The commercial real estate market in South Florida, and specifically in Palm Beach County, saw a major revitalization in 2015. Numerous projects that where put on hold due to the recession finally got underway, while others received their final approval. Florida is a magnet for investors and international sales. This type of real estate market makes Florida very vulnerable during economic crises, but also very resilient during economic booms.
According to the latest Multi-Indicator Market Index, Florida’s real estate rebound led the nation, and Palm Beach County was a great example of this recovery.
One project, soon to be finished, is the long awaited Hilton West Palm Beach, which will be located right next door to the Palm Beach Convention Center. The hotel is expected to increase the number of conferences the convention center will hold, jump start future retail stores, and increase the demand for more office space in the downtown area.
Related Cos., the developers of the Hilton and CityPlace, have decided that they will be bringing a Restoration Hardware furniture gallery to Okeechobee Boulevard. Nestled between CityPlace and the Palm Beach Convention Center, the store is expected to be so large that some are dubbing it a “retail palace”. The stand alone building will be around 60,000 to 80,000 square feet, and it will be Restoration Hardware’s showcase store for upscale furniture.
CityPlace will also see some new additions to its dinning and retail space. Ken Himmel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Related Urban, plans to bring a variety of new eateries to the upscale life style center. The addition of more restaurants is based on the idea that the convention center and its new hotel will create a major boost in business in the overall area. Himmel also stated that he wants to build further north of the existing CityPlace development, which will be the first time any expansion will take place since it’s opening in 2000.
South Dixie Highway, just south of Okeechobee Blvd., also got a huge boost in 2015. New York real estate developer and film aficionado Charles Cohen, bought the Carefree Theatre back in September ($3 million) and plans to build a mix-use center that will feature a new theatre. The theatre will show his vast collection of classic, foreign and art house films. One of the other big projects coming to S. Dixie is the redo of Prospect Place. The estimated $200 million redo, by Time Equities, will transform the former Sears and Winn-Dixie shopping centers. In their place will be five 15-story luxury condos, retail stores, and a one acre park that is currently home to vacant offices.
Moving away from West Palm, Delray Beach has also seen a boost in its commercial real estate market this past year. IPicEntertainment has won approval by the city government for one of its luxury IMAX movie theaters downtown, right off Atlantic Ave.
Another important future project for Palm Beach County is the possible construction of the Canopy Hotel in Delray Beach. Current plans are to have the hotel constructed near the Sundy House hotel, restaurant and gardens. Delray Beach has been a popular destination for tourists, and recent ads in travel guides have drawn the attention of several developers looking to expand in the area. Aloft, the funky boutique hotel chain, is slated to be built on SE Fifth Ave. in downtown Delray Beach.
Moving further south, Boca Raton’s downtown finally moved forward with several projects that where put on hold during the recession. Construction began on Palmetto Promenade and also on Penn-Florida’s Via Mizner. Penn-Florida also announced that it has plans to bring a luxury Mandarin-Oriental Hotel to the area as well.
Boca has also seen a boost in pre-construction sales of new condos, including 327 Royal Palm and Tower 155, located near Mizner Park. Additionally, The Mark at CityScape, an apartment building, has opened and right next door a Hyatt Place hotel is also being built.
With 2015 now behind us, many are wondering what 2016 will bring, but if the past year was any indication, we should expect South Florida’s real estate rebound to continue in the coming year.
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