‘Not a stop sign:’ Raceway fight hits brick wall but new path opens

Commissioners approve warehouse complex at Palm Beach International Raceway, then endorse search for new racetrack site.

With their attorneys waving the white flag, county commissioners Thursday reversed a January decision and approved zoning to allow a massive warehouse complex at the shuttered Palm Beach International Raceway.

But they rolled out a potential final lap for racing fans who have been fighting the warehouses for more than a year: At least three commissioners said they would seek a way to build a new raceway in Palm Beach County.

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Gardens 300-acre land grab riles Acreage

Backers say move harms effort to form new village: ‘They’re basically grabbing all the commercial property.’

To Palm Beach Gardens leaders, it’s a natural step, squaring off the city’s western boundary by adding 300 acres of valuable property to the tax rolls.

To the residents who want to create a city in The Acreage, it is a near-death blow. 

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Why warehouses? Racetrack owners press case before judge

County defends decision to deny warehouses at shuttered Palm Beach International Raceway, says owner failed to show that circumstances have changed.

It took five minutes for retired Administrative Law Judge Bram Canter to announce that mediation had failed between Palm Beach County and the landowner seeking to build warehouses at the former Moroso racetrack. 

Then the real hearing began.

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Panama Hattie’s transformed: Developer Dan Catalfumo puts on the Ritz

Intracoastal Waterway site to be home to 106 condos priced as high as $7.2 million; and now it sports a Palm Beach Gardens address.

Recessed LED lighting casts a warm glow on the cream-colored porcelain flooring. Earth tones dominate the walls, sofas and chairs.

Step into the rarefied air of the newest condo project rising in north county and designers hope you’ll feel as if you’re entering an upscale living room.

But this Ritz-Carlton Residences Palm Beach Gardens — 106 condos to be built at the former Panama Hattie’s site — is more resort hotel than condo commons.

NOTE: This story also is being published today on Stet, a new weekly newsletter covering Palm Beach County. Joel Engelhardt is one of three founding partners at Stet, which aims to provide news and context you won’t find anywhere else. To get the Stet newsletter delivered straight to your inbox, click here: https://stetmediagroup.substack.com. Once you get there, we’ll even explain what Stet is.

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No speedway here: Residents win fight to block eight-laning of Northlake

Palm Beach County drops road widening options for western section of Northlake Boulevard despite anticipated rise in traffic from large new communities.

CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, the original story published Feb. 3, 2023, incorrectly attributed to Palm Beach Gardens City Attorney Max Lohman comments from the audience at the Jan. 13, 2023, Planning Commission meeting. The comments were made by Avenir attorney Brian Seymour, not Mr. Lohman. The story has been updated as of Feb. 5, 2023, to remove the incorrect information.

Palm Beach County planners and engineers, girding for construction of thousands of homes, are certain that sometime in the next 10 years traffic will dictate the eight-laning of parts of Northlake Boulevard. 

Residents of the western gated communities in Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach are equally certain an eight-lane road outside their neighborhoods would be a disaster, eliminating slow-down lanes, decorative entryways and lush landscaping to make way for a dangerous speedway. 

On Wednesday, the residents won.

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Denied 4-2: County Commission sides with racing fans over warehouses

After a motion to approve warehouse zoning at the former Palm Beach International Raceway died for lack of a second, Palm Beach County commissioners tossed aside concerns over being sued and voted to deny the plan.

History repeats itself.

Faced with a room full of avid racing fans fighting for their way of life, a county board once again rejected plans for warehouses on the site of the former Palm Beach International Raceway.

Palm Beach County commissioners voted 4-2 Thursday to deny the application from property owner IRG Sports & Entertainment to convert the shuttered racetrack on the Beeline Highway west of Jupiter into a 2.2-million-square-foot warehouse complex.

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Long-awaited State Road 7 project will wait five years longer

West Palm Beach’s litigation prompts state to withdraw $80 million scheduled to be spent in 2023 to build connector between Okeechobee Boulevard and Northlake.

The state had $80 million on hand to begin construction next year of State Road 7 from Okeechobee to Northlake boulevards.

But on Thursday, state officials will slam the brakes on the controversial project by formally asking local officials to sign off on a shocking twist: Delay it at least five years. 

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‘A launch pad for science:’ Wertheim’s $100 million gift to ignite UF Scripps

‘Not one dollar … will go up north,’ UF board chair Mori Hosseini says; aim is to raise $1 billion over 10 years.

When Dr. Herbert Wertheim was a young engineer working for NASA in the 1960s, he saw miracles take flight. 

Now he’s a billionaire who just gave $100 million to the University of Florida. And he sees Jupiter as the next Cape Canaveral.

“We have what I call ‘sciencenauts,’” he told dignitaries and scientists gathered Oct. 12 at the UF Scripps campus in Abacoa. “They’re going to help us solve health-care problems, not only when you’re sick, but my number one emphasis has been how do we keep people well.

“So let’s think about Jupiter as a launch pad like we think of Cape Canaveral. And this is gonna be a launch pad for science.”

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Proposal paves way for warehouses at former racetrack

Palm Beach International Raceway owners seek County Commission’s blessing on Jan. 11 for updated 2.1 million-square-foot warehouse plan.

The conversion of a beloved local raceway to warehouses is back on track after the property owners eliminated a major hurdle that forced them to make an unscheduled pit stop in April.

The owners of the shuttered Palm Beach International Raceway west of Jupiter are moving forward on their own, without construction giant Portman Industrial, which pitched a 2.1 million-square-foot warehouse development before angry racing fans packed a meeting April 7 to block it.

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Northlake widening study pits county vs city. Again.

Palm Beach Gardens City Manager tells council that Palm Beach County engineer abruptly backed out of a meeting to share information about county’s $400,000 study of eight-laning Northlake Boulevard east of the Beeline.

Palm Beach County wants to spend $400,000 to study eight-laning Northlake Boulevard from Military Trail to Beeline Highway. 

Palm Beach Gardens and its many homeowners associations along the six-lane roadway want no such thing. 

But the potential to talk out their differences blew up publicly last week when County Engineer David Ricks refused to attend a meeting with Palm Beach Gardens City Manager Ron Ferris.

“I got a phone call from David Ricks, who said he was advised from higher ups at the administration level he is not to meet with the city of Palm Beach Gardens,” Ferris told City Council members Thursday night.

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