West Palm gives final approval for contentious business district

Related Cos. wants to build a 25-story office tower in what was a 5-story zone

The West Palm Beach City Commission approved the controversial Okeechobee Business District on Monday evening, paving the way for the Related Companies’ plan for a luxury office tower in the neighborhood.

The commission gave its final OK after a year-and-a-half of public hearings and debates, including a vote last September that nearly killed the district, according to the Palm Beach Post.  Mayor Jeri Muoio supported the plan, claiming that it would limit what could be built on a desirable downtown site owned by the community redevelopment agency.

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Related wants to build a 25-story in what was a five-story zone at Flagler Drive and Okeechobee Boulevard along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Since the Okeechobee plan was voted down in September, two new commissioners were elected. The commission gave its final stamp of approval on Monday, despite the Florida Department of Transportation, Palm Beach and Palm Beach County recommending the city wait for a state traffic study on the zoning change’s potential impact.[Palm Beach Post] – Katherine Kallergis

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