West Palm Beach officials push for development

West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach

A City Commission workshop produced an economic development plan with hopes of creating jobs, growing the tax base, attracting business to West Palm Beach and promoting real estate development.

“Real estate is going to play a big part in it,” Kevin Crowder, economic development director of Redevelopment Management Associates, the contractor running the city’s community redevelopment agency, told Daily Business Review. “Real estate is one those themes that drives everything else.”

Last year, the value of new construction reached more than $1 billion, according to the Review. That number is up from 2010, when developers created only about $102 million worth of new projects.

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However, demand continues to outpace supply in West Palm Beach and officials are hoping to promote development in all real estate sectors.

“I applaud the forward-thinking approach of the City of West Palm Beach, as we strongly believe that addressing the lack of office space will help position the city for quality economy development,” said Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. “We need to see some dirt turned and shovels in the ground. Right now there are no new offices in the works. There are proposals, but nothing in the works.” [Daily Business Review]Christopher Cameron