A partnership of developers wants to build a mixed-use project that would include an eight-story, 229-unit apartment building in Boynton Beach.
During a Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency board meeting on Tuesday, Harold “Sonny” Van Arnem, principal of Van Arnem Properties, and Bill Morris of Southcoast Partners told board members they would prefer that the CRA not issue a request for proposals for the CRA-owned land at 115 North Federal Highway.
The partnership submitted a letter of intent earlier this year to buy the land, with plans to build the apartment building, 8,000 square feet of retail space and 544 parking spaces, according to documents submitted to the board. The apartments will include studios between 400 square feet and 600 square feet up to three-bedroom units of about 1,345 square feet.
The developers aim to start construction in May 2022, begin preleasing in October 2023, and open in January 2024, according to the documents.
The board took no action Tuesday on the letter of intent or the property, which the board bought in 2018 for $3 million from the Congregational United Church of Christ. The board will discuss the letter of intent again in December.
CRA Executive Director Michael Simon told the board that the CRA has received at least one other letter of intent for the property but did not go into detail.
Some board members pushed back against the developers’ assertions that launching a request for proposal would needlessly delay the development for years. Van Arnem told the board a project he is developing on West Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach is still pending approval, despite the RFP being issued in 2010.
Boynton Beach commissioner Justin Katz said the RFP process is meant to create transparency, fairness and public input regarding who buys the land and who builds on it.
He also requested that board members write protections into the deal with the developers to avoid delays and conflict seen with the city’s Town Square project developed by JKM Developers.
Proposed mixed-use projects in Palm Beach County include Sheldon Rubin’s 348 multifamily units and nearly 27,000 square feet of commercial development on land currently used as agricultural and equestrian in the central part of the county.