Trinsic set to build 292-unit apartment complex in Delray Beach

A quarter of Aura Delray Beach’s apartments will be workforce housing units

Kevin Neal, Trinsic Residential’s managing director for South Florida, and a rendering of the project
Kevin Neal, Trinsic Residential’s managing director for South Florida, and a rendering of the project

Trinsic Residential Group won final approval to build a 292-unit apartment complex with 73 workforce housing units just west of I-95 in Delray Beach.

City commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday night to rezone the 12.2-acre development site on the northwest corner of West Atlantic Avenue and Congress Avenue, and to approve a building height of 55 feet for the apartment complex, called Aura Delray Beach.

Commissioners voted to change the zoning of the site from “mixed industrial and commercial” to “special activities district.”

“This property has been marketed for decades. The owner has not been able to sell it,” Bonnie Miskel, an attorney for Trinsic Residential, told commissioners. “The only parties that have approached this seller have wanted to do something not allowed in the MIC” zone.

Dallas-based Trinsic Residential has a contract to buy the mostly vacant property where it would build Aura Delray Beach with a resort-style swimming pool, two-story clubhouse, dog park, playground, community garden and landscaped walkway along a canal.

Delray Beach-based Richard Jones Architecture designed the 12.2-acre development with 5.3 acres of open space.

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Aura Delray Beach will have 20 apartments in each of two three-story buildings along Congress Avenue and 63 apartments in each of four five-story buildings. Two of the five-story buildings will flank the swimming pool; the other two will be located along the canal on the west side of the development site. The project also includes about 1,600 square feet of commercial space.

Each of the six residential buildings will have a mix of market-rate apartments and workforce apartments with below-market rents, reserved for tenants whose income is 80 percent to 120 percent of median income in the local area. At 25 percent, the percentage of workforce housing units at Aura Delray Beach would rank among the highest in Delray Beach, where the average among rental developments is 15 percent, Miskel said.

In Palm Beach County, Trinsic Residential has developed two other Aura-branded apartment properties in Boca Raton and Lantana. Kevin Neal, Trinsic Residential’s managing director for South Florida, was unavailable for comment.

Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia and commissioner Juli Casale cast the “no” votes against Aura Delray Beach. The mayor said the development will generate “problematic” vehicular traffic.

Casale said rezoning the development site will worsen a scarcity of industrial and commercial land in Delray Beach and increase the residential burden in the local property tax base.

“We are 2 percent industrial and 9 percent commercial,” Casale said. “We can’t afford to reduce that … That’s exactly what our comprehensive plan tells us not to do.”