It’s been a busy week for Delray, and not all the news is good—depending on where you stand on the city’s growth surge.
• The Delray City Commission approved the revised plan for the big Atlantic Crossing project (where Atlantic Plaza is now.) The controversial project by Edwards Companies comes in now with 372 residential units, or 43 units per acre. The revised plan also provides 162 additional parking spaces above the 1,000 required by code. This 9-acre mixed-use project will include with Class A office space, shops and restaurants, residential units and public spaces. Although Delray is sorely in need of office space and that end of Atlantic could use a boost in activity, the jury’s out on this one. Is it too big? And is it too late to change course? People are worried that the city is becoming a madhouse (the tree lighting was a mob scene) but how much is growing pains and how much is development at any cost?
• Unequivocal good news this week from the Arts Garage, which won the first ever $20,000 Knight Arts Challenge People's Choice Awards. (This award was based on the number of text messages each cultural organization received from their supporters.) The Arts Garage is the only Palm Beach Count recipient of a Knight Foundation award this year.
• And PR guru Chuck Smith tells us there are two new names at the 2013 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC), giving the tournament five former champions in its ATP World Tour field. Former champions Tommy Haas and Kei Nishikori have signed on to play, joining Mardy Fish (2009) and the world's top-ranked doubles duo of Mike and Bob Bryan (2009, 2010) in returning to the tournament where they have won ATP titles. Add top-ranked American John Isner to the mix, and tournament director Mark Baron says this year is big: "Not only are these guys returning champions, but all of them, plus John Isner, have spent time in the Top 20 this year," says Baron. "We will see more Top 20 players on the courts in Delray Beach in 2013 than any other year in our history."
• And another happy note: The Delray Beach-based foundation Art Works 4 Food recently donated 10 freezers to the Palm Beach County Food Bank, which helps provide food to more than 120 organizations that feed the hungry. The freezers will be donated to community organizations such as churches, food pantries and soup kitchens.
And that’s a good note to end on: helping curb hunger in your own back yard. What better way to start than with a holiday donation to the Palm Beach County Food Bank? Visit palm-beach-county-food-bank.org/