The following excerpt was originally written by Katherine Kallergis and Keith Larsen of The Real Deal. Click here to view the full article.
Two weeks ago, billionaire developer Jeff Greene threatened to stop construction of a two-tower, 30-story mixed-use project in downtown West Palm Beach.
Greene, who told the Palm Beach Post in late April that he would “leave the shell up” because the city was resistant to approve a zoning request, is changing his tune. Now, he’s saying that he will build the project at 550 North Quadrille Boulevard as is, but at a slower pace, if he can’t get the property rezoned. Greene wants to change the project’s zoning from hotel, office space and multifamily to all multifamily.
West Palm Beach’s Central Business District has 673,350 square feet of Class A office space under construction, with an average asking rent of $54.39 per square foot, according to Colliers International South Florida’s first quarter report.
Neil Merin, chairman of the commercial real estate firm NAI Merin Hunter Codman, said the city has shown that it can only absorb one new Class A office building every 10 years.
To go forward with the office component of the One West Palm project “seems to be silly,” Greene said. He’s already invested $100 million into construction.