02 Dec Jupiter approves $127 million Harbourside development
By BILL DIPAOLO
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
JUPITER — The town council Tuesday night approved Harbourside, a proposed waterfront development that includes retail, offices, boat docking and a five-story hotel with a rooftop bar and pool.
“For the success of Riverwalk and the commercial district, we need the entertainment intensity of this project,” said Mayor Karen Golonka.
The vote for the site plan and rezoning of the property was 4-1, with Council Member Jim Kuretski dissenting.
Kuretski said the project’s requirement of town financing is too risky during tough economic times. The developer should be required to pay more for traffic improvements at the project’s location at Indiantown Road and U.S. 1, said Kuretski.
Randy Jordan, a Jupiter resident who operates a scuba diving boat business, said Harbourside will provide a big economic stimulus for north county.
“This project gives us hope,” he said. “It means somebody is willing to put money into the area.”
Construction needs to start soon because by the time the $127 million project is complete in 2011, the economy will be back on track, said Nick Mastroianni, manager of developers Allied Capital and Development.
Supports said public access is an important part of Harbourside. Jupiter officials will be able to close the roadway alongside Harbourside on the Intracoastal Waterway up to two days a month for town events, such as street festivals or art fairs.
Riverwalk, a waterfront walkway from the beach to Jupiter Inlet, must be complete before the project gets it first certificate of occupancy. A water taxi is planned.
“This project will make Jupiter a destination. Right now, Jupiter has nothing on the water,” said Admiral’s Cove resident Donato Curcio.
The Harbourside property is partially occupied by the former First Union Bank building, and rented for $1 annually by the Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum. The town bought the two-story building for $1 million in 2004. Allied plans to buy the building from the town for about $2.4 million, said Mastroianni.
The proposal calls for demolishing the museum building and replacing it with a five-story parking garage. Parking would be free for patrons with parking tickets validated by Harbourside businesses. Parking would also be free for town events.
The plan calls for the town to pay up to $350,000 a year in tax increment financing for up to 15 years for Harbourside. Council members will later vote on the tax proposal. The project would generate about $800,000 in property taxes the first year and would steadily increase, according to town records.
Overall: The 300,000-square-foot waterfront development includes shops, offices and restaurants with outdoor seating. Plans call for 30 private and public boat slips, a water taxi stand and a 210-room hotel
Location: Eight acres at the northwest corner of Indiantown Road and U.S. 1
Timetable: Construction start in spring, finish in about two years
Total parking: 1,026 spaces in three parking garages. One year after last certificate of occupancy is issued, a study will be done to see if more spaces are needed. Free validated parking.
Developer fees: Allied will pay town about $357,000 to abandon Coastal Way to make room for Harbourside.
Burt Reynolds Museum: About 2,500 square feet is reserved for cultural use that must be approved by town. Town could approve Reynold’s museum to move in.