Frisbie Group plows ahead on renovation plan for Palm Beach’s “Main Street”

Plans are for six new two-story buildings, replacing a gas station, asphalt lots, Testa’s restaurant building and other structures

May.May 12, 2017 04:30 PM

Renderings of plans for Royal Poinciana Way properties, with courtyard on left, front of buildings on right, and Robert Frisbie

The Frisbie Group in Palm Beach is moving forward with its plan to re-do a group of fading buildings and empty space on Royal Poinciana Way, frequently referred to as the town’s Main Street.

Palm Beach approved Frisbie’s development plan last year, after five years of negotiations, and the group held a town-mandated meeting Thursday with neighbors of the project — both business and residential. 

So all that’s left now is finalizing a construction management agreement with town officials, so that demolition and building permits can be issued, Robert Frisbie, managing member of Frisbie Group told The Real Deal. That involves determining hours of construction and plans for traffic mitigation. “We’re getting close to having that finalized,” Frisbie said. He hopes construction will begin this summer and finish three-and-a-half years later.

The project consists of six new two-story buildings, replacing the current defunct gas station, asphalt lots, Testa’s restaurant building at 221 Royal Poinciana Way and several accompanying structures that are in a state of decay.

Local real estate billionaire Jeff Greene held a note on the Testa’s building that was assumed and then paid off by the Frisbie Group when it bought the property for $10.25 million last year.

The buildings will be connected through a group of vias, gardens and courtyards. Each building will have luxury retail on the ground floor and 7,000-square foot luxury condos on the top floor, according to Frisbie’s plan.

The site will have an underground parking garage with 86 spaces, including private parking areas for each of the residences. Private elevators open directly into residential units. Each residence includes a ground-level private garden and a furnished loggia on the second level.

“These will be some of the largest condominium residences on the island, and will be perfect for those who want a simpler, highly-amenitized lifestyle without compromising functionality or privacy,” Frisbie said.

The retail will include an upscale restaurant and shops that will appeal to the condo residents and others, he said. The restaurant will feature outdoor dining, and shop doors will be capable of opening to the outside. “It’s going to be the kind of indoor-outdoor setting that you see in European cities,” Frisbie said.

Local architect Rick Gonzalez, who worked on the area 10 years ago, is impressed with what Frisbie Group is doing. “It’s a very nice plan, exactly the revitalization that Royal Poinciana Way needs,” he said. “None of the buildings were historical, and they had deteriorated.”

Gonzalez’s only complaint about the project: “It’s a little boring: everything is the same color in the renderings.” But that’s no big deal, he said. “It can easily be fixed. This is a great improvement for the Main Street of Palm Beach.” 

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