Jupiter approves Rich Properties’ 23-unit townhouse development on church site
CEO Miles Rich will pay $375K into Jupiter’s Workforce Housing Trust Fund
Rich Properties won approval for a 23-unit townhouse project in Jupiter on a church site, nearly a year after the project’s initial plans were denied.
The Jupiter Town Council gave its stamp of approval to a revised version of the proposed townhouse complex at a Dec. 19 meeting. Fort Pierce-based Rich Properties, led by CEO Miles Rich, first hoped to build 35 units in the project. The Jupiter Planning & Zoning Commission first approved the project, dubbed Seaglass Townhomes, with 35 units last January. The original plan included five workforce housing units. But the Town Council rejected the 35-unit proposal in February, after residents raised issues with the density and workforce units.
The new plan has no workforce housing units, with Rich instead contributing $375,000 to the town’s Workforce Housing Trust Fund.
“There’s a huge misunderstanding of what workforce housing means,” Rich said. “A lot of these neighbors thought that it was similar to Section 8.”
Rich said after the February rejection, his team went back to the drawing board on Seaglass, but the math on workforce units wasn’t adding up.
“Now that you want to decrease the density, it’s not sustainable for a developer to develop 23 units and then offer five of them as workforce housing,” he said.
Jupiter Mayor Jim Kuretski and other council members expressed concerns about the lack of affordable units at the December meeting.
“We’re so far behind in workforce housing,” Mayor Kuretski said. “I’d rather see real units available.”
Rich said it was “funny” to see these concerns in the latest iteration of the project. “In the meetings before, they didn’t approve the workforce housing,” he said. “It’s very hard to make sense of a lot of the decisions that are made in these meetings.”
Council member Malise Sundstrom emphasized that residents protested the project’s original density, which helped make Seaglass more financially feasible for Rich to provide workforce units.
“Perfect’s not on the menu,” she said in the December meeting.
The Seaglass units will each span 1,465 square feet, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and one half-bathroom. The complex will also include a leasing office, a pool and a tot lot, planning documents show. Another component of the final approval for Seaglass is that Rich Properties will pursue a Gold-level green building standard for the project.
The developer plans to complete the complex by late 2025, Rich confirmed. Pricing has yet to be finalized, and the units could be sold or rented, he said.
Rich Properties bought the nearly 3-acre site at 550 Bush Road for $2.5 million in 2022, records show. The developer will be demolishing Unity of Jupiter, a church, to make room for Seaglass.
The town is home to some of Palm Beach County’s most coveted luxury gated communities, including Admirals Cove and the Bear’s Club, where Planet Fitness co-founder Michael Grondahl sold a mansion for $14.5 million in October.