Owner of West Palm Beach office building sues city for up-zoning action

The owner of Esperanté Corporate Center took the city to court for allowing construction of a 25-story building that would block water views from Esperanté

The owner of Esperanté Corporate Center in downtown West Palm Beach took legal action against the city for allowing construction of another office building that would block Esperanté  tenants’ view of the city’s waterfront.

City commissioners last month up-zoned a downtown corridor along Okeechobee Boulevard by designating it as the Okeechobee Business District.

The up-zoning action has allowed New York-based Related Companies to construct One Flagler, a 25-story office building on Lakeview Drive at a site near the city’s waterfront, where the old limit on building height was five stories.

Esperanté  is located at 222 Lakeview Drive, about one block west of the One Flagler development site.

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Esperanté ’s owner, 222 Lakeview LLC, sued West Palm Beach in circuit court, claiming that the city failed to follow its own rezoning rules and violated due process requirements, among other charges.

The company also asked for a circuit court review of the city’s establishment of the Okeechobee Business District, alleging the action is tantamount to spot zoning in favor of one property owner.

In addition, 222 Lakeview asked the State Department of Administrative Hearings to determine whether the city failed to follow its comprehensive land-use plan and procedures in establishing the Okeechobee Business District.

Nat Nason, an attorney for 222 Lakeview, told the Palm Beach Post that an appraisal confirms that construction of the 25-story One Flagler office building would depress rents at Esperanté  and the building’s value by blocking views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean.

City administrator Jeff Green told the Post that the city legally established the Okeechobee Business District. [Palm Beach Post]Mike Seemuth

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