In a modern-meets-classic project, Stephen Ross’ latest downtown West Palm Beach office tower will rise next to a nearly 100-year-old church that will be preserved.
Ross’ Related Companies embarked on the 25-story One Flagler, where two financial firms and a Greek restaurant signed leases. It will be on the western portion of a 2.5-acre site at the foot of the Royal Park Bridge and overlooking the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Private equity firm Siris Capital will move into One Flagler from nearby Phillips Point, also owned by Related. First Republic Bank will open a retail branch and office space at One Flagler, Gopal Rajegowda, partner at Related Southeast, told The Real Deal.
Chef Costas Spiliadis’ Greek seafood restaurant Estiatorio Milos, with its nearest location in Miami Beach, will open in a roughly 10,000-square-foot space on the ground floor and second level, with waterfront views, Rajegowda said.
He declined to disclose the size of the First Republic and Siris spaces, only saying Siris’ office “would account for firm growth.”
Related bought the One Flagler site for $20.1 million in July. The property is at 134 and 142 Lakeview Avenue and 809 South Flagler Drive. The seller, First Church of Christ Scientist, retained ownership of its sanctuary.
At the One Flagler groundbreaking on Friday morning, Ross said West Palm Beach is poised to become a “model city” in the U.S. and called South Florida’s growth a “gold rush.”
“People are recognizing it and people want to be here,” said Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins.
The 275,000-square-foot One Flagler will be built west of the First Church of Christ Scientist and include a garage partly on the first floors of the tower and partly jutting out and rising eight stories, Rajegowda said.
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s David Childs, One Flagler will have floor-to-glass windows, according to a news release and project renderings.
By contrast, the church has a Classical Revival architectural style and was built in 1928.
It was designed by architects Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele, and will remain open.
The eastern half of the site will be preserved as green space with the roughly 1-acre public park named after Abele, a prominent Black architect according to the release.
The project marks New York City-based Related’s fifth office property in downtown West Palm, as it is betting on financial firm influx to the area.
Related paid $282 million in January for Phillips Point, a two-tower office complex, and also paid $175 million for CityPlace Tower, which Related originally developed in 2008 with CP Group. It also bought half of the ownership interest in Esperanté Corporate Center for an undisclosed amount, and finished and fully leased the 20-story 360 Rosemary.
Overall, it is a more than half a billion-dollar bet on downtown West Palm offices.
One Flagler is expected to be completed in 2023. In West Palm real estate circles, it has been dubbed the “hedge fund tower” in a nod to it being a magnet for financial firms. Rajegowda confirmed Related has received a lot of interest from these types of tenants.
“A large majority of the tenants are out of state and out of city,” he said, “and they are either from the Northeast or the Midwest.”