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DELRAY BEACH, FLA. — A $325 million mixed-use development, which spans 8.5 acres on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Federal Highway in Delray Beach, is poised to become the midway point of the city’s retail offerings. Upon full build-out, Atlantic Plaza II will include 132,000 square feet of retail space; a 106,000-square-foot, Class A office building; 197 residences and an underground parking garage for 1,000 cars.

Sitework for the first phase will begin this summer, and groundbreaking is expected in 2 years. Subsequent phases will follow in the next 5 to 7 years.

“We look at this project as becoming the 50-yard line for Delray Beach, the one endzone being a very dynamic beach community, which is within walking distance of the site,” says Bill Milmoe, president of CDS International Holdings, which is developing the project. “The other endzone is the downtown area, which is also within walking distance of the site.”

A CDS-owned shopping center currently sits on the site. Atlantic Plaza II is a vast improvement, Milmoe says, because it offers better positioning for future tenants. “The current retail is recessed off the main street, like a typical suburban shopping center with a lot of parking,” he says. “In the new plans, everything’s going to be built up to the street, so they’re going to have a lot more visibility.” Milmoe is hoping that tenants of the current shopping center will sign on for the new development, which was designed by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Vander Ploeg & Associates.

Though Florida retail has been hit hard by the recession, Milmoe says the downturn won’t have a huge impact on Atlantic Plaza II. The earliest tenants would be able to move into the space is mid-2012, and the residences won’t be move-in ready for at least 5 years. “We’re building this for the next market.”

— Jon Ross

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