Developer Pulls Out of Fla. Barrier Island Project

August 1, 2007

The Florida Coalition for Preservation was glad to hear that the developer of the Briny Breezes, Fla., redevelopment plan, Boca Raton-based Ocean Land Investments, has pulled out of the multimillion dollar deal to jam the tiny, hurricane-prone barrier-island community with multiple high-rise towers housing 900 condominium units, 300 timeshare units, a 349-room luxury hotel, restaurants, retail shops, parking facilities and a yacht marina.

“This encouraging news clearly shows that irresponsible dense overdevelopment on storm-prone barrier islands that overstresses infrastructure is unacceptable,” said Coalition Chairman Tom Evans. “Any responsible redevelopment at Briny Breezes must be compatible with the surrounding community. Every independent analysis showed that, from the very beginning, this proposal was doomed because it failed to pass that fundamental test.”

Evans, a former Congressman who authored the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982, noted that the Coalition, established to defend Florida’s barrier islands from falling victim to irresponsible development, supports expansion of the Act to prevent taxpayers from subsidizing new construction on barrier islands that dangerously stresses infrastructure.

“Our mission is not over. If we remain diligent, this initial victory should set a positive precedent for future developments in Florida,” Evans added, noting that the end of the deal comes a month after the Florida Department of Community Affairs issued a report critical of the massive, high-density plan to redevelop Briny Breezes.

“We support redeveloping Briny Breezes and stand ready to work with the people of Briny Breezes to help develop a plan that is compatible with the surrounding communities and does not overly stress the area’s infrastructure,” Evans said. “We believe Briny Breezes will eventually be redeveloped. When that happens, we hope the future developer learns from the mistakes made during this episode and works with the surrounding communities and the Coalition from the beginning to craft a responsible and innovative plan that would make everyone proud. Perhaps, even the present developers will want to start again, from the beginning, with a new proposal.”

Source: Business Wire

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