The Pierce downtown complex with 300 rental apartments and 17,000 square feet of commercial area will be along Federal Highway between Boynton Beach Boulevard and Ocean Avenue. The Hurricane Alley restaurant — the small building at left — is relocated to the project’s northwest corner. Rendering provided
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By Tao Woolfe
The Boynton Beach City Commission last month approved some site plan changes to The Pierce — a $73 million downtown complex of apartments, restaurants, retail stores and green space at 115 N. Federal Highway.
Affiliated Development received the city’s blessing on Feb. 21 to rezone the 2.3-acre complex to a new mixed-use downtown core designation; tweak the master and site plans; redesign the parking garage; and abandon some alleyways.
Affiliated Development CEO Jeff Burns also showed the city several new artist’s renderings of the complex and described some of its features.
“This is going to be a luxury development with world-class amenities,” Burns said.
The Pierce will offer 150 units each of workforce and market-rate luxury rental apartments. It will have 17,000 square feet of commercial area that will accommodate restaurants, office space and retail stores.
It will feature public art projects including murals and a huge, perforated metal corner treatment on the south parking garage emblazoned with nautical images and lettering that says “Welcome to Boynton Beach.”
“It will look like a postcard,” Burns said, adding that Brightline train passengers will be able to see it and know what city they are passing through.
The restaurants, including a freestanding new building for Hurricane Alley, and wide sidewalks will provide “an active, engaged area with day and night activity,”Burns said.
The lush landscaping, game lawn and redesigned setbacks will provide “a nice level of connectivity.” Even the parking garages will be buffered by trees and shrubs, including “pops of color” from bougainvillea on the upper levels, Burns said.
The garages will offer 450 spaces, 150 of which will be for public parking.
The commission approved most of the changes, but asked the developer to work with merchants, especially the owner of the Ace Hardware, to ensure that if the rights of way are abandoned, delivery trucks have enough room to get in and out.
Commissioner Thomas Turkin, who often says he would like to see less density in downtown projects, said he admires the way Affiliated has worked with the community to create The Pierce.
“I think every developer should take the same approach and maximize community involvement,” Turkin said.
Vice Mayor Angela Cruz agreed.
“It’s a beautiful project,” she said. “I am really, really happy this is coming to our downtown.”
The timetable will depend on how long it takes to secure permits, Burns has said.
Among the approvals needed: a master site plan from planning and zoning; a land development permit from the city’s engineering department; site and building permits from the building department, and the completion of several inspections, according to a building department spokesperson.
“We could complete the construction, start to finish, in 20 months,” Burns told the City Commission last summer. “It’s not unreasonable to expect to have a shovel in the ground by next year.”
The project will come before the commission again for more approvals on March 9.