Traffic study delaying proposed development for A.G. Holley site - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Traffic study delaying proposed development for A.G. Holley site in Lantana

LANTANA - FOX 29 is learning a traffic study is holding up a big development in Lantana.

The town council set to discuss the "Water Tower Commons" proposal for the old A.G. Holley Hospital site Monday night. But the developer says he will ask to postpone the vote because a review of the traffic study is not complete.

The A.G. Holley site sits on Lantana Road, a county-owned road. When a project of this size is proposed, the county requires developers to submit a traffic study.

The study identifies potential problems, lists solutions, and requires the developer to set aside money to help pay for some of those solutions.

The county engineer says staff members should finish reviewing the study in the next week or two.

People working nearby say they expect the development to bring more traffic, but say it will be worth it.

"Traffic is a good thing, traffic means more people coming here, more people spending money, more people living here, it's all good," explains David Arm, the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce president, and owner of Lantana Fitness, which is across the street from the Holley site.

The developer released new renderings of the proposal for the 36-acre site. It will include residential space, retail space, restaurants, drive-thru restaurants and a pharmacy.

Plans call for making the existing, but non-functioning, water tower a landmark centerpiece.

“The water tower itself is both an iconic and historic landmark in Lantana, and an important part of the identity of this property. We will invest in both structural and aesthetic improvements as the project moves forward.  Our plans include a park around the base of the tower with an attractive water fountain creating an ideal place for residents and visitors to relax,” Michael Langolf with Lantana Development, LLC said in a statement.

Arm likes keeping the water tower as part of the development.

"They'll light it up at night, make it a little gathering place, it should be very nice," he explains.

He says the A.G. Holley Complex is the last open space of undeveloped land in Lantana and he's looking for this development to give the area a boost.

"This is the biggest thing that's going to happen to Lantana for a century; 50 years in the past, 50 years forward," he says.

While nearly everyone wants the area to be developed, some don't like the idea of saving the water tower.

"The water tower is an eyesore, I think. I don't find it as a landmark," explains Laura Corbisiero, who lives in Lantana.

We showed her pictures of the development provided to us by the developer, but it still didn't convince her.

"I like some of what I see, but I don't think the water tower is a necessity," she says.

Mayor David Stewart says he's getting more comments against the water tower than for it. He says the town council cannot force the developer to take it down.

Arm says since the developers are willing to invest in Lantana, they should be able to choose what to do with the tower.

"If they're going to spend millions to develop it, as far as I'm concerned, they can do what they want," he says.

Officials expect the proposal, with a completed traffic study review, to come back before the town council later this month. 

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