Downtown Delray Beach could see an infusion of new $2 million townhomes

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Feb 11, 2022 12:41 PM

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DELRAY BEACH — Delray Beach’s Federal Highway has become hot spot for townhomes — and 31 more could soon be on the way with price tags hovering above $2 million each.

The proposed townhome development, Highland Park, would consist of five four-story buildings just four blocks north of Atlantic Avenue at 375 and 395 NE Sixth Ave. Each unit would feature a two-car garage, a private elevator and roof deck.

The 1.73-acre project also would include a private pool and public space with benches and a water fountain. The land was purchased by Courchene Development for $4.8 million in 2006 and has remained vacant since that time.

Prices for individual units will likely be in the low-to-mid $2 million range, said Paul Courchene, president of Courchene Development, adding that the hope is for the townhomes to be ready in the beginning of 2024.

The housing market has continued to surge in South Florida with people fleeing colder states up north, making downtown Delray Beach an especially attractive destination with its buzzing nightlife and proximity to the beach.

Highland Park would feature 31 townhomes in Delray Beach on Federal Highway just north of Atlantic Avenue. A rendering submitted to the city shows the exterior of the proposal.

Highland Park would feature 31 townhomes in Delray Beach on Federal Highway just north of Atlantic Avenue. A rendering submitted to the city shows the exterior of the proposal. (Courchene Development / Covelli Design Associates)

“The timing I think is perfect right now to develop it and there’s definitely a need,” Courchene said. “We were just waiting for the appropriate time to get things going.”

That infusion of wealthy northerners has created a demand for more luxury projects in Delray Beach.

Just south of Linton Boulevard, by the beach, 33 brand-new luxury condos are in development and selling for between $3.9 million and $7.5 million.

Additionally, a 14-home gated community is in the works less than two miles north of Atlantic Avenue with pre-construction prices beginning at $3.25 million.

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While the housing demand is sky-high in Delray Beach, there’s a scarcity of available land. 98% of Delray Beach is already built out, according to city records, making it a challenge to create new projects. The limited amount of land has made townhomes an attractive option for developers.

While there’s not enough space for larger complexes along Federal Highway, townhomes can be built on smaller plots of land, which allows developers to sell them at higher prices to maximize their value.

Elliot Koolik, principal for the Koolik Group and Founding agent at Compass Boca, has been specializing in luxury homes in Boca Raton and Delray Beach for over 30 years, said that townhomes close to Atlantic Avenue have become a popular option for people moving to South Florida.

There is a “migration of people who have had larger homes who are empty nesters and moving East and want walkability, so they are walking to the avenue and going to restaurants. They love that,” Koolik said.

“And clearly second-home people, because townhomes are easy. You lock the door, you have an alarm, not a lot of maintenance, so it’s very appealing.”

The project is in the early stages of development and still needs to receive city approval.

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