Breaking Ground with Brian Bandell: Growth opportunities in Palm Beach County
Published on 06.21.2019
It takes the perfect blend of colorful history, superb location, iconic architecture and an elite, sophisticated citizenry to create an international destination – a place where every moment is a celebration. This is the essence of Via Mizner, an exclusive, landmark address in the heart of a beloved community, perfectly crafted for world-class lifestyles.
As one of a select few locations worldwide with a residential property bearing the Mandarin Oriental name, The Residences is truly a signature address. Upon arriving at the private entrance lobby, the cascading water element and grand staircase only hint at the striking design and details that abound throughout. Incomparable sophistication is imbued into each of the ninety-two, light-filled homes that celebrate the Boca Raton lifestyle with absolute comfort and complete security.
For over fifty years, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s reputation for impeccable service, distinctive designs and renowned, holistic spas has been key to its rapid expansion across the globe. Today, the company operates thirty-two hotels and seven Residences at Mandarin Oriental in 23 countries and territories. A dedication to the highest levels of customer satisfaction year after year has garnered Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group a most enviable ranking as a recognized leader in worldwide luxury hospitality.
Click here to view PDF of our highlight in the South Florida Business Journal.
Palm Beach County has had solid success in attracting both people and companies from other parts of the country while boasting many pockets of upper income residents.
A panel of high-profile local developers said that has created many opportunities for them, despite the challenges presented by developing in the county.
The South Florida Business Journal held “Breaking Ground with Brian Bandell” June 20 at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRIC). The panel featured Michael J. Belmont, president of Minto Communities USA; Luanne Lenberg, senior VP of mixed-use retail, residential and hospitality at Penn-Florida Cos.; Gopal Rajegowda, senior VP of Related Cos. and managing partner of its Southeast division; and Alex Rosemurgy, CEO of Rosemurgy Properties. The event was sponsored by Crocker Partners.
The second-largest county in the state by land mass, Palm Beach has a great variation in neighborhoods, including luxury mansions, equestrian estates, urban high rises, golf course communities, and housing on the outskirts of sugar cane fields.
Here are some of the opportunities and challenges in Palm Beach County the developers outlined:
Housing driven by local demand
Although the initial plan was to attract many international condo buyers, the Residences at Mandarin Oriental in Boca Raton has attracted many buyers from Palm Beach County, Lenberg said. People are downsizing from large homes into condos with high-end amenity packages. They want to live in active communities like downtown Boca Raton, she said.
In some cases, the people downsizing choose to rent and spend the money from the sale of their home on other things, Lenberg said. She’s seen a lot of that in the 101 Via Mizner apartments.
Rosemurgy is concerned rent has been pushed too high, exceeding what people can afford. The high cost of development makes it hard to build apartments with a lower rent, he said. Rosemurgy sees more opportunities for acquiring older apartment complexes and upgrading them.
Belmont said most of the homes he’s sold in the new city of Westlake have been to locals. Renters are looking to own, and its homes starting at $280,000 are in their price range. Minto has provided downpayment assistance to some buyers, he added.
The challenge for home development is the relatively low density in the county, Belmont said. That makes homes more expensive.
The county is also running out of vacant land for single-family homes, which will increase pressure to build on golf courses, Belmont added.
West Palm Beach is developing more of an urban feel like a 24/7 city, but it’s still a less congested atmosphere than Miami, Rajegowda said. Taking Virgin Trains USA allows people to live in the city at a lower cost while working in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, he noted.
Related Cos. is investing $600 million in Rosemary Square, formerly known as CityPlace, including an office building, an apartment building, and improved public spaces.
Delray Beach has been one of the biggest success stories in South Florida, Rosemurgy said. With an Opportunity Zone on West Atlantic Avenue creating tax incentives, it’s likely the activity will spread west and lead to more development, he said.
Boca Raton remains a great market for commercial development because it has the wealthy demographics retailers are looking for, Lenberg said.
Retail takes on lifestyle feel
Shopping centers with strong anchor tenants are doing well, but many malls are searching for tenants that provide a more memorable experience than typical retailers, Lenberg said. Retail centers that can’t attract the right tenants might seek to redevelop and go vertical, she added.
In its Uptown Boca mixed-use project, 31% of the space has been leased to restaurants, Rosemurgy said.
People want more food and entertainment options closer to their homes, he said.
Minto is still crafting plans for its Town Center at Westlake, but the commercial space will likely be mostly lifestyle uses like restaurants, Belmont said.
Selective opportunities for office
Related Cos. is building one of the two office towers under construction now in downtown West Palm Beach. There’s been so little office product developed in the city in recent years that its 360 Rosemary will have a big advantage with its modern spaces and amenities, Rajegowda said.
Related Cos. also has a property along the Intracoastal Waterway under contract for an office tower called One Flagler. If the city approves the zoning, Rajegowda said they would move forward there as well.
Lenberg said Boca Raton is too saturated with office buildings to build another one right now. Rosemurgy said it’s hard to find large office tenants to sign pre-leases, so that makes financing office construction difficult.
Serving the senior population
Senior living is going high end, with 55-plus neighborhoods and assisted living facilities taking on luxurious amenities.
Rosemurgy, who has proposed an assisted living facility in Boca Raton, said Baby Boomers are looking for places that are comfortable to live with cultural events. They often rent from $6,000 to $8,000, he added.
Community activities are a huge part of 55-plus communities, said Belmont, who sold a property in Westlake for such a project.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Policy for achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising, marketing and sales program which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. The sketches, renderings, pictures, photos, and designs depicted or described herein are conceptual in nature and are not to scale, are based upon preliminary development plans, may depict options, upgrades, features or views not available in all model types and are subject to change without notice in the manner provided in the applicable purchase agreement. No guarantees or representations whatsoever are made that any features, amenities or other facilities will be provided or, if provided, will be of the same type, size, location or nature as depicted or described herein. Any view from a unit or from other portions of the property may in the future be limited or eliminated by future development or forces of nature.Nearby golf courses, open spaces and other areas are not owned or operated by the Developer and there is no guarantee they will be operated or maintained for any particular purpose or in any particular manner. Many of the facilities within the project will not be located within the Residences. Certain facilities or services described herein will be provided by the hotel or club operators or others and may be subject to additional charges. Membership in the Club will be mandatory for unit owners and will require payment of additional dues, fees and costs. A substantial number of Club memberships will be available to non-residents. Business establishments may be sold to third parties, may be used for different purposes, and may change or discontinue operation at any time.
An offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus or in the applicable purchase agreement. Douglas Elliman is the Developer’s exclusive broker for this project. No solicitation, offer or sale of a unit in the Residences will be made in NY, NJ, or in any other jurisdiction in which such activity would be unlawful.Via Mizner Owner III, LLC (“Developer”) is a newly-formed entity, which is the sole offeror of the units being offered for sale as The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton (“Residences”). Penn-Florida Capital Corp. and the other “Penn-Florida Companies” are affiliated with the Developer but are not the developer of the Residences. All statements and any representations herein shall be deemed to have been made solely by Developer. An affiliate of the Developer is developing the adjacent proposed Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton hotel (“Hotel”) and the rental programs, if any, offered to unit owners in the Residences. Neither Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group nor any of its affiliates, nor their respective Officers, Directors, Agents or Employees (collectively, “MOHG”), are in any way owners, offerors, promoters, issuers or underwriters of, or responsible or liable for, or are making any representations or warranties with respect to, the Developer, construction of the Residences, any offering for sale of the real property constituting the Residences, or any increase or return on related investment. MOHG has not assumed and has no liability or responsibility for any financial statements, projections or other financial information contained in any sales and marketing materials, prospectus or similar written or oral statements relating to the Residences. Developer has the sole right and responsibility for the manner and means by which the Residences are sold, and for all representations in relation to the Residences. Developer has obtained rights to use the “Mandarin Oriental” name and trademarks (“MOHG Marks”) in connection with the Residences and the Hotel subject to the terms and conditions of non-exclusive license agreements which may be terminated at any time upon certain occurrences. The right to use the MOHG Marks in connection with the Residences is thus not guaranteed and no such right is included in the Residence being acquired by any purchaser. If any of the relevant agreements are terminated, or Mandarin Oriental ceases to manage the Hotel or Residences for any reason, use of the MOHG Marks in connection with the Hotel and Residences may be terminated at MOHG’s discretion.
The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton (The Residences) are not developed, sponsored, owned, offered or sold by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group or any affiliate thereof (MOHG), and MOHG makes no representation, warranty or guaranty of any kind regarding The Residences. The developers and owners of The Residences use the Mandarin Oriental name and trademarks subject to the terms of revocable licenses from MOHG which may expire or be terminated.
Photographs and artwork are lifestyle photographs and conceptual artist renderings.