Upscale projects envisioned for west Boynton Beach Boulevard
By Alexandra Seltzer – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Three of the last sizeable pieces of available land west of the city are expected to transform Boynton Beach Boulevard from a route used to get from here to there, to a boulevard so inviting that residents and visitors will pull over and explore.
Developments at two of these will be walkable, heavily landscaped, modern, and will appear more like residential communities with attractive water features and outside seating areas rather than strip shopping centers, plans show.
Known as Cobblestone Commons, the project at Lyons Road will bring an “ultra-modern” Wawa , a bank, and a health-food market. A couple blocks east at Hagen Ranch Road, developers want to build 8 more acres of retail, restaurants and a grocery. A third at Jog Road is also being looked at.
“It’s going to take Boynton Beach Boulevard from just an extension into a very attractive destination,” said resident Myrna Rosoff, who leads the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations group comprised of more than 110 residential communities.
Growth is nothing new in suburban Boynton. During the past two years, developers have presented more than 30 projects — whether approved, rejected, or still in process.
But these two developments, both at the northeast corners of the intersections, set a precedent, Rosoff said. Her group worked with the developers in planning the projects.
Her group is satisfied with the designs — which fit in with the walkability and green space trend that’s permeating South Florida. Some residents say future developments should mimic their plans.
“The car has dominated the suburban area. We’re hoping that introducing more residential settings to the intersections or to the roadways will maybe slow people down some,” said Steve Oseroff, who leads the growth management committee of the suburban group. “We are introducing some change. What we’re trying to do, bottom line, is taking the past and building on it.”
County commissioners have already approved the Cobblestone development. It’s in the Agricultural Reserve, a large area of farmland that development continues to creep into against some residents’ wishes. Having a gas station in the Ag Reserve isn’t exactly what Rosoff pictured, but instead of stopping growth, she is trying to manage it.
“Speaking to the residents across the street at Valencia Reserve and others who come to Boynton Beach Boulevard, they were thrilled because they don’t know about the agriculture part they just want the convenience of being able, right near their house, to gas up their cars and pick up a meal for the family and sit outside and socialize,” she said.
The Cobblestone project will have a “main street” feel. In addition to the Wawa, the development will include a Chase Bank, a Pollo Tropical, a Petsmart, and an Earth Fare grocery store. Earth Fare , marketed as a “healthy food” store, is in five locations in the state, but none in Palm Beach County or the Treasure Coast.
At Hagen Ranch, the project isn’t as far along. The County Commission is expected to vote on it later this month. The developer proposes 53,000 square feet in five buildingswith a grocery store, retail, restaurants, and a drive-through eatery. This will have more of a “village” feel.
At the Jog Road location, Miami-based developer 13th Floor Investments wants to build retail space on about 16 acres. Exact plans haven’t been submitted, but Oseroff is already speaking with them.