3 Firms, 3 Visions Vying For City Site

Written by on 06.04.13 in Investment Trends, Land - No comments

The three entities who wanted their names to remain confidential as they negotiate with West Palm Beach for the city-owned site once designated for the Digital Domain Institute are the Related Cos. of New York, developer Michael McCloskey and HUB Holdings of Abu Dabhi, multiple sources have told The Palm Beach Post.

Potential uses for the site appear to include another digital venture as well as medical, educational or financial services, although the sources either were often vague about such details or provided none.

The 2.4-acre site at Okeechobee Boulevard and Dixie Highway was given to Digital Domain by the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency in 2010 as the location of a a one-of-a-kind digital animation institute the company was to build in partnership with Florida State University.

But the city reacquired the property last year after Digital Domain filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and the state university system’s Board of Governors ordered the FSU film school to return to Tallahassee.

This left the city and its Community Redevelopment Agency to seek a new buyer or business for the strategically located property that city officials call the gateway to downtown.

Different Visions

Based on information from several sources with knowledge of part or all of the negotiations, the three interested entities have the following visions for the site:

— Related Cos., which already owns the nearby CityPlace, has been selected by Palm Beach County to build the convention center hotel, and is launching a new office tower on a piece of land it owns in the median of Okeechobee Boulevard known as the “triangle site.” A Related subsidiary, Related Group, also is currently lobbying West Palm Beach to build condos on North Flagler Drive.

— McCloskey, founder of West Palm Beach-based Florida Realty Investments, is rumored to be working with the University of Miami on a “medical health care educational use” that could “combine several users” including the Cleveland Clinic.

— HUB Holdings, an Abu Dabhi development company that has continued to express interest in a digitally-related partnership with West Palm Beach and FSU, even after the failure of the Digital Domain deal.


Source:  Palm Beach Post

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