Just In: Brightline hopes to woo commuters with Park-Line apartments

The residential tower rising next to Brightline’s station in downtown West Palm Beach will be part of a new real estate brand run by the private rail venture’s parent company, Florida East Coast Industries.

The Park-Line brand will offer 290 rental units at the 24-story building currently under construction just west of Brightline’s train station in West Palm Beach, officials announced Wednesday.

The building offers a unique housing option for commuters looking to avoid traffic on Interstate 95 — a key demographic for the Brightline service, which is expected to start running trains between West Palm Beach and Miami later this year.

FIRST LOOK: Inside WPB’s new Brightline train station

The express-rail project had planned to link Miami and Orlando with stops in Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, offering an alternative to millions of tourists who currently make the trip by car. But construction on the West Palm Beach to Orlando route has yet to begin, and officials have said it will be at least two years before the company’s trains start running between south and central Florida.

As it prepares to launch its service, Brightline has used its social media channels to try to woo commuters — saying the fast-moving trains will carry travelers between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour.

RELATED: All Aboard Florida’s Brightline trains to use FPL-made biodiesel fuel

The Park-Line rental units, which are located directly across the street from the West Palm Beach station at 501 Evernia Street, will make it easier for commuters to live in West Palm Beach but work in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, said Dennis Grady, president and chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.

“In the past, many times people wouldn’t choose to live up here although they would like to because of the negative experience in traffic by automobile,” Grady said. “But high speed rail, that eliminates that problem, and opens up all kinds of new doors to employees to live in West Palm Beach.”

MORE: Rep. Brian Mast questions former Brightline head about financing, safety

Daniel Quintana, vice president of development for Florida East Coast Industries, also pointed to the location of the buildings, saying the proximity to the Brightline stations will offer more travel options for Park-Line’s residents.

“Park-Line residences are designed for people on the move who want to live and travel smarter,” Quintana said in a statement released by the company. “Each of the innovative towers in West Palm Beach and Miami will expand residents’ playground and working options by utilizing a vast variety of transit options just steps away from their front door, including our new Brightline train service that will seamlessly connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.”

Park-Line’s buildings will feature floor-to-ceiling windows in every unit and a host of amenities, including a full-service poolside lounge; open-air cross training course; yoga lawn and fitness center with juice bar; private cabanas with outdoor grills and intimate seating areas; shaded dog parks and pet grooming salon; and an event lawn with a movie screen.

Rental rates have not been announced, but officials said the West Palm Beach tower will include studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building is expected to open next year.

At Brightline’s station in Miami, the Park-Line brand will have two residential towers with a total of 816 units. Those buildings are expected to open in 2019.

In its announcement, Florida East Coast Industries said it planned to partner with Lincoln Property Company, a builder and operator of high-quality residential communities, on the Park-Line developments. Details about the partnership were not released.

“Lincoln Property Company is always seeking opportunities to raise the bar on multi-family living residences and this collaboration with Brightline is a glimpse into the future,” Chuck Shallat, executive vice president of Lincoln Property Company’s Southeast Region, said in a statement released Wednesday. “We look forward to welcoming our first Park-Line residents in 2018 and offering two of the most innovative addresses in South Florida.”

Brightline is expected to begin service late this summer. A grand opening is expected to be held in the fall.

Ticket prices have not been announced.

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