Commission: Too Early to See Plans For Two New 30-Story Towers
Developer representative attorney Harvey Oyer addressing the West Palm Beach City Commission Monday.
June 2, 2014
(West Palm Beach, FL) – On the agenda for Monday’s City of West Palm Beach Commission Workshop was a presentation of two proposed 30-story buildings on Quadrille Boulevard.
But the presentation never took place.
Instead, Mayor Jeri Muoio and commissioners told representatives for developer Jeff Greene that before looking at, as they called them “pretty pictures,” the city needs to have a general discussion about whether two 30-story buildings are a good idea in the first place.
Greene owns the property at 550 Quadrille Boulevard (where the road curves just north of the county courthouse.)
Current rules allow him to build, without any additional permissions, two 15-story buildings. But the current rules also allow him to increase the height if the property includes either a 5-star hotel or high-end office space.
The plan includes both a 5-star hotel and class-A office space. But in order to build the taller buildings, the city would need to amend the rules for the property. The proposal, according to developer representative Harvey Oyer, would not increase the total square footage. Instead it would include two taller, thinner buildings.
“We need to have a discussion about whether we think it is first appropriate to consider the change before seeing the pretty pictures,” said Mayor Muoio.
Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell agreed, saying she would “rather focus on does this make sense. Then, if it does, what does the community and the commission think it should look like.”
Under the current rules, if the city grants permission to build the taller buildings, the actual site plan is not required to be reviewed by elected officials. Instead it only needs to be approved by a voluntary board.
Both Mayor Muoio and members of the city commission made it clear they want to see the plans before the first shovel hits the ground.
“A project like this needs to come back for approval,” said Mitchell. “Our voice and our vote are the real representatives of the public.”
Greene’s representatives were asked to return in two weeks with more information, at which time the city would revisit the issue.