Delray Beach, FL- Another attractive SE Florida beach town

Delray Beach was limited to a couple hundred souls until Henry Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railroad south from West Palm Beach in 1896. This fostered a small historic dwtn built on surrounding agriculture for the next couple decades. But in the 20s more and more vacationers came fueled by the Florida Land boom came. By 1930 its population had grown to 2K.  Delray was also the largest town between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale and attracted seasonal Artists and Writers who were not welcomed in Palm Beach. Sadly Delray had a history of excluding Jews from purchasing homes well into the 60s. In the 1970s, Interstate 95 was fully completed and suburban development west of the city limits exploded. Delray grew to 20K residents by 1970 and 50K in 1990. This sadly left Dwtn Delray and surrounding inner city neighborhoods in economic decline. Thankfully Dwtn Delray has experienced a rebirth in the past 2 decades and is a rather happening place. But many of the residential streets around Dwtn still bear the historic scares of disinvestment.

From an urban perspective Delray Beach has good urban form along most of its biz corridors (i.e. Atlantic Ave. and NE 2nd St), great cultural and retail amenities, and good urban infill. Sadly its historic decline meant that almost all historic commercial bldgs were leveled. Dwtn Delray also does not have great access to Dwtn Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, nor West Palm Beach, is very expensive, and has limited schools and park amenities.

Click here to view my Delray Beach Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Nice connectivity in Dwtn Delray Beach
* A pair of dedicated bike lanes run thru dwtn but no dedicated bike stations.
* Overall pretty good diversity especially racial and generational.
* Delay has a decent amount of affordable housing thanks to having their own Housing Authority.
* Culturally a great array of restaurants, bars, & cafes, tons of art galleries, a couple of museums, a cineplex, a performing arts center and a couple other theaters, and several live music venues.
* Also good retail amenities with tons of boutiques and brand name clothing stores, a couple drug stores, a bookstore, tons of dessert stores, a couple gyms, plenty of salons & barbers, a post office and dwtn public library .
* Good urban form along most of Atlantic Ave and ne 2nd Ave.
* Dwtn Delray is generally feels safe but has a pretty high crime rate.
* Overall pretty good modern infill with decent design and quality urban form.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Density not great but pretty average for a Florida suburban dwtn.
* Not great access to Dwtns. About 30-40 min drive to dwtn West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale and 1 hr. to Dwtn Miami. About 1 hr. + via train to either Dwtn.
* For sale housing is pretty expensive but some moderately priced condos. 1-bed condos sell btwn 275K-500K, 2-beds sell anywhere btwn 400K-1M, and wide variety with 3 & 4 beds selling anywhere btwn 500K- 2M.
* Rentals are even more expensive with studios leasing in the 2KS, 1-beds btwn mid 2Ks-5Ks, 2-beds btwn 3K-7K, 3-beds btwn 5K-12K.
* Parks are limited to the Old School Square (a nice centrally located park) and the small Veterans Park.
* Dwtn is missing a supermarket.
* No schools within the Dwtn area. Some private schools nearby but pretty small.
* Some historic hsg on the more SF streets but not a ton. Biz districts is all modern in-fill.

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