Future of old Boynton High still unknown - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Future of old Boynton High still unknown

BOYNTON BEACH, FL (WFLX)  A building right in the center of Boynton Beach is a combination of history and controversy.

The old high school was built in the 1920s, but has been vacant for decades and city hall sees it as the perfect place to continue downtown's redevelopment.

Real estate developer Michael Weiner wanted to make it work.
 
"We really believed that this would form the part of a hub that would make downtown Boynton Beach alive," said Weiner.
 
Weiner has property across the street and has long eyed the mysterious-looking, three-story building as perfect for his next project.

"Around here, we do not have a cafe, or a Starbucks, or even a Dunkin Donuts," said Weiner.

So when city commissioners this summer put out a request for proposals from private developers, Weiner nearly submitted one to make the run-down building a hub of stores and offices.
 
But the deadline was Thursday, and no one submitted anything to city hall.
 
Weiner says asbestos removal costs were impossible to get.

"Hard to complete an application for an RFP when you don't know what it is that you would be asking for," said Weiner.

The city is now looking for a 'Plan B.'
 
With few options for public funding available, the interim city manager tells NewsChannel 5 that the city will have to get creative.
 
And the elephant in the room, she says, is that the entire thing could have to be knocked down and started from scratch, if they want to redevelop it.
 
That option would be much cheaper than the six million dollars it might cost to renovate it.
 
Weiner says the city's failure to entice a private developer could signal a new chapter altogether.
 
"We need to find a new plan for Boynton Beach, one that can be done with sparser resources," said Weiner.

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