A proposed 348-unit multifamily project between Lake Worth Beach and Wellington received approval from Palm Beach County officials, but it still has a long way to go before construction begins.
The Palm Beach County Planning Commission last week voted 8-to-5 to approve zoning changes, with some board members concerned about the number of residential units and the building height proposed for the project.
Staffers wanted to cap the number of future units at 284 and limit the building height to three stories. The project would be built on land currently used for agricultural and equestrian purposes and owned by companies managed by Sheldon Rubin.
Jennifer Morton of JMorton Planning and Landscape Architecture told The Real Deal that the project has another public hearing Oct. 28. After that, Palm Beach County commissioners would decide on adoption and rezoning aroundt March. She estimates that the project is still two years away from starting construction.
Morton told the county’s planning board at its meeting last week that capping the number of units would affect the project’s success, saying the developer originally sought 378 units. The cap would mean 64 fewer total units and 16 fewer workforce housing units.
The developer agreed to staffers’ desire for a quarter of the units to be dedicated workforce housing and agreed to reduce commercial space at the development from 140,000 square feet to 26,000 square feet, Morton said.
Called “Polo Gardens,” the development would have 17.5 units an acre on about 26 acres, more units per acre than other residential developments in the area.
Nearby Lake Worth Royale has 14 units an acre, with 370 total multifamily units on almost 50 acres. Fields at Gulfstream Polo has about 10 units an acre, with 140 townhouse units on almost 16 acres.
The board heard a letter from the Lake Worth Road Coalition opposing the project, fearing the area was becoming too congested. The coalition also sought a ban on fast food in the new development. Morton said the developer had agreed to the coalition’s demand to not allow a gas station at the development.
Rubin acquired the land from various owners starting in 2014, spending at least $7 million, according to records.
Among other proposed developments in Palm Beach County, a mixed-use project with a 158-bed, 117,000-square-foot adult living facility in Boynton Beach scored a $27 million construction loan in April. And an apartment complex on part of the Boca Dunes Golf & Country Club, developed by The Richman Group, scored a $57.4 million construction loan, also in April.