Jeff Greene won’t build city-approved downtown development in West Palm

The billionaire says he won't build One West Palm largely because of a rezoning action that allows another developer to build a 25-story downtown office building

JefF Greene and West Palm Beach
JefF Greene and West Palm Beach

The Palm Beach Post reported that billionaire and gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene has decided not to build One West Palm, a mixed-use complex in downtown West Palm Beach that would have apartments, hotel rooms and offices.

Greene got Federal Aviation Administration approval in spring and city approval more than two years for the two-tower, 30-story project at 550 Quadrille Boulevard.

But Greene told the Post he won’t build One West Palm largely because the city government recently removed a five-story limit on building height in a downtown area where New York-based Related Companies has planned to build a 25-story office building.

Greene told the newspaper that the up-zoning action has created an “uncertain zoning climate” in West Palm Beach that will discourage major real estate developments in the city.

Related Companies is preparing to start construction of an office building with about 297,000 square feet of space at a downtown site in West Palm Beach, on Rosemary Avenue between Fern and Evernia streets. “Initial site work is expected to start in September, and occupancy is projected by the end of 2020,” Related spokeswoman Thiago Viana told TRD in an email exchange.

Greene also said he has no plans to resurrect his plan to develop 348 micro-apartments at 550 Banyan Boulevard in West Palm Beach.

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The Real Deal reported in November that he stopped pursuing the apartment project after concluding the project was infeasible.

A major obstacle is an apartment-building boom that is “putting stress on the market,” Greene told the Post.

Asked about the overall prospects of his extensive investment in real estate in downtown West Palm Beach, Greene told the newspaper that “it’s not going that great.”

The same could be said about Greene’s prospects as a Democratic candidate for governor.

Polls indicate he will finish second, third or fourth in the Democratic gubernatorial primary vote on Aug. 28. [Palm Beach Post] – Mike Seemuth