'Heart of Boynton' to get first grocery store in 50 years
Friday, 20 March 2015 21:17

'Heart of Boynton' to get first grocery store in 50 years
By Attiyya Anthony Sun Sentinel

Family Dollar to break ground in 'Heart of Boynton' – first grocery store in 50 years
The 'Heart of Boynton' has waited half a century for a grocery store.
On Tuesday, the Boynton Beach redevelopment agency will announce the March 26 groundbreaking of a Family Dollar store at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Seacrest boulevards. The store is expected to be complete by 2016.
City officials say that that the groundbreaking marks the start of redevelopment of the "Heart of Boynton" — the city's blighted downtown.
"It's been a long time since a grocery store was in the neighborhood," said Jerry Taylor, Boynton Beach mayor and community redevelopment agency board member. "It's going to be really beneficial to the area."
Family Dollar is a chain store that sells discount groceries and household items, and is the first grocery store to break ground in the area since the 1960s, according to agency documents. The Heart of Boynton has been identified by Palm Beach County as a "food desert," meaning that there are very few places to get fresh fruits and vegetables.
"People have had to leave their community to get groceries," Taylor said. "But, now they won't have to because there are going to be some groceries in that store."
City officials say that with this development the Heart of Boynton may become more appealing to investors.
"[For investors] this wasn't the market for a Winn-Dixie or a Publix," Taylor said. "It's not a real high-income neighborhood and investors didn't think the market was there to support it ... but we think this will be a catalyst so we can get another grocery store here."
Boos Development is a development group that specializes in bringing single-tenant retail companies like Publix, Chase Bank and Outback Steakhouses to locations throughout the state.
In Boynton Beach, the company is looking to build an 8,320-square-foot building with 20 parking spots.
There are mixed reactions from people in the community. Some residents say that the store will bring food, jobs and economy to the blighted area. Others say that a big-box, name-brand store takes away from their community's character.
James Brake, a member of the city's planning and development board, says that Family Dollar could help bring the Heart of Boynton back to its former glory. In the 1960's, the Heart of Boynton was a thriving corridor with restaurants and entertainment, but the area fell into disrepair.
"The neighborhood has a rich history and was a commercial hub for many years," he said. He added that this project could "serve as a catalyst for the future regrowth of this once vibrant and still very-loved neighborhood."
Resident Rae Whitely says that residents are concerned about how Family Dollar will fit into their community.
"There are mixed emotions," he said. "Some are very excited and some have concerns, but we will work together and make it successful and beneficial for all residents of District II."
In other notes, the redevelopment agency will discuss selling property at 480 and 211 Ocean Avenue. The now-closed Little House restaurant was located at 480 Ocean and 211 Ocean is the historic Magnuson House.

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Boynton Beach Redevelopment Agency
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