A 6-acre Boca Raton parcel that sparked concerns over high-density housing downtown was sold this week for $22.3 million.
Archstone, a national apartment builder, had planned to build 378 units and 12,000 square feet of retail on the north side of Palmetto Park Road and east of Mizner Boulevard.
But Archstone was bought by another company that didn’t want to develop the project.
The buyer was not disclosed, and the deed has not yet been recorded in Palm Beach County, but the new owner is expected to proceed with apartments and retail, officials say.
South Florida developers are racing to market with thousands of rentals that analysts say will help ease a severe shortage of apartments in the region.
“To some extent, they’re just making up for lost time,” said Troy Ballard, an executive with ARA, a Boca Raton brokerage that represented the seller in the deal.
In 2012, the city approved an Archstone plan to build the project, which drew concerns from residents who said the large complex would detract from Boca’s appeal.
Residents later filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s approval and won the right to put the issue before city voters. But the city and developer appealed, and the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that citizens couldn’t force a citywide referendum.
Andrea O’Rourke said she and other Boca residents are resigned to an apartment complex on the site, but she hopes the new owner will consider adding more restaurants and shops that would make the project more pedestrian-friendly.
“We would hope this new developer would engage the community and be good neighbors,” she said.