The Marina Village project planned for North Flagler Drive between 38th and 42nd Streets in West Palm Beach, a joint venture between Miami developer the Related Group and West Palm-based boat repair/refit company Rybovich, is starting to take shape.
The West Palm City Commission last month approved the site plan for the first of six residential towers on the 19-acre site next to Rybovich’s boat yard and headquarters at 4200 North Flagler Drive. The first building is 25 floors with 132 apartments and a four-story garage. The first phase also includes a 3,025 square-foot beach club with swimming pool and a public promenade.
Construction on the first building should begin late this year, with completion expected in 2018, Steve Patterson, CEO of Related, told The Real Deal via email. The rest of the project will be rolled out over six phases with a projected completion date of 2025. In addition to more than 1,000 residential units (future buildings are slated to house condominiums), the project includes 61,500 square feet of office space and 25,000 square feet of retail space.
“We aim to make Marina Village a place where residents will want to live, work and play,” Patterson said. “Our projects in urban, walkable destinations are seeing strong interest across all demographics, and we feel the trend will continue at this project.” That includes retirees, empty nesters and millennials looking for an urban environment. “There’s something here for everyone,” Patterson said.
Local real estate pros endorse the project. “In anticipation of it we bought an entire block front on Broadway across from the Rybovich facility for retail development,” West Palm developer Jonathan Gladstone told TRD. “This transforms the entire area.”
The neighborhood surrounding Rybovich isn’t a pretty sight. “The positive here is that the area has been blighted for decades, and this will stimulate redevelopment of the historic neighborhood and Broadway,” a major north-south street just west of Flagler Drive, Rick Gonzalez, president of West Palm-based REG Architects, told TRD. “The more difficult thing to accept is the scale.” It reminds him of the buildup of Biscayne Bay, he said, when he was growing up in Miami.
“But you have to look at the existing conditions: they’re horrible,” Gonzalez said. “This is a compromise. It’s just a shame that it will change the character of the area. That’s the history of Florida.” But the restoration of the waterfront will be a blessing for boaters like himself, Gonzalez said.
Meanwhile, he hopes the six residential buildings will have different designs, much like the buildings in the Battery Park waterfront section of New York City, to avoid a cookie-cutter look.
Neil Kozokoff, another West Palm developer, also is enthusiastic. “This is a game changer for the whole north end of West Palm Beach, bringing a critical mass of new development,” he told TRD. “If anyone can do this, it’s Related.”