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Riverwalk’s Harbourside Project Approved

Jupiter Town Times
February, 2009

JUPITER — In December, Town Council approved a significant project that will ultimately add an entertainment district to the Riverwalk – Harbourside.

Harbourside, located north of the Indiantown Road bridge on the west side of U.S. 1, will include shops, restaurants, a hotel, marina, and most importantly – public waterfront access. Harbourside’s total cost will be near $130 million, and will be financed by the project developers. The development will not only help to continue the Riverwalk northward, but it will provide residents and visitors with community gathering spots for day-to-day enjoyment as well as special events.

Projects like Harbourside can be developed and financed in many different ways, and local governments can play different roles in the process. Jupiter has an established Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) for purposes of redevelopment along our coastal corridor. The CRA manages all Riverwalk projects, and identifies or provides funding for them. In the case of Harbourside, Jupiter’s CRA may support some of the public use improvements through tax increment financing (TIF). Within the boundaries of a CRA, all of the incremental taxes collected must be used within the boundary of the CRA for a predetermined number of years. In Jupiter’s case, this timeline is 30 years long, and began at the inception of the CRA in 2003.

In the case of Harbourside, tax increment financing is being used to allocate up to $350,000 a year for 15 years for the area’s improvement. The Town estimates that Harbourside will generate approximately $700,000 in taxes annually, and has identified 50% of that amount as available for improvements. As a safeguard, this amount is a maximum. For instance, if for some reason the Harbourside development fails to generate anticipated tax revenues, this amount would drop proportionately, and would not exceed 50% of the incremental taxes generated by the project. And, if the development does not move forward, no funds will be allocated.

With tax increment financing, the Town and the CRA are able to balance the risk typically associated with the demands of a large-scale development like Harbourside, and insulate the Town’s general fund from supporting development costs. By creating community gathering spots and preserving public access to our waterfront, we are ensuring that we will continue to remain “uniquely Jupiter.”