By BILL DIPAOLO
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009
A year after the town approved the $125 million Harbourside restaurant/retail project, the developer says groundbreaking should begin by the spring.
“This project will put north county and Jupiter on the map as a waterfront destination,” said Nick Mastroianni, manager of Allied Capital & Development of South Florida, the Palm Beach Gardens-based developers. Plans call for demolishing the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum to make way for the 10-acre project.
Construction of a 1,000-foot-long seawall on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway just north of the Indiantown Road bridge will be mark the start of Harbourside. A pedestrian walkway — part of the town’s Riverwalk outdoor 2.5-mile waterfront walkway — and benches and lights are planned along the seawall. Slips for 21 boats, 12 private and nine public, are planned.
Completion is expected by the fall of 2012. The project includes a hotel with a rooftop pool, restaurants with outdoor seating, retail stores and two parking garages for a total of about 990 cars. About 95 spaces will be free parking. The other spaces can be validated or drivers will pay about $1 per hour. Two water taxi stands and an outdoor amphitheater are planned, said Mastroianni.
Still to be resolved is whether to allow local tax dollars to help pay for Harbourside. If approved by the town’s Community Redevelopment Agency, up to $350,000 a year of property taxes collected in the CRA district would go to pay for Harbourside for up to 15 years.
“It’s essential we use CRA funding,” said Mayor Karen Golonka. “The docks, Riverwalk, parking and amphitheater are public uses that justify the public investment,” she said.
Before voting for the public financing, Vice Mayor Todd Wodraska wants proof that Allied’s financing is in place.
“I don’t want the town stuck if Allied abandons the project,” said Wodraska.
Harbourside would generate about $800,000 in property taxes in the first year, according to town records.
Talks are ongoing to move the Burt Reynolds Museum into Harbourside, Mastroianni said.