The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: Delray Beach iPic incentives

Compiled by Jane Smith

The iPic movie theater sits just south of Atlantic Avenue, between Southeast Fourth and Fifth avenues. The downtown Delray Beach movie theater has received incentives from the city and its Community Redevelopment Agency.

December 2013
IPic Entertainment wins the bid for 1.6 acres of public land for $3.6 million. The property is part of the city’s Community Redevelopment Area. The vacant land housed the city’s library and Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce. The property held nearly 100 free public parking spaces.

August 2015
After a city advisory board turned down iPic’s waiver requests, the City Commission approves them for a building height above 48 feet tall and allowing a movie theater. The commission also ignored its own rule and gave away a north-south alley to the project.
Other waivers were given to allow the project to follow its own setback needs and to have darkened windows along Southeast Fifth Avenue, also known as Federal Highway.
In addition, city staff allowed iPic to use a shared parking plan for the garage, instead of following the rules that would require more parking spaces for the theater. iPic added only 211 spaces for its theater, instead of the 880 spaces required by the city’s rules.

March 2017
The city’s CRA agrees to give iPic $400,000 of taxpayer funds, ignoring its own rules of not providing incentives to businesses east of Swinton Avenue. The money was requested by iPic to offset the cost of providing 40 extra public parking spaces in the garage.
The CRA also agrees to pay $75,000 annually for maintaining 90 public parking spaces in the garage. The amount will increase annually and be payable by the city after the CRA sunsets in 2040.

April 2017
IPic needed eight deadline extensions to close the CRA deal on April 25.
The same day iPic purchased the land from the CRA, the property was flipped to a new entity, Delray Beach 4th & 5th Avenue LLC. Samuels & Associates of Boston is the managing partner and American Realty Advisors, based in Los Angeles, is the investor. IPic retains a small share through Delray Beach Holdings LLC.
The nearby Martini land — $2.3 million for .14 of an acre for a loading zone — was included in the sale to Delray Beach 4th & 5th, making the total sale price $5.9 million.
The parking and taxpayer incentive agreements are now held by the new entity.

SOURCES: Delray Beach City Commission and Community Redevelopment Agency meetings

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