By staff writer
2 min. read
West Palm Beach, once considered a sleepy little town, is in the midst of becoming the premier destination in Palm Beach County for residents and visitors alike. The primary reason for its renaissance can be attributed to the commitment from the public and private sectors to the development of the downtown area. “There certainly are people who would prefer that we were still the sleepy little town we were in 1950, but they’re the minority,” former Mayor Jeri Muoio told Invest:. “We believe in preserving the scale of our development, and we are very focused on making sure the public life part is not overshadowed by development. We’re the first city in the country to have an Office of Public Life, whose job is to make sure that as we move forward, we continue to build a city for people.”
In the 20 years since its conception, mixed-use retail and entertainment center City Place has become one of the main attractors for residents and visitors to the downtown West Palm Beach area. When it was first opened to the public, City Place was an innovative and novel concept that kept people coming back thanks to its plethora of options. Now, the company that developed City Place, Related Companies, is investing $550 million into a rebrand of the area that will be known as Rosemary Square. This five-year development plan will turn the area into a new and diverse community and destination with a wide range of choices, including class-A commercial office spaces, a new hotel, and food and entertainment offerings.
Invest: Palm Beach spoke with Gopal Rajegowda, senior vice president for Related Companies, who expounded on all this new development in downtown West Palm. “Related Companies is going to further invest in Palm Beach County because we believe in the market and we see the opportunity. These new residential and hospitality offerings, together with Rosemary Square’s shopping, dining and cultural experiences, will support and enhance the entire West Palm Beach community,” Gopal said. “Over the next five years, Related Companies will shape the development of Rosemary Square to include a 21-story LEED Gold mixed-use tower with state-of-the-art luxury residences and commercial space, as well as a second hotel adjacent to the Hilton West Palm Beach.”
City Place isn’t the only area receiving a makeover. The Kravis Center, the hub of arts and culture in the downtown area, is also making progress toward finishing an expansion that will ultimately benefit the region. In a conversation with Invest:, Judith Mitchell, CEO of the Kravis Center, shared the same excitement as Gopal about the development of downtown. “We are in the midst of a $50 million expansion that includes making our center more accessible and visible to the community and visitors alike. The project includes a new pedestrian friendly urban park and a brand-new valet parking garage, in addition to other changes that we are certain will attract even more guests to our theaters. The cultural landscape in the area is continually changing and growing. Our neighbors, including downtown West Palm and Rosemary Square (formerly CityPlace), are evolving and expanding, as well. The area is truly buzzing with activity and growth.”
The development throughout the downtown area of West Palm Beach is a testament to the strong economy, population growth and most importantly, great quality of life throughout the Palm Beach County region. “Quality of life is a high priority here, and that is part of what is drawing the investment,” Raphael Clemente, Executive Director for the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, told Invest:. “It is a great place to live and have a high quality of life at a reasonable price.”
For more information on our interviewees, visit: