NEW: Cityplace is about to get a major makeover


Highlights

West Palm easing rules requiring Mediterranean look at CityPlace

Worn out on faux-Mediterranean buildings in West Palm Beach? Relief is on the way and it won’t be Pepto Bismol-colored.

The city commission this week eased its requirement that CityPlace facades must mimic Mediterranean styles, colors and materials.

There’s no immediate plan to undo the city’s signature shopping and entertainment plaza. But owners The Related Cos. have been re-thinking the center’s 20-year-old concept in light of a changing downtown and national retail environment. Re-imagining facades is part of that.

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The building Macy’s vacated will come down eventually (don’t worry — not until after the Downton Abbey exhibition) and the main retail arcade and plaza also may get a fresh look as part of the “re-imagining,” as the CityPlace people call it. And maybe a fresh coat of non-coral paint, now that commissioners reached a quick and easy consensus.

The standards will be more in line with what’s required in the rest of downtown. In the case of the Macy’s spot, CityPlace officials showed photos of modernistic towers, just as an example of the kind of thing they have in mind. Look for four to five stories of retail as a base there, with a 21-story tower rising above it, West Palm Principal Planner Eric Schneider told the commissioners at a workshop meeting.

As for the main shopping plaza, the changed rules will allow a broader palette. Gone is the requirement of barrel tile roofs and Spanish-ish arches.

Nothing is set in stone yet, so to speak, West Palm Development Services Director Rick Greene said Friday.

“They have indicated they are ‘considering’ alternatives but have NOT defined any particular architectural style at this point. The purpose of the workshop was to ascertain if the Commission was OK with them deviating from the existing style. I presume they will formulate options and see us in the weeks to come.”

And now they have that OK, it’s ta-ta Tuscany.

Follow Tony Doris on Twitter at TonyDorisPBP



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