Boynton agency agrees to help fund '500 Ocean' development in $4.4 million deal
Thursday, 12 February 2015 16:13

By Attiyya Anthony Sun Sentinel
Boynton's 500 Ocean development receives green light and funding
A major downtown Boynton Beach project, often referred to as a catalyst for development in the city, received the green light on Tuesday.

The city redevelopment agency's board unanimously voted to help fund 500 Ocean — a close to $4.4 million multi-use complex with 341 luxury rentals, 13,300 square feet of retail and 6,600 square feet of office space. It would be situated at 101 S. Federal Highway.
"500 Ocean is going to be a catalyst for downtown," said Joe Casello, vice chairman of the board. "We're looking to grow, and I support this 110 percent."
The board agreed to pay the $4.4 million o
ver a 10-year period after the project is completed, using taxes created by the project.

"There is no upfront money provided by the [Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency]," said Vivian Brooks, the agency's executive director. "[The developer] will only get paid when the project is built from the tax increment created by the project."

The project would be located at the southwest corner of Federal Highway and Ocean Avenue. It would be near some of the city's attractions, such as the Boynton Marina and Hurricane Alley's restaurant.

City officials said they hope that the project will bring more activity to the city's streets.

"We have been working on downtown Boynton Beach for years," said Jerry Taylor, board chair and mayor. "In order to build downtown, you have to have businesses and a population."
According to the agency's documents, the project is expected to bring 600 new tenants and more "daytime activity" into the city's downtown.

One resident, Daniel Spot, said he was concerned because the redevelopment agency agreed to fund the project without any guaranteed tenants. "Anybody can have a crew and build," he said. "A developer comes with tenants."

Financing the project has been an issue for the city's redevelopment agency since June, when developer Tom Hayden vice president of Morgan Boynton Beach LLC asked for up to $7 million to complete the project.

At Tuesday's meeting, Hayden said that he agreed to the redevelopment agency's funding and is eager to move the project forward.

"It took a fair amount of time to get an agreement," he said. He expects the project to start in April.
According to a document provided by the community redevelopment agency, the city can expect $4.7 million in revenue from the project after paying out the $4.4 million.

"It's a beginning," said board member David Merker. "Now, let's move forward. Developers from all over — we invite you to Boynton Beach.

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