Top Developers Detail Their Reasons For Investing In Downtown West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Four of the biggest names in real estate discussed Friday at the Kravis Center why they have invested so heavily in West Palm Beach, and what they expect for the next decade. The West Palm Beach Development and Investment Forum was hosted by the Urban Land Institute and the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority and presented by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. Moderated by The Real Deal publisher Amir Korangy, panelists included Kenneth Himmel, president and CEO of Related Urban; developer Jeff Greene; Frank Navarro, president and co-founder of Navarro Lowrey; and Nader Salour, founding principal of Cypress Realty of Florida.

“The Hilton West Palm Beach will be a game-changer for downtown, fulfilling the CityPlace master plan,” said Himmel.  “We have a new point of view for the future of CityPlace because of the hotel and the new development coming to the nearby triangle space adjacent to it.”

Panelists cited various reasons for the development boom. Among them: great vision and commendable leadership of city administrators, waterfront access, security, close proximity to the Airport, high quality education, and mobility choices such as the upcoming All Aboard Florida.  “All of these elements are coming together for downtown West Palm Beach,” said Raphael Clemente, executive director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority. “And with the growth of retail and restaurants on Clematis Street and elsewhere, there is a vibrancy attracting millennials to retirees.”

Many of the developers spoke of the city’s forward-looking leadership. “We’re looking at $2 billion in development in the city over the next few years,” stated West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.

The respective projects include Jeff Greene’s planned two 30-story mixed-use towers with a luxury hotel component; Related’s rising Hilton West Palm Beach Hotel and an exciting retail project planned for the triangle site on Okeechobee Blvd.; Navarro’s mixed-use project on the old City Hall site; and Cypress Realty of Florida’s large development along the waterfront on the city’s north end.

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