Atlantic Avenue restaurant space on market for eye-popping sum

Buddha Sky Bar in Delray Beach.

Two years ago, the Buddha Sky Bar building at 217 E. Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach sold for $5.9 million, according to property records. Now it’s on the market for $24.5 million.

Why the huge increase? Aside from a shortage of space in a bustling market, the seller says the recorded sale didn’t reflect the full value of the property.

“That was an inside deal between two partners buying each other out,” said Buddha Sky Bar owner Chris Licata.

The Atlantic Avenue market has commanded some premium prices. Last year, the buildings at 326 E. Atlantic and 400 E. Atlantic went for $19.5 million, or nearly $1,300 a square foot. If the 11,500-square-foot Sky Bar building gets its asking price, the deal will top $2,000 a foot.

“Buddha Sky Bar is the only three-story restaurant with views of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, where restaurant space downtown commands a premium due to limited supply,” said Marc E. Strauss, a broker at Marcus & Millichap who’s listing the building.

Sky Bar is offering a sale-leaseback. It says it’ll sign a 10-year lease for the second and third floors and a one-year lease for the first floor.

Delray isn’t the only place where high street retail has been fetching hefty sums. The Brooks Brothers building on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach traded for $2,800 a foot, and the Tiffany building on Worth Avenue is on the market for $2,400 a foot.