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New homes, businesses part of Riviera Beach revitalization plan

Vacant property being torn down at Broadway, Blue Heron Boulevard
Artist rendering of Riviera Beach project at Broadway, Blue Heron Boulevard
Posted at 10:36 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 23:27:00-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla — Work is underway to bring new life to a busy intersection in Riviera Beach.

After years of sitting vacant, an old bank could soon turn into new homes and businesses.

The city's Community Redevelopment Agency board is moving forward with its plan to tear down the property, located at Broadway and Blue Heron Boulevard.

In its place, they plan to build a much-needed, mix of residential, commercial and retail space.

Demolition at Broadway and Blue Heron Boulevard in Riviera Beach
Demolition is underway at a bank that was located at the corner of Broadway and Blue Heron Boulevard in Riviera Beach.

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City leaders hope to revitalize the corridor while also meeting the growing demand for more housing.

"We're trying to [transform] Broadway Avenue into like a downtown type mix and that allows us to develop housing retail market rate affordable and workforce housing right here in our downtown areas," Councilman Douglas Lawson said.

Riviera Beach Councilman Douglas Lawson
Riviera Beach Councilman Douglas Lawson outlines the vision for the new project at the corner or Blue Heron Boulevard and Broadway.

The city's Community Redevelopment Board envisions a mid-rise, mixed-use concept that is six to eight stories high.

"It would have an internal parking garage, ground floor commercial — probably like a cafe space — with about 70 to 72 units," Scott Evans, Riviera Beach CRA planning and development director, said.

Demolition crews started earlier this month tearing down an old bank and are expected to finish within the next two weeks. It was a bittersweet moment for those who have called this area home for decades.

Scott Evans, Riviera Beach, CRA planning and development director
CRA planning and development director Scott Evans discusses what Riviera Beach residents can expect inside the new building.

"Going in there with my parents as a child and actually seeing the bank, and then seeing it finally come down," Lawson said. "It kind of warms my heart to know that this commission, this staff, this leadership is actually getting things done, and we're moving forward with progress in the city."

After the building is demolished, the CRA will begin the process of searching for a qualified developer in November. Once a developer is selected, the hope is to move forward with permits and site approval as soon as possible.