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Delray Will Be Getting Its Own iPic Theater, If Developers Can Properly Address Traffic Flow

A new luxury iPic movie theater has the city's OK to open in downtown Delray.

At a meeting that went into the wee hours of the morning Wednesday, the Delray Beach city commission approved iPic's plans to open up an upscale, dine-in theater and mixed-use development at the former site of the Delray library and Chamber of Commerce.

The only other iPic Theater currently in South Florida is located in Boca Raton. More than 15,000 Delray residents visit that theater, according to an iPic Delray FAQ sheet. 

This project has been in the works since 2013, but debate over the construction site at Forth and Fifth avenues has created many delays.

While the idea of a luxury cinema in downtown Delray may excite locals, residents and city leaders have expressed concern about the development bringing more traffic to the area.

"Everybody likes a movie luxury type thing, really neat, but unfortunately it's just in the wrong place," planning and zoning board member Mark Krall told WPBF in July.

Expected to open in 2017, the theater will have eight screens with a total of 529 seats, and the mixed-use development will include additional office space, shops, public plazas and a parking garage. 

To gain approval, iPic made more than 30 changes to its original plans, according to iPic Entertainment representative Michelle Soudry.

"There were so many reiterations of changes made from the first time we sat in front of planning and zoning to today," she said.

For example, after talking it over with community partners, iPic chose not to include a sit-down restaurant, like Boca's has, so as not to compete with neighboring eateries.

iPic also added 48 additional parking spaces to its plan, bringing the total to 327 spaces, which includes 40 more public parking spots than the city requires.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the Delray commission also made concessions. The city has authorized iPic to construct a taller building than city rules permit (about 5 feet higher) and voted to allow for a movie theater in the area, which downtown Delray hasn't had since 2013.

The city must still approve a site plan addressing traffic flow before construction can begin, Sun Sentinel reported. iPic says it has worked with traffic planners and engineers to conduct independent studies and reduce the impact.

The Delray iPic—which is expected to add more than 400 local jobs—will offer also community programming in the form of mixology classes and in-theater gaming for kids, iPic CEO Hamid Hashemi reportedly said.

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