Boynton Beach’s Ocean One project gets $4.5 million go ahead

By Alexandra Seltzer

The path to building an eight-story apartment building with space for retail and restaurants has been cleared now that Boynton Beach officials have agreed to pay the developer about $4.5 million over the next several years.

Davis Camalier’s Ocean One at the southeast corner of Boynton Beach Boulevard and Federal Highway will have 231 apartments and about 8,500 square feet of retail. He’ll also provide 50 public parking spots.

“That’s going to be a cornerstone of our downtown,” Commissioner Joe Casello said.

The 3.6-acre spot sits across from the 500 Ocean retail and apartments project – another development residents and city leaders have high hopes will spur development. That project is already under construction.

Ocean One is also within walking distance of the Boynton Harbor Marina and Ocean Avenue. And, it’s near a planned train station at Boynton Beach Boulevard and Northeast Fourth Street. The station will be a hub for a new commuter train, the Tri-Rail Coastal Link.

The location falls within a special “Downtown Transit Oriented” district, which the city aspires to transform into a center rich with pedestrians, commuters, wide sidewalks and retail.

For years, the property sat vacant under Camalier’s ownership. In order to fulfill the city’s vision, the city commission sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency board agreed to sign off on the $4.5 million incentive Tuesday. Camalier will receive 75 percent of the tax revenue for years one through seven and 50 percent in year eight. Also, he is getting a piece of land owned by the CRA for free.

That money is for the first phase of Ocean One only.

Camalier has promised a second phase that will include a hotel of at least 100 rooms, another residential building with nearly 120 apartments and 50 more public parking spots. The plans for phase two are due to be worked out at the August CRA meeting.

Camalier has agreed to make hiring Boynton residents and construction companies a priority. He’s also agreed to host a job fair and to work with Boynton Beach High and South Tech Academy students seeking to work on the project. Also as part of the deal, the apartments will be up to specific green standards, according to CRA documents.

The CRA will hold Camalier responsible for filling the retail space it builds. If he doesn’t meet those deadlines, some of the agency’s money will be withheld.

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