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Minto Communities has unveiled plans for the 50-acre business park portion of the city of Westlake, which it is developing in western Palm Beach County.

The city was approved for 2.2 million square feet of commercial space, in addition to 4,500 homes. The home development is well underway, and hundreds of people are living there.

Minto Communities, the master developer, recently received city approval for the first phase of the commercial project. Deerfield Beach-based Konover South has agreed to buy 7 acres from Minto in order to build restaurant/retail buildings of 7,000 and 9,450 square feet. Called the Shoppes of Westlake Landings, it would be near the 7-Eleven service station that’s currently under construction.

Minto said another local developer has a 5.75-acre parcel in Westlake under contract in order to build a 107,290-square-foot self-storage facility. In addition, a 14.5-acre site is planned for an entertainment/sports concept and a 17.5-acre property is slated for a flex office/warehouse project. Minto said it’s discussing the latter two projects with several interested developers.

Publix also has plans for a 50,000-square-foot store in Westlake.

 

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The North Springs Improvement District is seeking developers to buy part of the Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs.

The NSID, which provides water and drainage services for much of Parkland and Coral Springs, has the 220-acre shuttered golf course at 11801 Heron Bay Blvd. under contract for $32 million. It will convert much of the site into a preserve with walking trails and stormwater retention ponds. However, it has decided to sell 69 acres of the property along Nob Hill Road.

The North Springs Improvement District wants to sell 69 acres of the Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs.
(IMAGE CREDIT: KATALYST REAL ESTATE)

Fort Lauderdale-based Katalyst Real Estate, led by President Don Ginsburg, was hired by the NSID to market the property. The NSID issued a request for proposals to consider bids for the land.

Ginsburg said the NSID wants to sell commercial development on the site for a use that will draw residents from the surrounding community. The only restriction is that the land can’t have homes. The RFP documents mentions about 20 retailers the community would like to see there, including bowling alleys, high-end retailers and sit-down restaurants.

 

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Boca Raton is trying to figure out what to do with what’s considered the last area of blight in downtown Boca Raton.

The modern redevelopment was approved by the Planning and Zoning Board, despite a strong pushback from the community worried about density.

The project is located at 171 West Camino Real. The plan would take the defunct shopping center and turn it into a mixed-use, shopping and residential area. It would include 350 apartments and two eight-story buildings.

The land’s owner says this is the only way to make the land viable as retail slides. Most of the public who attended a recently held meeting say this will add too much traffic to an area that’s already too busy.

“Clearly it’s the density of the project. When you add 350 residential units, the area can’t support it. The infrastructure isn’t there. We already have crowding on the roads, we already have crowding in our schools,” Tony Gautney, a Boca resident said in an interview.

There was some support for the project from the public.

“Being in the area, and raising a family, a few small kids, I feel like this project is exactly what the city of Boca needs, and our neighborhood needs. I think it could be the catalyst to revitalize our area which I feel like has been neglected for some time,” said Boca Raton resident Patrick Grogan.

The board will recommend the plan with one change: an additional left-hand turn lane instead of a right-hand turn lane into the project. That will hopefully mitigate some of the traffic concern.

This still needs approval from the Community Redevelopment Agency, who will likely take a look at this in January.

 

Source: WPTV5 News

A developer is set to acquire land at the intersection of University Drive and Sample Road in Coral Springs for construction of a hotel, an apartment building, and retail space.

Coral Springs Financial Plaza at University Drive and Sample Road (Credit: Sun-Sentinel)

Developer Ron Sheldon of Boca Raton-based PreDevCo expects to close next month on the acquisition of a seven-acre site on the southwest corner of the intersection.

Sheldon would build a $168 million cluster of developments there, including a 450-unit apartment building and a 150-room hotel  with its own parking garage. He also plans to build retail spaces for a grocery store and a half dozen bars and restaurants. Coral Springs Financial Plaza, a 10-story office building on the southwest corner of the intersection, would be razed.

Sheldon’s development would be part of the city government’s vision of a new downtown district in Coral Springs at University Drive and Sample Road.

Coral Springs, which is preparing to open a new City Hall on the southwest corner of the intersection of University Drive and Sample Road, wants to sell the current City Hall location on the northwest corner to a developer. The city also may acquire a nearby shopping plaza for redevelopment.

In addition, the city plans to find a new location for the Coral Springs Charter School on the southeast corner of the intersection and to sell the land there to a developer.

The northeast corner of University Drive and Sample Road is occupied by the  former location of a Publix supermarket that closed after Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida in 2005.

 

Source: The Real Deal

Could IBM’s former office complex in Boca Raton become more than just a hub of technology — and become a hub for housing, too?

Sources say the Boca Raton Innovation Campus , as it is now called, is being marketed for sale by its current owners. This time, potential buyers are taking a look at doing something more with the Boca Raton site than using it only for leased office space. The site could become a mixed-use complex featuring apartments, shops and a hotel, too.

Plans are afoot to seek the city’s OK to build 720 apartments, 20 townhomes, a 120-room hotel and 81,000 square feet of retail space. The property’s owners are San Francisco-based Farallon Capital Management and New York-based Next Tier HD, which bought the property for an undisclosed sum in January 2015. They are said to be working closely with Boca Raton to allow new zoned uses for the 130 acres on which the property sits.

The move is in line with changes made to the nearby Park at Broken Sound, formerly the Arvida Park of Commerce, where the city has allowed homes and shops to built on land that formerly was limited to light industrial research buildings. The city is placing a greater emphasis on housing that sits near public transportation, and the Boca Raton Innovation Campus has a Tri-Rail station directly to its east.

The iconic 1.7 million-square-foot building that once housed IBM’s software and hardware developers could remain intact, or parts of it could make way for other uses. But it’s unlikely large portions of the old IBM building will be felled.

In addition to its historic value, the complex houses a range of corporate tenants with varying lease lengths. Tenants include Bluegreen Corp., Tyco Integrated Security, TransUnion, Modernizing Medicine and MDVIP.

Since the purchase, Next Tier and its on-site broker, CBRE, have brought occupancy to 71 percent from 55 percent. More deals are in the works, too. A broker for Eastdil Secured, which is marketing the property, could not be reached for comment.

“Although the property has historic value, it does not have a historic designation from either the city of Boca Raton which could limit any change to the buildings or the National Register of Historic Places, according to Susan Gillis, Boca Raton Historical Society curator. “But we would like it to.

The former IBM building is special to fans of both technology and architecture. In December 1966, IBM announced its purchase of 550 acres west of what is now Interstate 95, south of Yamato Road and east of Military Trail. IBM was the first company to build an industrial site in the scrubland of the west, according to the Boca Raton Historical Society.

The building was designed by Marcel Breuer and Thomas Gatje and featured buildings for administration and product testing, development labs, manufacturing and distribution. The buildings feature a unique Y-shaped design, considered an engineering marvel for its day.

“The building is considered an oustanding example of the Brutalist style of architecture,” Gillis said.

The building isn’t just important for its aesthetic elements. The architects also designed the structure to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

“They put a lot of thought into those buildings, way back when,” said Michael Masanoff, who was part of the Blue Lake Ltd. group that bought the building from IBM in 1996.

On March 31, 1970, 3,500 people, led by IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson Jr., attended the ceremonial dedication of the new facility, according to IBM’s website.

Over time IBM dominated the city, and “wild ducks” flew high in Boca Raton. That was the nickname of a small group of engineers, marketing experts and communications specialists led by Philip “Don” Estridge. They designed the first personal computer, which was introduced in 1981. (On Aug. 2, 1985, Estridge died in the crash of Delta Flight 191 in Dallas. A former IBM building became the Don Estridge High Tech Middle School, named in his honor.)

By the mid-1980s, IBM employed nearly 10,000 people at this site and in office buildings clustered in the area. But by the end of that decade, IBM had stopped manufacturing at the site, moving this function to North Carolina. Then the software development team moved to Texas.

With employment dwindling, IBM sold the property for $46 million in 1996. The property became the Blue Lake Corporate Center, then the T-Rex Corporate Center, when an ownership group bought it from the Blue Lake group for $138.65 million in 2000.

Private equity fund Blackstone Group bought the site for $192.7 million in 2005 and renamed it the Boca Corporate Center & Campus, until Farallon and Next Tier renamed it the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, or BRIC.

In the years since IBM left the building, the area around the complex has matured. A lively strip of retail shops now fronts the building along Yamato Road, and a new interstate interchange is nearly complete on the south side of the property, at Spanish River Boulevard.

More importantly, demand for in-town housing is huge, especially since the city is virtually out of space for new homes, leading many developers to snap up golf course to transform into houses.

Owners of the Boca Raton Innovation Campus have worked to brighten up the old office interiors with renovations and amenities, including adding a fitness center and daycare and renovating the conference room and lobbies. And since no one is building new office space in Boca Raton, existing office space is becoming scarce, too.

Also helping boost the property’s allure, particularly on the heels of this hurricane season: The building has its own backup generator, installed by the Blue Lake group years ago.

 

Source: Palm Beach Post