The Real Deal Miami

United Technologies closes $17M land deal for PBG tech center

Land is one piece of 600-acre development site owned by Kolter Group
By Sean Stewart-Muniz | January 04, 2016 03:45PM

A rendering of the Center for Intelligent Buildings, which nabbed city approval in October

A rendering of the Center for Intelligent Buildings, which nabbed county approval in 2015

An affiliate of United Technologies Corp. just closed on a $17.25 million land deal in Palm Beach Gardens, where it plans to build a cutting-edge innovation center for showcasing new building technologies.

The deal includes about 30 acres of wooded land at the southeastern corner of I-95 and Donald Ross Road, near the Scripps Research Institute in northern Palm Beach County.

The site represents one small piece of a roughly 600-acre swath of land that real estate firm Kolter Group bought for $127 million in 2013.

United, known for its commercial subsidiaries like Otis Elevator Co., announced plans to build a technology hub called the Center for Intelligent Buildings on Kolter’s land in July 2015.

The proposed building would measure about 250,000 square feet and would show off new building technology, while also housing offices for researchers and other staff.

The company made its land purchase through Carrier Corp., its climate control division that handles air conditioning and refrigeration. The price breaks down to $575,000 an acre, or about $13 per square foot.

Despite objections from Scripps — which contended in letters sent in February and March 2015 to Palm Beach County that the center wouldn’t fit in with the parcel’s intended use as a biotechnology hub — county officials granted Carrier approvals for its project in Spring 2015.