What’s being built there? Parks at Delray to offer 747 new apartments and townhomes this year

This real-estate feature from the South Florida Sun Sentinel highlights the latest plans for new construction as demand rises for more housing, offices and stores across the region. You can submit questions through this form or by emailing buildings@sunsentinel.com, if you’re wondering about “what’s being built there?” in your community. Here’s one of the latest projects.

The location? Parks at Delray is a 50-acre project located at the southwest corner of Congress Avenue and Old Germantown Road. This project is west of Interstate 95, a couple blocks away from downtown.

What’s planned? There are 747 residential units: 693 rental apartments scattered among four-story and five-story buildings, and another 54 townhomes, also rentals. The recreational facilities include two swimming pools, two dog parks, a playground, and a clubhouse with a gym. The apartments are under construction now and the start date of the accompanying retail stores is a “moving target,” said Jeff Perlman, executive vice president of CDS International Holdings, a company that owns products, restaurants and real estate investments. Parks at Delray is a partnership between CDS, 13th Floor Investments, and Key International.

The apartments and townhomes are expected to open for leasing in May.

Perlman, a former city mayor who left because of term limits, said his company is “very bullish on the future of commercial in that corridor. As we speak, (we’re) running through various scenarios to make sense of the numbers that have dramatically changed.”

His company bought the land in late 2017. “The world has literally changed ever since COVID: Construction costs have dramatically increased and interest rates have just about tripled since we got involved.”

He called Parks at Delray a “pioneer project on that corridor” and “rents have to justify expense” for tenants willing to take a chance on a new spot.

“It’s a math problem we’re wrestling with,” he said. There will be between 20,000-40,000 square feet of commercial space. The retail portion is expected to be food- and beverage-oriented, and businesses such as a gym and salon.

Why this location? While there is a trend of new development and growth in downtown Delray Beach, Perlman said for “cities to be successful and sustainable (there) need (to be) more than one area of the city to perform. The downtown has been great for 25-plus years and it’s strong.”

The new location could create “another kind of dynamic place to create some jobs, take some pressure off the downtown and provide opportunity for people to live there,” he said.

“There is a need for the ‘missing middle’. East Delray is extremely expensive,” he said. With this vision, “middle class people can at least a start.”

Rental prices have not yet been announced.

What’s being replaced? This was the former site of the Office Depot corporate offices, which relocated to Boca Raton.

When will construction be finished? There is no timetable yet for the commercial and office space “but there is an earnest effort to get something going as soon as possible,” Perlman said.

Will there be offices? Parks at Delray will include 12,000 square feet of new office space. The project will also incorporate 68,000 square feet of existing office space known as The Arbors Office Park building, which is located at the northeast corner of the site.

Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@sunsentinel.com. Follow on X, formerly Twitter, @LisaHuriash