Related story: Delray Beach: Taking shape — Atlantic Crossing gets ready for its first openings

By Larry Barszewski

A battle over late-night downtown activity was put on hold when representatives of the Bounce Sporting Club planned for the $300 million Atlantic Crossing development temporarily withdrew their request to have a 2 a.m. closing time.
Downtown Delray Beach residents living near the Intracoastal Waterway have objected to the proposal, which had already won the 4-3 approval of the city’s Planning & Zoning Board in December.
The issue was supposed to come to a head at the City Commission’s Feb. 1 meeting, but that changed a day earlier when Neil Schiller, an attorney for the high-end sports bar and restaurant, requested a delay.
“Based on the outpouring of community feedback related to our application, my client would like to withdraw this application from consideration from tomorrow’s noticed City Commission meeting to be heard at a properly noticed meeting in the future,” Schiller wrote to the city.
Many people living near the development currently under construction have complained they can already hear the noise from late-night establishments along Atlantic Avenue west of Federal Highway in the heart of downtown. They don’t want a new after-midnight establishment closer to their homes east of Federal and outside of the officially designated entertainment district, which is west of Federal.
Bounce representatives say they’ve been misunderstood, that they’re not seeking to be a nightclub pounding out live music in the early morning hours. They say what they’re trying to ensure is that their patrons can watch — uninterrupted — West Coast games, pay-per-view events and other televised sports that might go past midnight.
Jack Indekeu, president of the Palm Trail Homeowners Association, told his neighbors that Bounce’s decision to withdraw its proposal is only a partial victory against the restaurant that anticipates opening this summer.
“Given Bounce’s prior aggressive tactics and propaganda, it’s very likely that they will continue their lawyering and lobbying and re-apply for conditional use at a later date — regretfully, they may try to bounce back,” Indekeu said in an email blast to neighbors.
Residents have said they do not want the city to set precedent by allowing a 2 a.m. closing at Atlantic Crossing. But two bars on the south side of the street across from Atlantic Crossing already have those extended hours — the Hurricane Bar & Lounge and the Blue Anchor restaurant and pub. Those establishments were grandfathered-in when the city set earlier closing times in the area.
Prior to withdrawing its request, Bounce had agreed to close its outdoor dining area, all its doors and windows — and not have any live music — after 11 p.m. It also said it would have at least six security personnel on duty between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.
While commissioners did not get a chance to vote on Bounce’s extended hours request, they did not stop a separate item that will allow Bounce to change its entrance. The alteration will turn what would have been an enclosed area of Bounce restaurant space at the corner of Atlantic and Southeast Seventh avenues into an open-air lobby where lines can form to get inside. Some opponents have complained the change could create a rowdy, noisy atmosphere as people queue up.
Arlen Dominek, who lives at the Barr Terrace condos across the Intracoastal Waterway from Atlantic Crossing, told commissioners that the change was not acceptable.
“I want it to be the kind of place that appeals to many different people,” he said.
Atlantic Crossing expects to finish construction of part of its first phase in the first quarter of 2022. That includes the buildings that will house Bounce, three other restaurants and Chico’s women’s clothing store.

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