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2 Palm Beach Co. communities, on opposite ends of crime rankings, teaming up in unique partnership

Posted at 11:10 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 11:20:34-05

NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. — Two Palm Beach County communities are teaming up for a common goal. Leaders in North Palm Beach and Lake Park are moving forward to rezone a retail area for future plans.

“It really is the front door as you’re coming through Northlake Boulevard,” said North Palm Beach Village Manager Andy Lukasik.

It’s tricky though. Part of the plaza is zoned for the town of Lake Park, while parts are considered North Palm Beach, so it’s going to require both communities agreeing on a vision before anything is approved.

“There was a hay day for the Twin City Mall site that went into decline,” said Lukasik.

For the past two-and-half decades, more than a dozen businesses have set up shop near the corner of Northlake Blvd and US 1. A few have stayed, while several others including a Chase Bank have left leaving vacant buildings behind.

Recently, North Palm Beach was named one of the top five safest communities in Florida, while another ranking that includes FBI crime stats lists Lake Park as being in the top three most dangerous.

“The area is still being used but it’s not seeing the life that it once had,” said Lukasik.

On Tuesday night, a joint meeting was held to review a site plan for an urgent care to take the place of the now vacant Chase Bank building. It’s the first step in what many hope is future growth and more businesses setting up shop.

“I always ask other people why they don’t do something right there because that’s a good area to make a business,” said Lake Park resident Buchenet Diejusd.

North Palm Beach’s master plan that was developed in 2016 calls for more walkable areas and a live/work/play environment. However, it’s going to require Lake Park leaders agreeing on that vision before more buildings will be approved.

“We have a lot of mutual interest so we want to see that developed together in a consistent fashion that meets both of our objectives,” said Lukasik.

The next joint meeting will be held on March 13. It is open to the public and will be the time when North Palm Beach will present its master plan, show people colored renderings for potential future buildings and the overall vision.