Author Topic: Sights and Scenes: Downtown West Palm Beach  (Read 655 times)

thelakelander

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Sights and Scenes: Downtown West Palm Beach
« on: June 22, 2022, 08:40:59 AM »
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In 1993, West Palm Beach was featured in a 60 Minutes segment on urban decay. At the time, eighty percent of properties in downtown were vacant. Today, West Palm Beach has one of the most vibrant downtown scenes in Florida. In addition, Downtown West Palm Beach has become an office boomtown due to financial firms seeking relocation as a result of the pandemic.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/sights-and-scenes-downtown-west-palm-beach/
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CityLife

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Downtown West Palm Beach
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2022, 09:01:05 AM »
Good stuff Ennis. I don't think you really were able to capture what Related has done to the old City Place (now Rosemary Square) though. It's not as cool and organic as Clematis Street, but they've done great things with it and have a lot more coming.

Here are some newer pictures.











« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 09:05:18 AM by CityLife »

CityLife

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Downtown West Palm Beach
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2022, 09:21:07 AM »
West Palm also does a much better job of programming its main waterfront park than Jax. It is at the end of Clematis Street and there is a ton of synergy between the events there and dining/entertainment on the street. The park is also lined with restaurants.

Every year they do "Sandi" the world largest sand Christmas tree in December and have nightly events around it.





Every Thursday the City hosts Clematis by Night concert



Every Saturday the City hosts the WPB Greenmarket, which is regularly voted the best farmers market in the USA (helps that there is a ton of ag in western Palm Beach county). This market puts RAM to shame, not that RAM is bad.



The City also hosts family movies on the waterfront the 2nd Friday of every month and a concert series the 3rd Sunday of the month. Then of course you have Sunfest every May, which is a weekend long festival with national acts.










« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 09:26:51 AM by CityLife »

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Downtown West Palm Beach
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2022, 01:46:21 AM »
Stories and pictures like this just show how poor our leadership is here.  None of this is rocket science.  The Jaxson has featured dozens of locations, big and small, getting it right.

By the way, what major league professional sports team is WPB supporting to bring all these good things to their town?  I thought so... none.  Shocked  ;D that they can do this as a result.

The list is long of what I see in these pictures that is NOT taking place in Jacksonville.  It's criminal negligence by our mayors and city councils along with staff and members of the DIA, historic preservation commission, (non)planning department, (non)planning commission, public works, parks, JTA, Chamber, Civic Council and, ultimately the voters who keep electing, sustaining or empowering these entities and their officials and "hangers on" (e.g. the special interests).

No plan, no vision, no standards, no creativity, no progressive ideas... add up to "nothing."  If it weren't for the beaches, river, climate and other natural assets, I wonder where we would be.

MusicMan

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Downtown West Palm Beach
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2022, 10:30:31 AM »
Even if those pictures were not labeled as WPB, it's exactly what we want here in Jacksonville.  An energized waterfront, downtown packed with people shopping and eating, seeking entertainment..... gorgeous marina. 

I moved to Coral Gables in 1989 to pursue grad school at THE U.  I saw all of this happen in real time, as I regularly traveled to WPB starting in 1989 for symphony, opera and ballet performances. It was horrible.  Somehow they managed to revitalize the area in a relatively short time frame, about 10 years (I moved here in 2006 and it was completely different by then).

I also remember vividly how South Beach was a forgotten wasteland. Mostly older Jewish people living all up and down what is now the premier part of South Beach. I remember the St Moritz at 1601 Collins Ave.  I would go there to access the beach. Mostly homeless people defecating all over the grounds of the property, the hotel was an abandoned shell. It was not the only one. Now it's rebranded at The Loews Miami Beach Hotel and they have added a huge addition that dwarfs what was in the sand in 1989.  Any investor who bought in that area in 1990 and held on through a few very rough years made serious bank at the end of the day. 

To be fair, WPB benefits tremendously from the island of Palm Beach. THAT is an international destination for the worlds wealthiest people. There is nothing close in NE Florida (NO, Ponte Vedra is not remotely close to Palm Beach).  And all of South Florida south of WPB is an international destination for travelers from literally everywhere.  Jax will never have that cachet. But we can surely do better than what we have achieved so far.