Boynton Beach CRA moving forward
Monday, 11 August 2014 21:14

Boynton CRA moving forward with downtown renovations

By Attiyya Anthony, Sun Sentinel               

August 9, 2014

Much of the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency's $9 million budget will go toward redevelopment of the city's downtown area.

Board members discussed developing the city's Town Square — which includes many of the city's administrative buildings — and sprucing up the Magnuson House on Ocean Avenue, one of the city's oldest and uninhabited historic building. They also talked about completing renovations at the Boynton Beach Marina.

On Thursday, board members unanimously approved the agency's budget.

"We have a lot of good things going that will add to the appeal to the city," said Vivian Brooks, the agency's executive director.

In the budget, Brooks suggested that the agency put aside $200,000 to change the Magnuson House at 211 E. Ocean Ave. from a single family home into a commercial center, along with $500,000 to create a Town Square campus and another $700,000 to finish upgrades to the Boynton Marina.

Some commissioners were concerned about how much money the agency is dishing out to save the old Magnuson House.

"We don't have someone who wants it to start developing," board member David Merker said.

"Before we fix it up, we should see if people are interested in developing it first. The idea of putting something into nothing and hoping that its going somewhere is a financial gamble."

Agency staff and board members suggested turning the historic building into an art gallery or a piano bar to bring people to Ocean Avenue.

"I've been to art galleries in Delray and in Aspen and it seems like they're always empty," board member Mike Fitzpatrick said. "I don't know how that it's going to help foot traffic."

The $500,000 allotted for the Town Square project will go towards landscaping and possibly creating an entry way to Ocean Avenue and Seacrest Boulevard.

Also, $700,000 will go towards the final stage of the Boynton Marina project, which includes a 1,500-square-foot main marina operations office with a store and public restrooms.

The rest of the budget is slated for other downtown developments, including fixing up a public parking lot on Northeast Fourth Street, adding lighting to downtown's Dewey Park and restoration of the Woman's Club.

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Boynton Beach Redevelopment Agency
710 N. Federal Highway, Boynton Beach FL 33435


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