The Real Deal’s Amir Korangy moderates ULI panel on WPB

Panelists included Jeff Greene, Kenneth Himmel, Frank Navarro, Nader Salour

Apr.April 10, 2015 01:15 PM

West Palm Beach is in the midst of redevelopment, spurred by local investment that is reshaping the urban landscape, real estate experts said Friday during an Urban Land Institute panel.

The West Palm Beach Development and Investment Forum, held at 8 a.m. at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, featured the biggest players in development discussing why they are investing in the future of West Palm Beach, ULI said.

Panelists included billionaire investor Jeff Greene; Related Urban President and CEO Kenneth Himmel; Frank Navarro, president and co-founder of Navarro Lowrey; and Nader Salour, founding principal of Cypress Realty of Florida. The panel was moderated by The Real Deal’s publisher Amir Korangy.

The panelists, all active developers in the West Palm Beach market, were bullish on the area’s future.

Greene, who grew up West Palm Beach, said he has witnessed the positive change. He has been on a buying frenzy, and has spent $250 million on Palm Beach County real estate, including in the downtown core. His current projects include a twin tower hotel and condo complex just north of the Palm Beach County Courthouse. The 30-story towers would have a combined 800,000 to 900,000 square feet.

Navarro’s Navarro-Lowrey is planning a mixed-use project for the old West Palm Beach City Hall site.

And Salour’s new Loftin Place, a residential project at the northern edge of downtown West Palm Beach, intends to change the dynamics of that area with more than 400 residential units.

CityPlace, developed by Himmel’s Related Urban — Related Companies’ mixed-use development arm — already has played a major role in shaping downtown West Palm Beach.  Himmel told attendees that he has seen a spillover from Palm Beach to West Palm Beach.

Korangy, who flew in from New York to moderate the panel, lauded the ULI event, which attracted 300 people.

“Having 300 people at 8 in the morning to a panel is a great testament to the area,” he said.

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