Architect Cesar Pelli will oversee design of proposed West Palm Beach development

His son Rafael Pelli will direct the design of a planned hotel and office development at South Dixie Highway and Okeechobee Boulevard

Cesar Pelli
Cesar Pelli

Renowned architect Cesar Pelli will oversee the design a proposed commercial real estate development at a main entry to West Palm Beach.

Cohen Brothers Realty Corp., owner of the historic Carefree Theatre on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, plans a hotel and office development at the intersection of South Dixie and Okeechobee Boulevard.

Pelli’s famous building designs include the World Financial Center in New York City and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He also designed the 60-story, glass-encased Residences by Armani/Casa condominium in Sunny Isles Beach.

His son and business partner Rafael Pelli will direct the West Palm Beach project.

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The 2.37-acre development site is owned by the West Palm Beach Community Development Agency (CRA), which bought the land for $1.5 million in 1992.

John Ward, executive director of the CRA, told the Palm Beach Post the agency and Cohen Brothers are negotiating the terms of a site development of office space “to attract new business” and a hotel with as many as 300 rooms.

The development site is known locally as the Tent Site because vendors often set up tents for trade shows there.

Ward, who also works as an associate of redevelopment management company RMA, told the Post the city needs an architecturally unique development there, not “another stucco Mediterranean building.” [Sun-Sentinel]Mike Seemuth