WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — They can be seen from almost anywhere in downtown West Palm Beach, as well as to drivers along Interstate 95.
For almost a year, they were nothing more than a structural skeleton as work came to a halt.
But now construction has resumed on the project known as One West Palm.
The twin building, 30-story structures are one part residential and one part hotel and office space.
It's billionaire developer Jeff Greene's creation -- $250 million worth.
Greene recently gave WPTV a tour of the buildings once again under construction.
"You know, at this point in my life, everything I do has to be something I'm proud of," Greene said.
For several months last year, however, it might not have seemed that way.
Construction came to an abrupt halt early on during the coronavirus pandemic as Greene attempted to scale back on the office space plan.
When the city balked, work stopped.
"Everyone notices," Schanelle Tonge told WPTV. "They want to know what's happening and why it's not going up fast enough. When it first started, it was so incredible how fast it moved."
Downtown workers told WPTV they would often look at the buildings, wondering if it would ever be completed.
"When the pandemic hit, I kind of went into panic mode, like a lot of people, and, let's face it, I mean, I was building 200,000 feet of spec office space and 200 rooms of hotel rooms … with a tremendous amount of meeting space at a time when the whole world was canceling their meetings and giving up their office space," Greene said.
Greene resumed construction in December.
Now, he said, the buildings are drawing plenty of interest, including from a hedge fund manager who wanted to tour the unfinished towers.
The buildings offer a picturesque view of the Intracoastal Waterway, neighboring Palm Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
West Palm Beach appeared to be one of the pre-pandemic hot spots when it came to northern firms looking to relocate to South Florida.
"I think that trend is continuing," Eric Hochman, chief investment officer at a Boca Raton-based real estate development firm, told WPTV. "I think, you know, generally, companies are focused on Palm Beach and Miami, and we see new, continued focus on Boca Raton as well."
Hochman said he doesn't see it slowing down anytime soon.
"I'm absolutely confident that we will rent all of our office space," Greene said. "There's no question that we'll rent it. The question is how long will it take and what kind of rents will we get?"
Greene managed to build beyond the city's height limit.
"Tall buildings get more views," he said.
The office building is taller because of higher ceilings, Greene said.
"So the views are unobstructed in almost every direction," he said.
Greene's addition to the West Palm Beach skyline is further proof of his belief in the growth of the city.
"I'm a total believer in this community," Greene said. "The reason I became such an aggressive real estate investor is because I saw this as an unpolished gem."