Opposition over new development in Boca

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Opponents of a new development planned for downtown Boca Raton let city commissioners know how they felt Monday.

Project backers believe the development would be a positive move for Boca Raton and compare its impact to Mizner Park. However, some residents say, they're concerned the project could lead to more traffic in the area and depressed property values.

Archstone Palmetto Park would be a 700,000 sq. ft. luxury rental apartment community.

Kathleen Kennedy is a real estate broker. She says plans for rent to be more than $1,600 per month for a one bedroom apartment are outlandish.

Project planner Charlie Siemon says high rents would be a boost for the city, similar to what happened with Mizner Park.

"The fact is, the values over there doubled in the first five years after Mizner Park developed," said Siemon.

The planner says once tenants fill the 389 units, the city will make more than $350,000 in taxes. Still, resident are worried the crime will go up and property value will go down.

"I hate to see quality go down," said one woman.

Voices of opposition dominated the commission hearing on Monday, but others say the proposed development offers more promise than the sight of vacant buildings in the area right now.

"If a lot of these buildings remain empty, that's what concerns me more," said Jody Schwartz.

Boca Raton commissioners are expected to vote on Tuesday, after one final chance to weigh the promises and the pitfalls of a big new neighbor.

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