West Palm Beach commissioners give green light to massive condo project - for now

Commissioners will revisit the issue in two weeks

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A massive condominium construction project that would transform the West Palm Beach waterfront is one big step closer to reality.

City commissioners preliminarily voted to change zoning and land use maps on Monday evening in order for a 25 story luxury condo to be built where the iconic Chapel By The Lake is today.

The chapel on South Flagler drive was built in 1963. In two weeks, commissioners will revisit the issue and will have the option of giving final approval to developers.

Commissioners - and the public - say they are still very much divided on the size and scope of the project.

"I get excited that we are in a vibrant city," said Scott Diament a West Palm Beach resident. "There are many cities that have grown like Fort Lauderdale and Miami. I want to be one of those exciting cities," he said.

"We are able to go there and worship in the openness with our father," said Jerrel Hayes, a member of the First Baptist Church. "That's being taken away forever."

The First Baptist Church, which owns the property, is ready to sell to the developer for $23 million. It is unclear what changes the developers will make before the next city commission meeting in order to get final approval.

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