You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

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

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

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 myPalmBeachPost.com.

West Palm officials OK Old City Hall redevelopment deal


The first major order of business at city hall for 2016: writing a new chapter for the old city hall.

The city commission, in its first meeting of the year, on Monday gave preliminary approval to developer Navarro Lowrey’s purchase of the old city hall site at 200 Second St. for $11.5 million, for redevelopment with a hotel, apartments, retail and garage. The board voted 4-0. Commissioner Paula Ryan did not vote, because her husband is an attorney for the developer.

The deal, scheduled to close by July 2017, calls for the city to grant the developer up to $1.5 million over five years in tax rebates to demolish the 35-year-old former city hall. In addition the Community Redevelopment Agency will pay a $1 million construction incentive upon the project’s completion.

The city commission’s final approval is scheduled for Jan. 19.

Frank Navarro, managing principal of the development firm, said its partner in the project, Concord Hospitality, is moving ahead with plans for a Marriott AC Hotel for the site, a brand meant for “select, urban, hip locations.”

The AC Hotels website describes the brand as having “Spanish and European roots in our soul” but targeting the modern business traveler.

The hotel will face the waterfront while the project’s apartments will face Olive Avenue. The apartments will be rentals, not condos, because the concept was meant to help make downtown lively 12 months a year, and many condo owners are part-time residents, he said.

With terms of the deal in place after nearly a year of negotiations, the developer will have four months to complete its due diligence on the project. At that point, assuming it agrees to move ahead, it will make $25,000-a-month, non-refundable payments to the city until the project is done.

The old city hall, a five-story, 57,400-square-foot structure built on a 2.27 acres in 1980, has sat vacant since 2009. It would be demolished shortly after the sale closes, Navarro said.

A separate deal is to be inked in the next few weeks for another part of the project, on the adjacent site of the former Helen Wilkes Hotel. Navarro Lowrey will lease that site from the city for a nominal amount and craft it into an open park, shops and possibly restaurants. The city wanted to maintain ownership of that site, “to ensure it remains open space to the public,” City Administrator Jeff Green said.

The retail space on that Wilkes site would occupy the southernmost 75 feet of the property and the rest would be park space. The developer will be responsible for landscaping, maintenance and security for the park.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

NEW: Boynton woman, 71, reported missing
NEW: Boynton woman, 71, reported missing

A 71-year-old Boynton Beach woman was reported missing Friday night and city police are asking for the public’s help in finding. Police say Diane Lillie was last seen about 7 p.m. at her home on Lake Terrace Drive. She suffers from Schizophrenia, according to police. Lillie was last seen wear a dark blue v-neck sweater and a black pants. She...
Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on forgery charges
Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on forgery charges

A former Bak Middle School of the Arts treasurer suspected in the disappearance of more than $66,000 in school money was arrested Friday on check-forgery charges related to the case, nine months after authorities had ruled out criminal charges against her. Cathleen Spring, 53, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail shortly after midnight Friday...
NEW: Wellington Idol winner suffers knife wounds in village robbery
NEW: Wellington Idol winner suffers knife wounds in village robbery

A former Wellington Idol winner sustained knife wounds on her hand when a man tackled her and took her purse in the parking lot of a Wellington Chase Bank on Wednesday morning, she told the Palm Beach Post. Jessica Leow, 23, was leaving the bank on the corner of Greenview Shores Boulevard and Wellington Trace at about 11:15 a.m. when she noticed a...
Kenny Chesney has mad love for this bar in Delray Beach
Kenny Chesney has mad love for this bar in Delray Beach

Kenny Chesney, the People’s Superstar and country sangin’ legend, showed Palm Beach County a lot of love recently. The multi-award winning artist announced on his Sirius XM radio channel, Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Radio, that Delray’s own Boston’s on the Beach is one of his faves.  In a weekly segment called Kenny...
NEW: Woman accused of hiding babies’ body parts arrested in Florida
NEW: Woman accused of hiding babies’ body parts arrested in Florida

A woman wanted in connection with the discovery of babies’ body parts under a home in North Carolina was arrested in Jacksonville on Wednesday.  Police said Bridgette Smith, 31, had a warrant for her arrest for concealing a death, WJXT reports.  In April 2016  Smith’s mother discovered trash bags containing body...
More Stories