Surf icon Kelly Slater and billionaire Dirk Ziff are moving quickly to build what they describe as a world-class wave park in northwestern Palm Beach County. Two weeks after winning zoning approval from Palm Beach County commissioners, the surf park’s developers bought an 80-acre site at the Palm Beach Park of Commerce.
An affiliate of Kelly Slater Wave Co. on Friday paid $6.5 million for the long, skinny parcel, said Robert Smith, executive vice president of commercial real estate brokerage CBRE.
“Almost a dozen sites from St. Lucie to southern Palm Beach County were initially in consideration,” said Smith, who represented the buyer. “The final site was almost twice as big as some of the others in contention, but the pricing, configuration, zoning and location suited the use very well.”
The seller was a Coral Gables entity known as American Equities Ltd. No. 6. It paid $5 million for the site in 2004, according to property records.
On Oct. 26, commissioners unanimously approved zoning for the wave park. During a short interview after the commission meeting, Slater said construction should begin in 2018. The 11-time world champ expects the pool to begin pumping out perfect, man-made waves sometime in 2019.
Kelly Slater Wave Co., which is owned by the same group that runs the World Surf League tours, in March asked Palm Beach County for permission to operate a wave park on 80 acres at the Palm Beach Park of Commerce along the Beeline Highway.
Ziff lives in Palm Beach County and is co-owner of the World Surf League. Slater, long a dominant force on the pro surfing tour, holds the distinction of being both the youngest and the oldest surfer to win a pro title.