Project Spotlight: How open dialogue with a community led to the approval of a luxury condo project

Current property photo by Atwell. Rendering image courtesy of D’Antonio International.

Nestled in the Town of Palm Beach Shores among high-end resorts and a thriving beach community, sits the Seaspray Inn and Beach Resort and Top of the Spray restaurant. For nearly 60 years, the hotel and restaurant have overlooked the Atlantic Ocean and provided accommodations to tourists looking for a beachfront experience without the hustle of well-known hotel chains.

Kennega Glades, LLC is a real estate investment firm with a deep understanding of the South Florida market and the need for multifamily residences and commercial viability. Becoming aware of the Seaspray owners’ recent filing for bankruptcy, Kennega Glades seized the opportunity and bought the .65-acre shuttered hotel with the intention of converting it to 24 modern, amenity boasting, luxury condominiums.

While most would consider removing a vacant, dilapidated building an easily supported project, there were significant obstacles to getting the new residential project approved. The owner and our client, Kennega Glades needed to find solutions to not only work with a difficult site but to engage the community and town officials in securing approvals for the site plan, variances, plat, and architectural designs.

Led by Atwell’s Senior Project Manager, Chuck Millar, the Atwell and RVi team worked diligently to support Kennega Glades in getting 123 Ocean Drive off the ground. We presented at several town meetings and public hearings using information from surveys, plats, and project renderings. Most importantly, we facilitated open dialogue to ensure our requests were not only consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations but also complied with the purpose and intent of the specified zoning district. The community’s concerns were addressed and alleviated by explaining the value added with 123 Ocean. Chuck shared that the new six-story complex would include new parking circulation and parking stalls, a new beach equipment storage facility, added EV charging stations, and new lighting fixtures to enhance safety concerns. And to address aesthetics, there would be a new wall between the condominium and park, grassed parking surface, new landscaping, and to preserve the existing dunes ridge condition and vegetation.

Through many meetings and public hearings, our team was able to openly convey the means and methods required for a successful project. The approval of 123 Ocean brings not only a new beautiful high-end multifamily residence, but a significant upgrade, infill, and redevelopment of the Town of Palm Beach Shores oceanfront park, an opportunity for new residential ownership, yearly town ad-valorem taxes of approximately $800,000 and an increase to the town’s overall tax base of approximately $125,000,000.

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