renderings of a shipping container plaza in delray beach

Delray Beach’s “out-of-the-box” plan to drastically transform a barren lot along Atlantic Avenue into a lively destination plaza comprised of shipping containers could soon become a reality.

City officials gave the green light on moving forward with the project, which would result in a new outdoor venue with restaurants, shops, a park, a play area for kids and a stage for musical events. CPZ Architects, a local firm handling the project, unveiled new design photos highlighting the plaza.

The project, which would be built at 800 W. Atlantic Ave. just east of Interstate 95, will be made up entirely of colorful 20- and 40-foot shipping container boxes.

“It’s gorgeous,” City Commissioner Juli Casale said during a recent public meeting. “It’s all we imagined it would be and more. I’m very excited to move forward.”

Shipping container plazas have become trendy design choices over the past decade, popping up in places such as Las Vegas, Wynwood and Orlando, due to their unique designs and quick construction timelines.

The next step will be for the city to seek out bids from shipping container companies, Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Renee Jadusingh said. No timeline has been set for the project, she said.

Once the project receives final approval, it would take between 60 and 82 weeks to complete, according to a report from CPZ Architects. A plaza like the one being presented is estimated to cost about $6.7 million, according to the same report. That number, however, is not final. The actual construction costs could vary based on different bids.

Delray Beach officials have long attempted to revitalize the stretch of Atlantic Avenue between I-95 and Swinton Avenue, which has paled in comparison to the section west of Swinton, which is lined with dozens of popular bars and restaurants.

The plaza is a “forward-thinking and out-of-the-box” way to revitalize the area, CRA Board Member Angie Gray said.

The plaza will also have a parking lot with 39 spaces.

Orlando has a similar venue, Boxi Park, which launched in 2018. Delray Beach officials suggested it be used as a template, according to city documents.

City Commissioner Adam Frankel was very enthusiastic about the new project along Atlantic Avenue. “I always said one of the coolest places ever I went to was Wynwood Yard [which had a similar concept].”

“To me, this brings a touch of that to our Northwest/Southwest neighborhoods and to the entire community and I think it’s going to be great,’ Frankel said.


Source: Sun Sentinel