The Coastal Star

Boynton Beach: City OKs addition to historic house turned eatery

By Jane Smith

    The Oscar Magnuson House is working its way through the Boynton Beach approval process to become a restaurant that specializes in light bites and craft beers.
    The proposed owner of the 1,500-square-foot house received City Commission approval Aug. 16 to add 1,266 square feet to the rear of the house for a kitchen, restrooms and a portion of the bar. A rear porch, added in the 1950s, will be demolished. The tapas eatery will seat 183 diners.
    Instead of a wall separating the business from the three-story condo building on the east, the Planning and Development Board recommended “lots of landscaping” would work better. Diners and employees will park in the new lot at Northeast First Avenue and Northeast First Street. The buyer, a division of Local Development Co. of Philadelphia, has 45 days to close on the house, still owned by the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency.
    The purchase price of $255,000 translates into a loss for the CRA. The agency had paid $850,000 in 2007 for the house, built about 1910 by Swedish immigrant and farmer Oscar Sten Magnuson. His wife, Eunice Benson Magnuson, was one of the first town clerks.
    The CRA also is offering $200,000 to help with the conversion of the house into a restaurant, plus available grants.
    Architect Jim Williams, of Boca Raton, is working on construction drawings that will take three to four months to finish. He expects the still-unnamed restaurant to open in the fourth quarter of 2017.
    The house carries a local historic designation, meaning the city’s Historic Resources Preservation Board had to approve the renovations.
    The changes include a covered patio/outdoor dining area on the east side, a bocce ball court on the north side, fire pits on the north and east sides, and different paint colors for the exterior.

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