West Palm Beach board approves Steve Ross, Jeff Greene projects
Committee also OK’d zoning, land-use changes needed for more more than 350 rentals
Developers Steve Ross and Jeff Greene passed a major hurdle for their separate projects in West Palm Beach.
On Tuesday, the city planning board greenlit the site plans for Ross’ Related Companies’ East and West office towers planned at The Square mixed-use complex and Greene’s pair of condo buildings near Currie Park. The board also OK’d land-use and zoning changes needed for Woodfield Development and Flagler Realty & Development’s proposed 358-unit multifamily project in the south end of West Palm.
Related gambles on more offices
Related, already the biggest office landlord in downtown West Palm, wants to add its seventh and eight towers to its portfolio in the neighborhood.
The New York-based firm plans the 24-story East Tower and the 22-story West Tower on the northeast corner of South Rosemary Avenue and Hibiscus Street, replacing the existing AMC West Palm Beach 12 at 545 Hibiscus Street, the closed Brio Italian Grille at 550 South Rosemary Avenue and an existing garage. Demolition work is ongoing at the site, a Related representative told board members.
The buildings would have over 740,000 square feet of offices and nearly 64,000 square feet of retail, combined, as well as retail on the first three levels. Designed by Arquitectonica and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the project would include a six-story garage replacing the one on the site now, as well as 21,000 square feet of open space, including a paseo between the towers and public green space.
Related completed The Square development in 2000, marking the firm’s first venture into West Palm. Originally called CityPlace, the 82-acre The Square was rechristened last year following renovations. Related plans further redevelopment of the complex, including a 364-unit 575 Rosemary rental building on the site of the closed Macy’s at 575 South Rosemary Avenue and an eight-story hotel above the Cheesecake Factory at 701 South Rosemary Avenue.
Related’s office parlay on West Palm offices is largely driven by the influx of financial firms to the city since late 2020.
Near the site of the East and West towers, Related plans the 25-story 515 Fern office building that’s expected to be completed in 2025.
Greene’s long-planned Currie district project
In 2019, residents and city officials reviewed a Herzog & de Meuron-designed master plan for development of land near Currie Park and north of downtown West Palm. After many gave the vision a thumbs up, the city in 2021 rezoned the 65-acre Currie Mixed Use District to allow for taller and denser development.
Now, Greene, who amassed roughly 25 acres in the Currie district from 2012 to 2016, plans his first project there. The developer wants to build a pair of 30-story condo buildings with 152 units, combined, at 2175 and 2251 North Flagler Drive. Herzog & de Meuron also designed the towers.
On Tuesday, the planning board approved the developer’s nine variance requests.
The project would be the second one in the Currie district following the area’s 2021 rezoning. The only completed development is a 200-unit multifamily project, a representative for Greene told the board.
Greene is using a height bonus that allows him to build the 350-foot tall towers, or higher than the allowed 111 feet. In exchange, the developer will contribute $6 million toward a planned extension of Northwood Road from North Dixie Highway to the Currie Park entrance. A portion of the road would cross through one of Greene’s lots in the Currie district.
Workforce housing approved
Charleston, South Carolina-based Woodfield and West Palm-based Flagler Realty plan their multifamily project on 5 city-owned acres in the southernmost end of West Palm.
Last year, Flagler Realty won a city solicitation to purchase and develop the site at 8111 South Dixie Highway. The project would include 90 workforce-priced apartments targeting households earning from 60 percent to 100 percent of the area median income.
West Palm Beach paid $2.9 million for the vacant site in 2012, according to records. The deal was made to prevent a controversial development plan for a big box store on the site.
Woodfield and Flagler Realty have the site under contract for a reported $10.5 million.