Downtown Delray Beach also is home to the $300 million residential-retail development Atlantic Crossing, currently rising on East Atlantic Avenue at the Intracoastal.
Pebb Capital originally toyed with the idea of calling its multiple-use space Midtown Delray, but settled on the name Sundy Village because of plans to envelop the historic Sundy House, a boutique hotel/restaurant/event venue nestled just off of entertainment enclave Atlantic Avenue on Swinton Avenue.
“We changed the name of the entire development to really honor the history of the Sundy House ... in the village of Delray Beach,” explains Todd Rosenberg, Pebb Capital’s co-founder and managing principal. “It’s a village, not a town. That’s a different vibe.”
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Rosenberg adds, “If you think about it, the Sundy House is really the anchor of the property at the southern end. The rest of Sundy Village is going to be run from Atlantic all the way down to Sundy House.”
Stephanie Immelman, president and CEO of the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce, is a supporter of the development.
“I am so excited about Sundy Village,” she says. “l feel it is long overdue. What makes it so great is it’s keeping the look and feel of the Sundy House, the crown jewel … one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.”
Located in the Old School Square Historic District, the project won’t just include Sundy House — built by Delray Beach’s first mayor, John Shaw Sundy, in 1902. It also will include:
Other homes in the area will be renovated and used to house “local craft casual food and beverage outlets,” Rosenberg says. “It’ll be a curated, cool, eclectic mix ... with outdoor protected seating areas.”
The developers are still working with the Historic Preservation Board in Delray Beach, revising plans several times over the last two years since taking over the project from Hudson Holdings, which itself redrew plans many times in response to neighborhood detractors and supporters.
“People hear about things ... once they are approved, then it kind of goes a little bit quiet,” says Laura Simon, the executive director of the Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority. “[Pebb Capital] acquired it in late 2019 and then we went into COVID.”
Ryan Boylston, Delray Beach vice mayor and a city commissioner, says, “I have seen firsthand how much thought and care the Pebb Capital team has put into revising this contentious project from years ago into a beautiful and anticipated new area of our downtown.”
What else will be at Sundy Village?
Part of Sundy Village will sit on Atlantic Avenue, across the street from the storied ice cream and burger joint Doc’s All American, on the edge of the entertainment corridor that starts just east of the intersection with Swinton Avenue.
“This is one the most important corners in all of Palm Beach County,” says Pebb Capital’s Rosenberg. “There are very few truly authentic historic urban-type streets. And this intersection is where Atlantic switches from four lanes and is traditionally the entrance to this two-lane, walkable authentic lifestyle experience. Our site sits straight at the, call it the gateway. This very important stretch of road.”
In the newly constructed part of Sundy Village the plans include two primary full-service restaurants, according to Pebb Capital, with offices in Boca Raton and New York City.
In addition to retailers, there will also be office space with class A infrastructure.
“There’s not a lot of office space in Delray with that heightened urban-type setting, with the ability to walk out of the office and have incredible restaurants and bars,” Rosenberg says. “For employers, this is going to be in high demand..”
And there will be a 200-space subterranean parking garage, with “multiple openings to the sky with trees and greenery, so you don’t feel like you’re going into a dungeon,” Rosenberg says.
From the underground garage, you will be able to “walk up right into the paseo, this large open-air garden on one side of the office building,” he adds. “And there’ll be a little park in there with some cool art and sculptures and fountains. You look to the south and there’s the Sundy House property. Look to the north and it’s the main building with class A offices and restaurants. Look east and it’s the historic homes and [food and beverage] vendors.”
He went on to say that the whole idea is to “...expand the Avenue further west; That’s the name of the game.”
The DDA’s Simon agrees: “Keeping that connecting for the pedestrian, that is something we are very excited to see.
The Chamber’s Immelman adds, “It expands the vital downtown area, expands it west a bit, expands it south a bit.”
The backstory for Rosenberg
“My family has been developing real estate in the city of Delray since 1974, when my grandfather, dad and uncle built Shoppes of Delray on Military Trail,” Rosenberg says. “That was our first foray in Delray.”
Born in Hollywood, raised in Boca Raton, and attending high school in Fort Lauderdale before going away to college in New York, Rosenberg says he’s been driving up and down Atlantic Avenue since he first got a license at age 16.
“I’ve known that corner for as long ... as I can remember. I continue to recognize the value of this land growing up.”
The family went on to develop and run Delray Square Shopping Center and Delray Commons until the family sold their interests between 2007-2013.
“Now we’re jumping back in,” Rosenberg says. “We’ve been working hard to make sure that what we deliver is something that is going to fit into the current fabric of Delray Beach and at the same time show how Delray can evolve and grow.”