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livingin clockwise from top left: Atlantic Avenue’s pooch patios; Vic & Angelo’s; conch ceviche at 50 ocean; Banker’s row neighborhood Delray Beach what it’s like to live in ... L i f e st y L e s the silver Mercedes crawls to a stop at Atlantic Avenue at home, are what residents — full-time and seasonal — love about A in Delray Beach, the bearded chin of a wheaten terrier pokes through the open window. The sight of other canines lazing under sidewalk cafe tables piques his curiosity. this city nestled between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Sure, other Florida towns have both urban centers and Atlantic Avenue is Delray’s energy epicenter. Te pedestrian traf- beaches, but Delray, a city of 60,500, possesses a magnetic quality ﬁc and overﬂowing alfresco cafes, where Fido and Rover are right all its own. It is in part the result of progressive thinking decades >> story nAnci theoret photogr aphy gAry BogDon ﬂoridatravellife.com + march/april 75FTL0412_livingin.indd 75 1/31/12 12:01 PM
“Delray is a walking town. People from other cities come here to walk, shop, eat or go to the beach.” >> ago, when the construction of view-blocking high-rises along the asking price. Since they both work from home, being ﬁve blocks oceanfront was prevented. Commerce was channeled to Atlantic from Atlantic Avenue wasn’t as important to them as the two Avenue, a beach-to-business sweep that crosses the Intracoastal extra bedrooms, which they’ve converted to oﬃces. “We’re big Waterway and pushes a dozen blocks westward. During the past runners and bikers and compete in triathlons,” Kim says. “Delray 10 years or so, a living, breathing downtown has emerged, and is a good area for us to spend the winter, and we’re only a mile people have followed, trying to live as close as possible to the and a half from the ocean.” city’s heart. Besides the Atlantic, there’s the Intracoastal Waterway that “Te ﬁrst thing people ask when they walk into my oﬃce separates Delray into beachfront and mainland. Te beach side is where can they live and walk to Atlantic [Avenue],” says Ted falls into a late-night lull, but come morning, power walkers, Brown, the managing broker for Prudential Florida Realty’s pedestrians and dogs return to the sidewalks, and bicycle racks ﬁll Delray oﬃce. “Delray is a walking town. People from other cit- quickly. However, on the mainland, the hum of Atlantic Avenue’s ies come here to walk, shop, eat or go to the beach.” nightlife, west of the Intracoastal, continues into the early morn- Delray’s dynamic downtown has helped sofen the impact of ing hours. Te open-air restaurants and bars that cater to night the real-estate fallout. Although home prices in some neighbor- owls attract a wide range of ages. Vic & Angelo’s is a fave for hoods have dropped 35 percent, the rate of foreclosure is lower crisp, charred-crust pizzas, and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine here than in other parts of Florida. Buyers have returned, and they Lobster cafe scores for its lobster rolls. represent a microcosm of an aﬄuent and upwardly mobile society Te variety of properties is staggering. Delray Beach has multi- of young professionals, investors cashing in on a hot rental mar- million-dollar waterfront estates, well-preserved 1950s bungalows ket (single-family homes fetch up to $4,000 a month), and those and Intracoastal condos tucked into neighborhoods on each side like Chicagoans Kim and Kevin Radisewitz, who moved down of Atlantic Avenue. Inventory south of the avenue is limited, due to here to escape the Midwest cold and plan ahead for retirement. residents’ desire to be near both the ocean and the pedestrian hub. Te Radisewitzes purchased a three-bedroom townhome last Currently, listings show condos in older mid-rise buildings, includ- fall in Latitude, a relatively new condominium and townhome ing the Venetian Village, where the occasional two-bedroom, development. It cost them a fraction of the original $500,000 1,200-square-foot property runs around $250,000. 76 ﬂoridatravellife.com + march/aprilFTL0412_livingin.indd 76 1/31/12 12:01 PM
delray beach + livingin clockwise from left: Delray’s oceanfront location appeals to home buyers; annual thanks- giving Weekend Arts Festival; funky Florida mailbox at a Banker’s row home; 50 ocean’s lobster sandwich. Hip Pineapple grove is an area whose artsy cachet is pro- R e A L e stAt e claimed by a wall mural at Northeast Second and Atlantic avenues. Te neighborhood features two- and three-bedroom condos and what your money can townhomes adjacent to and above restaurants and boutiques. Te 1,200- to 2,400-square-foot homes are just a walk from the new buy now + D E L R AY B E AC H DU20 holistic spa, the home-furnishings store Beached Boat co. ➜ $249,000 Condos like fireplace and hard- this two-bedroom, second- wood floors, as and Max’s harvest, chef Dennis Max’s farm-to-fork venture. story unit on Venetian Drive well as granite “Pineapple Grove is an ideal location for everyone who wants don’t stay on the market countertops and to be downtown,” Brown says. “New or relatively new homes with long — it’s two blocks from stainless-steel stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops, once priced at the beach, three blocks from appliances. $400,000 to $500,000, are selling at $300,000.” Atlantic Avenue. The ➜ $2 , 250,000 This Nearby neighborhoods, such as Banker’s row, have a mix of 1,170-square- three-bedroom oceanfront architectural styles, from pastel-colored early-1900s-era cottages foot home townhome is just blocks from to Mediterranean Revival mansions. Lake ida, 10 blocks north of has both Atlantic Avenue. The three- Atlantic Avenue, is a sought-afer neighborhood with cul-de-sacs, wood and story corner home has a carpeted canals and lakefront single-family homes. Prices range from around private pool/spa, an eleva- floors. $300,000 to $1 million, depending on the age of the home and its tor and two balconies. Contact proximity to the lake. “Lake Ida is one of the most active markets in ➜ $749,000 Ted Brown, Prudential the community,” Brown points out. “It has the charm of Old Florida. This nearly Florida Realty, 3,000-square-foot, four- 561.251.9600, Buyers are making major improvements to older homes.” bedroom pool home — the tedbrown@pru Delray clearly buzzes with an urban energy, but for the quintessential vintage Delray dentialflorida Radisewitzes, the beach is still the hands-down winner. “One of cottage — is in the Del Ida realty.com; our favorite things is spending time at the ocean, just sitting and Park historic district. It has prudential relaxing in the sun,” Kim says. No doubt, other residents agree. a covered porch, balcony, floridarealty.com ﬂoridatravellife.com + march/april 77FTL0412_livingin.indd 77 1/31/12 12:01 PM