Delray Beach: Atlantic Crossing sallies forth to City Commission

By Jane Smith

    Atlantic Crossing’s revised site plan sailed through a city advisory panel in early March and will be reviewed by the City Commission on April 5.
    The proposed $200 million Atlantic Crossing project sits stalled on 9.2 acres at the northeast corner of Federal Highway and East Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach.
    The latest plan shows a circular valet path with two lanes, instead of a horseshoe-shaped one, that aligns with an exit driveway leading to North Federal Highway. Vehicles also can enter the underground garage from North Federal Highway.
    The city’s planner described the roads as driveways, primarily because of their width and lack of landscaping. Scott Pape told the Site Plan Review and Appearance Board the driveways are structurally sound and able to handle the weight of delivery and garbage trucks.
    “It’s the best configuration that we can agree on,” Danielle Joyce, a traffic consultant hired by the city to review the latest site plan, told the review board’s chairman. “Without a major site modification,” she added.
    Joyce, of Greenman-Pedersen’s Tampa office, was questioned by review board member James Chard, who wanted to know about the 11,000 vehicles entering the project daily and whether that would create a traffic problem for the surrounding neighborhoods.
    She explained that her firm redid the trip calculations and found the existing trips to be 65 percent to 70 percent lower than the Atlantic Crossing developers had estimated. But she believes signal synchronization at Northeast First Street and Northeast Fifth Avenue could take care of the westbound traffic during peak hours, allowing it to be at or near stable flow level at build-out. Both levels are acceptable for traffic performance standards in an urban area.
    Other site plan changes are improved for the two loading docks and a safer pedestrian crosswalk, moved north in the project.
    Bruce Leiner, president of Harbour House Homeowners Association, said for a site plan, “process matters.” He pushed the City Commission on March 1 to allow its review board to weigh in on the revised site plan.
    He still thinks the city needs to hold an abandonment hearing on two alleys needed for the project, but since that was not in the board’s purview, it chose to focus on the changes in the revised site plan.
    The special review meeting was held six days after the City Commission meeting, with only four review board members; Jose Augilar and Brett Porak were absent.
    The board approved it unanimously with five conditions, including monitoring the valet queues and truck deliveries so that vehicles do not back up onto Northeast Seventh Avenue, and adding way-finding signs for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
    A suit filed by the Atlantic Crossing developers in June claimed the city had not issued a site-plan certification that was approved in November 2013 and affirmed by a previous City Commission in January 2014. In the fall, the lawsuit was moved to federal court. The lawsuit is on hold until April 5.
    The project, developed by a partnership between Ohio-based Edwards Companies and Ocean Ridge resident Carl DeSantis, will contain 343 luxury condos and apartments plus 39,394 square feet of restaurants, 37,642 square feet of shops and 83,462 square feet of office space.

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Comment by KT on May 3, 2016 at 8:31am

All I am saying is that once a waiver. conditional use, variance, or APPROVAL  is given to a property by an authority like City council it attaches to the building and property. That is just factual. I never was fully satisfied with the approval and if you would read my post you would see that I am saying to the writer; When you describe "Atlantic Crossing" you should inform your readers that it is an " Approved project". This is am important piece of info that readers should know.....Many people don't like the project but don't know by the CS articles that it is approved & the City is trying to Un-Approve it for technical reasons===Whether the reasons have merit is not for me to say but it is an uphill battle and the suit should be settled. 

Comment by Marc Feldman on May 3, 2016 at 8:17am

Atlantic ave is a mostly ONE Lane Road. 

It Cannot take another "1000 Permanent Jobs"/Employees, 150 Condos and Hotel Rooms, and More Restaurants the A-C  site boasts. 

One can hardly get across Atlantic ave now. The approaches from US1 also suffer, as does Linton with people already dodging impassable Atlantic. I Avoid going to Atlantic Ave for dinner.

Linton gets worse every year. You can back up a mile to the South of it now heading North on Federal. 

Traffic planning seems to avoid the Inevitable East-West problem with N/S "Federal" as some great answer. 

And Delray's economy does Not Need a "boost" the builders say it will get, it needs more access/egress, Not less. 

It's not an old Rust Belt city. We don't need jobs for our hoards of 'Blue Collar' jobless. It's a resort town.

(IAC, we'll just get more illegal immigrants making min wage hotel and restaurant wages) 

The Project is a Disaster waiting to happen.

Comment by Jeff M. on May 3, 2016 at 7:15am

So you're saying because the project was previously approved, that Delray Beach and all its residents and businesses should accept the devastating damage this project will cause the city - unbearable traffic jams, parking issues, congestion....You seem to think that the lawsuit is already on behalf of the developers.  The developers should be ashamed - all they want is their profit - they don't give a damn about Delray or providing anything close to serving or benefiting the city.   Once it's built $40M will be a fraction of the cost to the city to manage the disruption.  I commend the City Council for recognising the mistake and opposing this monstrosity.

Comment by KT on May 2, 2016 at 9:36pm

Jane I think it would be nice to once tell your readers that the present AC project is already approved but held up because they are unable to get a building permit before the City imposed changes that they would like to see happen but the developer is under no obligation to cooperate ( Although he is cooperating) ...

If the City is forced to defend its actions in court they have an excellent chance of losing. The suit asks for 40 million and growing bye the day. The City needs this project to join the East with the West----I talk with people every day that want the project denied & don't know it already was approved--They weren't here--

The city traffic experts found the trips to be too high and miscalculated and wont be a problem....

Comment by Jeff M. on March 30, 2016 at 7:19pm

11,000 vehicles daily? This ill-conceived project could easily strangle the surrounding businesses in Delray Beach and on Atlantic ave.

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