectors.
Family-owned Collier Land Holdings Limited has started building a facility called Collier Car Club inside the former ABC Carpet & Home store on Congress Avenue – well known for its exterior mural, a faux architectural finish visible from I-95. The store closed last year.
Collier Land Holdings successfully proposed rezoning the 4.8-acre location of the 58,250-square-foot former store at 777 South Congress Avenue. The city commission rezoned the property in March from “mixed residential, office and commercial” to “special activities district.”
Redwood City, California-based DPR Construction, a commercial general contractor, has posted no-trespassing signs bearing its name at the fenced-off development site on Congress Avenue, about one mile south of West Atlantic Avenue. DPR spokeswoman Beth Hernandez said in an email that her company wasn’t authorized to discuss the project.
Collier executive Frank Givens did not respond to requests for comment. But at a Delray Beach city commission meeting in March, Givens described the membership-based Collier Car Club as much more than a storage facility where valuable vehicles sit idle.
Collier Car Club will be “a gold-standard storage facility that keeps members’ cars ready to go with battery care, tire monitoring, start-and-run [service], as well as troubleshooting and diagnostic assistance,” Givens told Delray Beach commissioners at their March 12 meeting.
“We believe that our members should be connected to each other. We feel it’s the secret sauce to creating that community,” Givens said at the March 12 city commission meeting, describing the Delray Beach location of Collier Car Club as the first of many. “Collier Car Clubs will be the first nationwide network of premium car-working spaces, a dedicated facility where meaningful car owners can come together to teach, learn and tell their stories.”
The Collier family has an extensive automotive history. Baron Collier, for whom Collier County is named, made the family fortune in advertising and went on to become one of Florida’s largest landowners in the pre-World War II era. His sons are credited with introducing sport car racing in the United States during the 1930s.
The patriarch’s grandson Miles Collier is a former race car driver who founded the not-for-profit Revs Institute, a museum and library in Naples where his personal collection of 100-plus cars is stored and maintained. His automotive acquisitions since the late 1980s have included “the first Ferrari racing car ever sold in the United States and one of only six Bugatti Royales ever produced,” according to the institute’s website.
Renderings of the planned Collier Car Club in Delray Beach show a building with a sleek exterior – absent the rust-colored exterior mural that depicts architecture in the Flatiron area of New York City. The mural has adorned the exterior since 1998, when the New York-based owner of ABC Carpet & Home bought the building, originally built in 1979 as a warehouse and distribution center for Kraft Foods.
“The new design not only removes the mural but [also] removes a pole-mounted electrical transformer and buries unsightly electrical lines serving the building,” project architect Robert Carlson, principal and design leader of DLR Group, said at the March 12 commission meeting.
Less than three weeks after that city commission meeting, Archean Capital LLC, co-managed by Miles Collier and Parker Collier, bought the former ABC Carpet & Home property for $7.8 million, according to Palm Beach County property records.