We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

The Florida Billionaire Pissing Off West Palm Beach

5 3 0
23.09.2021

In their pastels and plaids, an army of West Palm Beach residents gathered on Tuesday evening to litigate a bitter fight engulfing their community. On one end of the battle stands a deeply tanned billionaire—the property developer and onetime gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene—who has been angling to build a cluster of luxury high-rises in the city’s north end. (He sent an emissary on his behalf). On the other, aggrieved locals who believe those plans will shatter their neighborhood’s character and affordable housing.

Greene, 66, has positioned himself as a savior to this blighted section of South Florida, a pocket of land known as Currie Corridor, since it sits adjacent to Currie Park. “The homeowners, they’ll be the biggest beneficiaries,” he told The Daily Beast. “Right now there's nothing but homeless people and crime and all this empty land.”

Some of those homeowners have been reluctant to offer thanks. “We don't want to see a 350-foot tower go up behind us,” said Peter Fox, who owns a condo nearby. “What I think the folks in the area are looking for is for someone to come in and build a mixed-use development.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, members of the city’s planning board weighed changes to local zoning regulations, which Greene will need to build at his desired height. Following hours of heated testimony, the board ruled 7-0 in his favor, and the matter now moves on to the city commission for a final verdict.

Greene’s opponents say they have been cut out of the process. They allege that the city has suppressed dissent, informing residents about public hearings at the last minute and, in some cases, days after meetings took place.

“Their idea of a public hearing was an invitation-only event,” Fox said.

“It has the feel of a public mafia,” said Carl Flick, an urban planner and president of the Northwood Shores........

© The Daily Beast


Get it on Google Play