By Jane Smith

    Delray Beach won’t have to pay more than $25 million in damages to the developers of the stalled Atlantic Crossing project after a federal judge dismissed the case and sent the remaining seven claims back to state court.
    “I’m very pleased with the court’s ruling, which dismissed all federal claims against the city,” said Mayor Cary Glickstein. “As it stands, the ruling eliminates the possibility of any federal court damage award against the city, which was the thrust of their case.”
    The remaining state court claims don’t seek monetary damages, he said.
    The mayor’s deposition, one of 16 allowed in June, never took place. “It was only required in connection with the federal court claims, which have all been dismissed,” he said. “I presume my deposition would not occur unless the state court deems it necessary.”
    The proposed Atlantic Crossing project sits at the main intersection in the city’s downtown — the northeast corner of North Federal Highway and East Atlantic Avenue. The 9.2-acre development lies just west of the Intracoastal Waterway with the city’s Veterans Park in between.
    When finished, Atlantic Crossing 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.
    The $200 million project was proposed by a partnership between Ohio-based Edwards Cos. and Ocean Ridge resident Carl DeSantis. Edwards bought DeSantis’ share in June for $38.5 million. But both would have shared in the proceeds if the federal case had been decided in favor of the developers.
    “We are reviewing our legal options to move Atlantic Crossing forward and secure our property rights,” said Don DeVere, vice president of the Edwards Cos.
    Atlantic Crossing began in 2008 as Atlantic Plaza II before the recession. Fast forward five years, Edwards was brought into the project, which was renamed Atlantic Crossing.
    The development team sued Delray Beach in June 2015, claiming the city has not certified its site plan that was approved in November 2013 and affirmed by a previous City Commission in January 2014. Last October, the lawsuit was moved to federal court.
    In April, while the federal lawsuit was on hold, the City Commission rejected the project’s modified site plan that added a driveway and redesigned the valet area into a circular path from a horseshoe-shaped version. The plan also called for improved contrast for the two loading docks and a pedestrian crosswalk moved north in the project to improve its safety.
    The changes, though, were not enough to satisfy two Delray Beach commissioners and the mayor. They want a real street with sidewalks and bike lanes instead of a driveway and extra turning space so that vehicles can leave the underground garage safely.
    The ownership of two alleys and NE Seventh Avenue is in dispute. Both are needed to complete the project, the development team and the city agree. As recently as July 12, city commissioners agreed to ask for the return of the alleys and street.
    The development team had amended its federal complaint four times in less than 1 year. Federal Judge Donald Middlebrooks dismissed the two federal counts on July 25.
    The Florida Coalition for Preservation lauded that decision as a “victory for the commission and the people of Delray Beach.”
    The grass-roots coalition for responsible development also said in a statement that the developers’ attorneys “attempted to overwhelm private citizens (including the coalition) for both public and private communications about the project.”
    The coalition recommends that the litigation be dropped and the time be spent on making Atlantic Crossing work better.

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Comments

  • Atlantic ave is a mostly ONE Lane Road. 

    It Cannot take another "600 Permanent Jobs", 150 Condos and Hotel Rooms, and More Restaurants...

    in addition to "1000 Construction jobs", for the "4-4.5 YEARS" (read 6 years)  it will, take to complete. 

    One can hardly get across Atlantic ave now. The approaches from US1 also suffer, as does Linton with people already dodging impassable Atlantic. 

    Linton, especially at Federal, the entrance stealthily inferred by the devolopers (because everyone knows Atlantic is physically impossible), is worse every year. 

    US1 heading North oft backs up a Mile approaching Linton now. 

    One can wait several lights heading East or West too. And don't be fooled, Linton must be the default entrance. 

    You can't add a few thousand cars daily on Atlantic. 

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

    It's not an old Rust Belt city. 

    We don't need jobs for our hoards of Blue Collar jobless. It's an already crowded resort town.

    The Project is a Disaster waiting to happen

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