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Stylish Hotel and Apartment Complex Proposed for West Palm Beach
 | The Palm Beach Post

Stylish Hotel and Apartment Complex Proposed for West Palm Beach

Residences at Palm Beach West
Wexford Real Estate Investors

More tall towers are coming to downtown West Palm Beach with the addition of new apartment complexes and a new hotel.

One project, 320 Lakeview, is slated to be a stylish branded hotel and apartment complex in the heart of the city along Dixie Highway, with a rooftop restaurant, a mid-level ballroom and a grand appearance befitting its location.

The property is on the former BB&T site, along South Dixie Highway between Lakeview Avenue and Okeechobee Boulevard. The east side of the block is occupied by the One City Plaza condominium.

The 25-story tower is a joint venture between the Morrison family of Palm Beach and Terra Group, a longtime Miami real estate development firm. Terra is an active builder of chic and contemporary residences and hotels in Miami-Dade County, especially in hot spots such as Miami Beach and Coconut Grove.

Plans recently submitted to the city of West Palm Beach call for the construction of 210 residences, a 110-room hotel, ground-floor stores and a café.

Thomas Morrison, the Palm Beach investor, said the project would be a "world-class" hotel and residence, with a hotel brand not only managing the guest rooms but the apartments, the restaurants and a fifth floor ballroom.

"We're going to make this an amazing product for the future, and bring an element to the city to make it a little more contemporary," Morrison said.

Meanwhile, a few blocks north on Dixie Highway, a massive apartment and retail complex featuring 372 apartments and a ground-floor grocery store on nearly a full city block is moving forward.

The complex, dubbed Residences at Palm Beach West, will feature apartments ranging from studios to four-bedroom units. The project is a partnership that includes West Palm Beach-based Wexford Real Estate Investors, Miami-based 13th Floor Investments and New York-based L&L Holding Co.

The 25-story project is bounded by Fern Street, Gardenia Street, South Quadrille Boulevard and South Dixie Highway.

Part of the site formerly was the home of the Russo's Submarine Shop at 415 S. Dixie Highway.

The project's backers are particularly keen on the site's proximity to the Brightline passenger train, which operates to Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The train is an added lure for people who want to live in West Palm Beach but may work in or travel to cities to the south.

Palm Beach West still awaits approval from a key city committee known as the Downtown Action Committee.

But last month, the project won city permission to shift a requirement for workforce and affordable housing from the luxury Fern Street project to a micro-apartment complex planned nearby.  That apartment project, at 512 Clematis, would feature 88 very small or "micro" apartments, with rents at or below the area median income. The site formerly was home to the former Spanky's bar at the southwest corner of Clematis Street and Quadrille Boulevard.

West Palm Beach skyline to go from low-rise to high-rise

The 320 Lakeview and the Palm Beach West projects continue the transformation of the city's low-rise downtown buildings into towers, even as projects on both the western and eastern edges of the city also are being eyed for tall buildings.

Along Clear Lake, the downtown's western edge, investors are snapping up properties to transform into 25-story offices and apartments. This growth is spurred not only by the Brightline passenger train station, but also the promise of the University of Florida establishing a graduate school campus downtown.

On the east side of downtown, real estate developers are pushing north along Flagler Drive and the Intracoastal Waterway to build high-rise apartments and condominiums on old properties.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the city, construction already is underway on One Flagler, an office building at 154 Lakeview Ave., near the intersection of South Flagler Drive and Okeechobee Boulevard and adjacent to the First Church of Christ, Scientist.

The 25-story tower already is 65% pre-leased, with tenants that include GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm opening its first office in Florida; and Diameter Capital Partners, an asset management firm that is moving its New York office to West Palm Beach.

More office buildings are planned nearby, including across Dixie Highway from the 320 Lakeview hotel and apartment complex. New York developer Charles Cohen will build West Palm Point, a 23-story glass office building on a vacant 2.4-acre property at the corner of Okeechobee Boulevard and South Dixie Highway.

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