When will Congress Avenue extension open to relieve Northlake traffic?


Palm Beach County officials are poised to vote on a new path for the southern leg of the Congress Avenue extension, which is expected to relieve traffic congestion at Northlake Boulevard and Alternate A1A.

The intersection is over-capacity, said Omelio Fernandez, Palm Beach County’s Roadway Production division director.

Congress Avenue ends at Target, across from Walgreens.

RELATED: Update on Congress Avenue extension in Palm Beach Gardens

The change to the southern alignment of the Congress Avenue extension will make it easier for a private landowner to develop a 23-acre property to the west than if the road cut directly through the parcel. The property is the former Hilltop Gardens mobile home park.

The path of the northern segment will remain the same as commissioners already approved, Fernandez said. Palm Beach County Commissioners will vote on the revised design for the southern piece on Tuesday.

RELATED: Two years later, former Palm Beach Gardens mobile home park sits empty

The new, southern piece curves a little farther to the east than it did in an earlier design, Fernandez said. The redesign is contingent on the land owner giving the county the right-of-way it needs for the road extension, which would save the county money. Right-of-way is the legal right to pass through property belonging to someone else.

Engineers plan to start construction on the Congress Avenue extension in 2020 and continue through 2022. The budget includes $5.76 million for acquisition of right-of-way and $5 million for construction, putting the total cost for the entire road extension at $10.76 million.

The easterly curve of the southern piece of the Congress Avenue extension puts the road closer to a mobile home park, where some residents are concerned about noise, trucks cutting through their neighborhood and a decline in the quality of life if the 23-acre commercial property is developed into warehouses.

Unlike many mobile home parks where residents pay rent for the land, most of the residents own the land on which their mobile homes sit.

In all, about 16 houses, mobile homes and businesses will be affected by the Congress Avenue extension, said Kathleen Farrell, Palm Beach County Thoroughfare Roads section manager.

One more mobile home than originally anticipated may be affected because of the curve to the east, she said. The home is north of Avocado Drive.

“Those are design details we’re still working out,” Farrell said.

The mobile homes are in unincorporated Palm Beach County. The 23-acre, commercially-zoned property to the west is in Palm Beach Gardens, meaning the City Council will have the final say over any development.

City Council rezoned the property from residential to commercial in 2009 at the developer’s request.

The property is owned by Hilltop Residential Limited, a subsidiary of Standard Pacific Homes. It is under contract by Sedevco, LLC.

One plan calls for two warehouses/office space — one 201,840 square feet and another 84,500 square feet, a self-storage facility and 21,900 feet of flex space.

Don Hearing, a land planner working on the redevelopment, said that is just a conceptual plan. One entity is considering a traditional retail space, and another is considering showroom-type space for building trades such as floor and decor or tile.

No tenants have been identified, and there’s no specific plan.

Palm Beach Gardens owns six acres on the north side of the 23-acre commercial parcel. The vacant lot at 9290 Park Lane was recently appraised for $1.7 million, according to city documents.

The City Council awarded an agreement to Colliers International South Florida for real estate brokerage services for that 6-acre property at its May 3 meeting. The Realtor is entitled to a commission of 4 percent of the purchase price, according to the agreement.

In 2015, Palm Beach Gardens entertained a pitch for a public building with eight courts for volleyball, basketball and other such sports. The plan fell through because the builder who pitched it didn’t have the money to pay for the recreation complex, according to the city.

The 6-acre property is different from the nine acres of Seacoast Utility Authority property that Palm Beach Gardens is leasing for a public safety complex.



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