Rybovich Marina six-condo tower development up for vote

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - UPDATE:

The West Palm Beach City Commission approved the first reading of proposed six-building, high-rise development in the northern part of the city.

Commissioners approved two ordinances – to change the proposed land-use as well as the zoning for the area located on the east side of North Flagler Drive between 38 th and 40 th street in North West Palm Beach.

The Rybovich development would include more than 1,000 condo units in addition to restaurants, office and retail space. It would be built by Miami-based The Related Group.

EARLIER STORY:

The West Palm Beach City Commission is taking another vote on a proposed six- building high-rise development in the northern part of the city.

The project would include more than one thousand condo units in addition to restaurant, office and retail space. 

The area, along North Flagler Drive near 41st through 45th streets, is currently home to Rybovich Marina. 

The proposal includes about 19 acres of property. 

The proposal would allow neighboring residents access to the waterfront which they do not have currently. 

Rybovich employs 330 people at the current site, according to Vice President Carlos Vidueira. 

Few of them reside close to the business, Vidueira said. 

"Our facility generates about $150 million of economic impact every year.  Unfortunately, about 7.9% of that stays in the local neighborhood.  And that's what we're trying to do is change these economic numbers so more of those, more of that impact stays in the local community," he said. 

Part of the yacht repair operation would be moved to Riviera Beach, but more jobs would be created at the site of the current marina and business, according to Vidueira. 

"Our customers complain about the condition of Broadway and outside of our perimeter so we are trying to help, to change our local neighborhood for the benefit of the residents and the benefit of our customers as well," he said.

Adding more than a thousand condo units to the area would change the skyline and nature of the neighborhood. 

Despite many buildings in the heart of West Palm Beach, Lisa McKeon with Lang Realty says, she anticipates there would be buyers. 

McKeon says, in the last few years, inventory has dwindled, forcing buyers to make faster decisions before multiple offers are on the table. 

"It would actually have the water views which are going to be a tremendous drawing point.  Especially if they are done in an affordable fashion, cause most of our waterfront is very expensive and it prohibits a lot of buyers.  Going a little north if they can made them somewhat more affordable it will attract people to the area," she said.

Another vote on the issue is expected in several weeks. 

Other votes with city planning boards could continue before the potential project would begin.

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