By Jane Smith
Boynton Beach Fire Station 1 won’t be finished until March 31, city commissioners heard at their Jan. 21 meeting.
The reason for the setback of about five weeks is delayed delivery of an elevator and impact windows.
Only three companies nationally build elevators, said Colin Groff, assistant city manager in charge of Town Square. Every project that is more than one story needs an elevator, and with the national building boom there is a shortage, he said.
The fire station sits on Northeast First Street and will serve northeastern Boynton Beach and the barrier island towns of Ocean Ridge and Briny Breezes.
City commissioners and other officials are eager to see Town Square finished.
They are hoping the $250 million project creates a downtown — with a mix of municipal buildings, a cultural center with a banquet hall, a museum, apartment buildings, a hotel and parks. The city’s estimated share is $118 million.
The roughly 16-acre site is bounded by Boynton Beach Boulevard on the north, Northeast First Street on the east, Southeast Second Avenue on the south and Seacrest Boulevard on the west.
The combination city hall and library building is scheduled for completion June 22, Mark Hefferin said at the commission meeting. Hefferin runs E2L Real Estate Solutions, the development company that oversees construction of the civic buildings.
“We are racing to have the city ready for the centennial celebrations on July 4,” Hefferin said. Boynton Beach plans to celebrate 100 years on Independence Day.
The renovation of the cultural center in the historic high school also is delayed because of the elevator delivery problem, Groff said. It won’t be finished until late March.
Garages also delayed
Commissioners also received an update from the private developer that is building parking garages on the south and north sides to serve city workers, city hall patrons and visitors.
The south garage won’t be ready until November, said John Markey, head of JKM Developers of Boca Raton.
“The buck stops with me,” he said. He explained that his company had difficulty getting construction costs from contractors last year. “Without that set of numbers, no lender was willing to close on the loan,” Markey said.
The garage construction won’t start until early March, he said. The delay means two buildings — the cultural center and combination city hall and library — will open without adequate parking.
Markey plans to offer temporary parking in the lot just east of the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum. His firm bought the lot from the city to build apartments on it.
Some commissioners thanked Markey for his candor. But they seemed resigned to the delays and complications.
Groff said delays are bound to occur with a big project. Most were built into the schedule, he said.
Markey’s firm will have to provide temporary parking, according to its contract with the city, Groff said.