The collapse of the sale of Briny Breezes (some more about the original deal here) is primarily due to the objections of Ocean Ridge (to the north) and Gulf Stream (to the south.) In my last piece I commented as follows:
As I understand it, the prospective developers want to put high rise development in Briny Breezes; otherwise, the price couldn’t be justified. And this leads to the next factor that worked in favour of Briny Breezes’ inhabitants: many of the oceanfront communities, such as Palm Beach and neighbouring Ocean Ridge–restrict high rise development. If this were not the case, the coast from the South Beach to Jupiter and beyond would be one solid concrete wall. This is what basically happened to Highland Beach (between Boca Raton and Delray Beach) in the 1970’s; developers were able to exert enough influence to break up the single family dwellings and build high rises.
Since Briny Breezes is a municipality in its own right, it will be a lot simpler to authorise high rise development without having to worry about the neighbours voting it down. Thus, Briny Breezes is valuable not only as a tract of oceanfront land but also as a free-standing municipality.
Evidently Ocean Ridge and Gulf Stream remembered that bit of South Florida history. Being a separate municipality obviously wasn’t the insurance against that form of adversity that the developers, Briny Breezes residents, or I thought it would be.
The current state of the real estate market–and the availability of financing–didn’t help matters either.