New downtown Lake Worth shopping center almost complete

8:36 p.m Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 Local
The shopping center, Downtown Lake Worth on North Dixie Highway and 2nd Avenue North, will be finished in November. (Kevin D. Thompson/The Palm Beach Post)

Neighborhood transformations take time. But the one on the corner of North Dixie Highway and 2nd Avenue North, where an old coin laundry used to be, is almost complete.

Downtown Lake Worth, the $2 million, 8,750-square foot shopping center that’s being built, is almost done.

Norman Weinstein, president of Boca Raton-based Stateside Partners, the company that’s building the center, said the site should be complete next month.

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In June, The Palm Beach Post reported Starbucks and T-Mobile signed five-year leases to move in.

Now an urgent care facility is close to signing as well.

“Right now it looks pretty interesting,” Weinstein said. “We have a few other prospects we’re speaking with also.”

Weinstein declined to name the urgent care agency or gives names of other potential tenants.

“We’ll have four good tenants,” he said.

Weinstein said he has about 1,600-square-feet of space left to rent. He expects tenants to be moving in by January.

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TD Bank has been building a branch across the street from the center the past several months. Publix opened on North Dixie Highway in 2011. Wells Fargo and Sherwin-Williams Paint Store have long been in the area.

There’s already a Starbucks on Lake Avenue but that location will be closing, according to a store employee..

“We’re moving,” said Jen, a store manager who declined to give her last name. “I don’t have a date on that unfortunately.”

Jen referred the newspaper to Starbucks’ media relations department, but no one responded to a request for comment.

Brian Detwiller, a Sherwin-Williams store clerk, said he’s happy about the center, but is not a Starbucks fan.

“It’s going to create jobs that will be good for the local economy,” Detwiller said. “But I’m not a Starbucks fan. I like coffee, but tall latte, skinny mocha, I don’t know what I’m ordering there.”

Weinstein said he didn’t have any plans for a special grand opening.

“The individual tenants may have plans,” he said. “Perhaps we’ll do something together, but I’m not really sure yet.”

Construction started early this year and has gone fairly well.

“There have been a few wrinkles just because this is a new project,” Weinstein said, declining to elaborate. “We’re getting through everything and everyone is pulling in the same direction.”

For years, many residents have complained that the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency has neglected developing the Dixie Highway corridor.

Earlier this year, Joan Oliva, the CRA’s executive director, told The Palm Beach Post it’s always a struggle to get properties on Dixie Highway because of the cost and since the buildings can only go up to 30 feet.

“It hampers what you can put on the site,” she said.

The city is also battling the issue of crime and prostitution along Dixie Highway. But Weinstein said he has been “proactive” in dealing with those problems and that he didn’t have any problems investing in Lake Worth.

“We’ll be looking for another project as soon as we finish this one,” Weinstein said. “We’d like to do something in Lake Worth, but we do stuff in other places, too.”

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