Plans for apartments in West Palm Beach south end move forward; some residents concerned

Plans for apartments in West Palm Beach south end move forward; some residents concerned

The project planned for 8111 S. Dixie Highway along the C-51 canal includes 358 units, including 90 for workforce housing, and 17,000 square feet of retail space for shops and restaurant


By  Kimberly Miller –  Palm Beach Post
December 29, 2023


A proposal for an eight-story apartment building in West Palm Beach’s south end is one step closer to fruition with unanimous approval by the city’s planning board on changes that allow housing and commercial uses on the same property.

The project planned for vacant land at 8111 S. Dixie Highway along the C-51 canal includes 358 units, including 90 for workforce housing, and 17,000 square feet of retail space for shops and restaurants.
City officials are particularly interested in the proposal because of its location along the C-51 canal and Dixie Highway, which is the gateway to the city from Lake Worth Beach.

It would include a public boardwalk along a refurbished canal, a gathering space for community events, a decorative sign denoting the entrance to West Palm Beach and a launch area for canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. The apartments would include studio to three-bedroom units.

C. Todd Everett, SIOR, Principal with Lee & Associates South Florida, Specializing in Investment Sales, Industrial and Office Assets“The project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for this city,” said Todd Everett, a commercial real estate agent who spoke at a planning board meeting Dec. 19. “We desperately need the housing. It will enhance the area, increase values and provide a tax base to the city.”

But the new complex, which will be built by Flagler Realty & Development and Woodfield Development, is also in the popular south of Southern Boulevard community, nicknamed SoSo, and some residents don't like the idea of an eight-story building or the increase in traffic that will come with it.

“The community doesn’t support this,” said resident Matthew Luciano at the meeting. “We are a bedroom community and we bought here for that reason. There is not one building in the south end higher than three stories.”

An original plan called for 210 apartments with 52 units of workforce housing and 35,000 square feet of retail space.

Attorney Harvey Oyer, who represented the developer at the Dec. 19 meeting, said city officials asked that more workforce housing units be included.

A West Palm Beach city resolution passed in December 2022 says a developer can increase a building's capacity if 25% of the units are set aside for workforce housing.

Oyer said the project’s plans for 358 units and 17,000 square feet of commercial space are far under what is allowed on the property, which is as many as 420 units and 425,000 square feet of commercial.

The project is unusual in that it’s being built on city-owned land that won’t be sold to the developer until the construction is completed. The city bought the approximately seven-acre lot in 2012 for $2.85 million and will sell it to the developer for $10.5 million when a final certificate of occupancy is issued.

South End Neighborhood Association President Richard Pinsky said his board initially endorsed the plan when it proposed 210 apartments. After learning that it was increased to 358 units, he said SENA members voted against the project in October and the SENA board withdrew its endorsement.

“Their original proposal was for 210 units and a grocery store. A year later, everything is changing,” said resident Rosey Vassilatos-Gekas at the Dec. 19 meeting. “The majority of residents aren’t opposed to the project but opposed to the density and height.”

Although a boutique grocery store was part of the initial plan, the developer couldn’t find one willing to go into the space.

Patrick Koenig, co-founder of Flagler Realty & Development, said in July after winning initial city commission support for the project that apartment rents will average about $3,000 a month, but the 90 workforce housing units will get discounted rates.

Workforce housing is generally defined as housing that is affordable to households whose income is between 81% and 140% of the area median income. Jennifer Ferriol, the city's director of housing and community development in West Palm Beach, said at the time that the city's most recent projects have limited the workforce housing to households earning between 81% and 100% of the area median income.

Workforce housing is mostly aimed at middle-class workers such as teachers or police officers.

North of the proposed project is the aging Palm Coast Plaza, which includes a Winn Dixie grocery store, Planet Fitness and Bealls. It was bought by Johnstone Capital Partners in March 2022 for $24.7 million.
The planning board approval Dec. 19 changed land use and zoning rules for the property at 8111 S. Dixie to allow for residential units and commercial elements in the same project. The project still faces a site plan approval.


About Lee & Associates South Florida

Lee & Associates South Florida is a fully vertical commercial real estate brokerage firm focused on industrial, office, retail, multifamily, investment and land sectors. Our dedicated team of professionals is led by Matthew Rotolante, CCIM, SIOR a 4th generation South Florida native in a family that has owned and operated commercial property here since 1928. Lee & Associates is the largest agent owned brokerage in the nation with Senior Agent’s ability to earn profit share resulting in the highest splits while still receiving full resources, support and leads from our national network. Our collaborative and cheerful culture allows for open communications throughout the company, fostering the sharing of information and best practices to better enable client decision making.  The Lee & Associates’ robust national network that sold and leased over $32 Billion in 2022 offers clients a cross-market platform of expertise and deal opportunities across all asset specialties and representation roles. For the latest news from Lee & Associates South Florida, visit or follow us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Instagram, our company local news.

About Lee & Associates

Lee & Associates is a commercial real estate brokerage sales, leasing and management firm. Established in 1979, Lee & Associates has grown its service platform to include over 75 offices in the United States and Canada. Lee & Associates is the largest agent owned commercial real estate brokerage where agents get the greatest return for their efforts and hence are more committed and better enabled to provide superior results for their customers.  For the latest news from Lee & Associates, visit or follow us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Link, our company blog.