For over a decade, the City of Rivera Beach has been working on a plan to transform its waterfront into a multi-use area complete with retail shops, apartments, and a hotel. Recently, the feasibility of the $375 million project has been called into question. Now that the development has been called into doubt, what will it take for the Riviera Beach marina plan to launch?
The Marina Village Project
The Riviera Beach Marina Village is an expanse of 23 acres between the Intracoastal Waterway and U.S. 1. The city and its Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) have spent approximately $35 million to prepare for the area’s redevelopment. In 2016, the first phase opened with a Marina Event Center and a pavilion, and a revamped Bicentennial Park. The second phase of the Village Marina Project is to include a mixed-use area to be developed on six acres located inside the district, fronting the city marina. The goal has been for the second phase to open in the spring of 2021
Phase 2 Plan
When the city, the CRA, and APD Solutions Real Estate Group and Tezral Partners entered into discussions in October of 2020, the Marina Village project had the potential to be the largest in the city’s history. As presented, the development was projected to include 225,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 56,000 square feet of retail space for local entrepreneurs, a 130-room hotel, 320 workforce apartment units, entertainment, and attractions which would take place in Bicentennial Park, and 1600 parking spaces.
Expert Review of the Plan
After meeting with the two developers, the CRA hired economist Hank Fishkind to review the Marina Village proposal. After performing an in-depth analysis, Fishkind reported that the proposed project was fiscally unsound, and the developers had not provided the necessary documentation to prove that they could complete the work or were qualified to do so. The economist found in his research that, as proposed, too much space was devoted to retail rather than housing. He also determined that there would not be enough revenue to support the parking garage. Additionally, Fishkind expressed concern that the developers were asking for unusual financial measures to support the project. His final recommendation was that the CRA “reject this program and start anew or provide a very short time period, say a month, for the development team to submit a financial plan.”
Developers Given a Chance to Prove They Can Complete Phase 2
In August 2020, the CRA met with APD Solutions and Tezral to discuss their plans for the Marina Village project. The board voted 4-1, with three members in favor of giving the developers another chance to prove themselves. The developers were told they had ninety days to provide specific documents to establish that could carry out their proposal for phase 2.
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