You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Downtown West Palm Beach pushes west with new courthouse

The west end of downtown West Palm Beach is about to get a boost: The state’s 4th District Court of Appeal will move to a new office building that will be built on state-owned land.

Property along Tamarind Avenue, between Clematis and Datura streets, is slated to be the site of the new courthouse, according to Appellate Court Judge Jonathan Gerber.

Palm Beach County just landed $7.1 million in the state’s budget to begin moving the 4th District Court of Appeal from an outmoded and moldy building on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard.

The court’s new home will be on four acres, bordered by Tamarind Avenue on the west and Sapodilla Avenue on the east. Two acres now are a parking lot; the others are occupied by the county health department and a state building.

Gerber said the courthouse will be constructed on the western side, facing Tamarind Avenue. The acre to the east of the building will be the parking garage. While construction takes place, parking will be provided by the county on the south side of Datura Street, Gerber said.

When completed, roughly in early 2018, the building will be 36,000 square feet, the same size as the current Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard courthouse, Gerber said.

The location will give a business boost to the western edge of downtown.

“That’s something we were excited about, having development going on in the west to spark” growth in that portion of the city, Gerber said.

Gerber said the courthouse has 12 judges. He estimated that 70-plus people work at the courthouse.

The courthouse’s presence will bring a lot of activity to the restaurants and amenities in the area — including CityPlace, which is just a few blocks to the southeast of the site. All those lawyers and staffers walking around should bring more business to the shopping and dining destination — as well as create interest in new construction in the area.

Gregory Coleman, president-elect of the Florida Bar and a West Palm Beach lawyer, said the 4th DCA judges “deserve a lot of credit” for making the new courthouse possible.

“I tip my hat to the judges who have spent their own time and paid for their own travel to educate the legislature about this very important project,” Coleman said.

The 4th District Court of Appeal includes Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties.

Luxe condo coming

Condo construction is starting to return to northern Palm Beach County and West Palm Beach. It’s returning to southern Palm Beach County, too. West of Boca Raton, a veteran builder is planning a new luxury condominium — in an existing country club community slated for a $50 million clubhouse improvement project.

Akoya is slated to rise in the Boca West Country Club, located west of Boca Raton on Glades Road. The nine-story condo will break ground in the fall of 2014 and open a year later. Prices range from $1.2 million to more than $2 million for the 120 residences.

Already, pre-construction contracts have been signed with real money — 20 percent down, said Richard Siemens, president and chief executive of Siemens Group in Boca Raton.

“We opened our sales office about the first of April and we’ve got, right now, 10 signed and sealed contracts,” Siemens said. “We have another 20 or so that we’re negotiating on.”

Siemens doesn’t expect sales to slow as the summer sets in, thanks to the recent winter, which brought record snow and cold temperatures to parts of the country: “At this point, people don’t want to spend any more winters in the north.”

Siemens, who built other Palm Beach County properties, including Polo Club Boca Raton and Gleneagles Country Club in Delray Beach, said the project is the first new condo west of downtown Boca Raton.

He’s building now because of pent-up demand, Siemens said.

“We’ve gone through a drought period where there was no new construction for about five years,” he said. “So product is being sold as fast as (builders) can build it.”

Plus, “It’s the first time this kind of condo is being built west of Federal Highway in the Boca market,” said Rob Siemens, director of marketing. “There’s no other opportunity like this.”

Richard Siemens said he’s working to finalize a construction loan for Akoya. The condo’s sell-out value is close to $200 million. Site work on the 6.7-acre property is slated to begin later this month.

Boca West has been around a long time, but upgrades are constant and people are often surprised by the resorts amenities, which Rob Siemens said have transformed the community into a resort-style lifestyle now becoming popular at other country clubs in Palm Beach County. Through the years, some $95 million has been spent on upgrades at Boca West.

Along with Akoya, residents of Boca West can expect to see their main, 140,000-square-foot clubhouse more than double. Plans are to add an addition that will feature more restaurants and a redo of the golf shop, for example.

Boca West’s amenities are helping boost Akoya’s sales success, Siemens said.

In fact, Siemens said he’s been to Boca West homeowners’ meetings and was pleasantly surprised that people living in the community’s 3,400 residences seem pretty content.

“I went to an annual meeting, and nobody had anything to complain about,” Siemens said with a chuckle. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life!”

Alexandra Clough writes about the economy, real estate and the law.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation & World

NEW: When will the storm hit you? The experts’ best estimate
NEW: When will the storm hit you? The experts’ best estimate

Eastern Palm Beach and the Hobe Sound-Jupiter Island area of Martin County can expect the worst of Sudnay’s storms to pass through between 7 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. NWS: Tonight’s storms warrant beside alerts The Glades area of Palm Beach County, northern Martin County and all of St. Lucie...
Georgia storms kill 11, injure 23 as threat continues
Georgia storms kill 11, injure 23 as threat continues

Eleven people are dead and 23 are injured after strong storms moved through Georgia Saturday night, into Sunday morning.  State emergency management officials confirm seven of the deaths are in Cook County. Officials with the Brooks County Sheriff's Office confirmed two deaths to Channel 2 Action News. Both people were in the same home in...
Weather Service: Tonight’s storms warrant bedside alerts
Weather Service: Tonight’s storms warrant bedside alerts

The storms expected to plow through South Florida this evening and overnight are not the typical bluster ahead of a cold front. Indeed they have such potential that the National Weather Service urged residents Sunday to keep their phones and other devices fully charged so they don’t miss a middle-of-the-night warning for a tornado or damaging...
Trump softening tone after slamming celebs, media over Women’s March
Trump softening tone after slamming celebs, media over Women’s March

Then just an hour-and-a-half later, Trump sent another tweet clearly softening his tone toward the protesters. He tweeted "Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views." Trump's tweets came after White House officials slammed the media and pop star...
Baker of Trump's inauguration cake says she was commissioned to copy Obama's
Baker of Trump's inauguration cake says she was commissioned to copy Obama's

Celebrity pastry chef and Food Network star Duff Goldman took to Twitter early Saturday to point out that President Donald Trump’s inauguration cake appeared to be an exact replica of the cake he designed and created for Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration. In a message posted to his Twitter account, Goldman included a side-by-side...
More Stories