Miami-light? West Palm Beach's waterfront draws new luxury high-rise towers
 | Palm Beach Post

Miami-light? West Palm Beach's waterfront draws new luxury high-rise towers

Downtown West Palm Beach is becoming crowded with new high-rises, and soon the spread will include towers along North Flagler Drive, too.

Real-estate developers are moving at a fast clip to build at least two luxury condominiums along West Palm Beach’s waterfront. Old properties already are being razed for new, glittery complexes as the city's waterfront starts to transform into a smaller version of the Miami skyline.

Developers are trying to act on the scarcity of waterfront land and the limited inventory of new condominiums, experts said.

"I'm finding that for the projects already underway, the market is still robust," said Guy Rabideau, a Palm Beach real-estate attorney who represents buyers in upcoming West Palm Beach luxury condos.

One new project advancing is Olara, a 26-story tower featuring 275 condominiums as part of a mixed-use project at 1919 N. Flagler Drive.

The other is Alba Palm Beach, a boutique condo of only 55 units rising 22 stories, plus four townhomes.

Kenneth A. Baboun - Alba Palm Beach
(c) Alba Palm Beach. All rights reserved

Alba Palm Beach: Construction slated to begin this summer

Farther north, the Alba Palm Beach condominium is making strides toward starting construction.

The 22-story tower sits on a slim piece of land, only 1.71-acres, along the Intracoastal Waterway at 4714 North Flagler Drive. Nevertheless, the project will consist of a 22-story tower, plus a dock with nine boat slips.

The project also will feature a 25,500-square-foot, sixth-floor amenity level and two swimming pools.

Among the condos pre-sold are two units that sold for a record price of more than $2,000 per square foot. One unit is priced at $3.99 million, and the other is $3.57 million.

There's also an added sweetener: Buyers receive a membership at the Palm Beach Yacht Club.

Plans are afoot to announce the project’s general contractor as well as its construction lender during the next month, said developer Kenneth Baboun of BGI Companies. A summertime groundbreaking during July or August is in the works, with the condo's completion slated for 2025, he added.

"This project is going to happen," he said.

For a time, Alba's future looked more unsure.

Baboun said his group was a pioneer in targeting North Flagler Drive near Northwood for development, picking up the former Scuba Club property in late 2020 for $5.8 million.

Unlike Olara, which started sales this year and quickly netted pre-construction contracts, Alba started sales a year ago.

The "craziness" of pricing in the past year combined with a winter slowdown in sales in January and February stalled activity until just recently, Baboun said. Sales had been slow, he acknowledged, "but in the past three to four weeks, it's made up for it."


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