Related Group Rybovich join forces to propose massive waterfront project in West Palm - Dermot OBrien Group - Sotheby's International Realty Singer Island

Related Group Rybovich join forces to propose massive waterfront project in West Palm


A year ago, a 400-unit waterfront condo project north of the Rybovich mega-yacht marina stalled amid neighbors’ concerns about its scope.

At the time, West Palm Beach commissioners suggested the developer, the Related Group, join forces with the Huizenga family’s Rybovich companies for one complex.

That’s what the two entities did. And how.

The partnership is proposing more than 1,000 units in six 25-to-30 story towers, along with more than 15,000 square feet of restaurants, 61,500 square feet of offices and 10,000 square feet of retail operations.

It also would feature a beach club, a boat dock, and six 350-plus-foot mega-yacht slips.

One of the towers would actually jut into the Intracoastal Waterway, east of a separate 5-story retail and commercial center with a parking garage.

The project, which at 14-plus acres would be larger than the city’s sprawling downtown waterfront area, could revitalize the Northwood neighborhood and the waterfront north of downtown West Palm Beach, its backers say.

It would, however, be the smaller than another massive project just a few miles north. Riviera Beach is set to start next April on an an even more ambitious $30-million-plus project to transform its waterfront district into a gathering place for residents and tourists that eventually would sprawl across 26 acres.

Rybovich and the Related Group haven’t revealed a price tag for their proposal.

“We really believe this can be a transformational development,” Rybovich Vice President Carlos Vidueira said Wednesday at a meeting of the city’s “plans and plats” review committee.

But an association for the neighborhood closest to the proposed development has sent a flier to its residents raising concerns about the project. “If we are not careful, Northwood Shores could also see its waterfront dramatically change,” the flier said.

The Rybovich-Related proposal still faces a series of hurdles before it can be approved. The developers hope for approval by the end of the year, but said the process could extend into 2014. If the project is approved, the first tower could open in 2016 and build-out would take a decade.

One of the city’s hurdles is pretty daunting — a density standard that is nearly half of what the developers are seeking.

The original 400-unit plan by the Related Group stalled no fewer than five times in 2012, after resistance from neighborhood leaders. It had been approved for the standard density of about 31.5 units per acre, and the project was shelved when it couldn’t get more.

Now Related and Rybovich have come back with an even greater density request of 55.9 units per acre.

In addition to the density variance, the developers in an Aug. 21 memo, are asking the city change the zoning of some of the Related property from multi-family residential to commercial and to modify or waive several land use rules including a 23-story height limit and parking availability ratios.

Commissioner Sylvia Moffett, who represents the north end, said last week she’s all for revitalizing that area; “Oh my goodness, yes. Rybovich is the key,” she said.

But, she said, “We don’t want Flagler to be anything but what it is; a sweet, two-lane, meandering road.”

Moffett had opposed the previous project. Of the new one, she said, “It seems it’s still pretty dense. Very dense.” She said she’ll look at the entire proposal before she decides.

The North End Coalition of Neighborhoods, an umbrella group of nine neighborhood associations, sent the city a letter saying the nine were “in consensus” of favoring the development. But the vote was not unanimous.

Northwood Shores Neighborhood Association President Lon Sabella said he’s torn.

“We want growth,” he said. “If they were to build what (the previous project’s density) had gotten approval for, I’d be thrilled.”

He said it’s more about setting bad precedents for future development.

Northwood Shores has invited its residents to hear Tuesday from a lawyer who prevailed in a density dispute with the city over another Related project.

City density rules “are designed to protect older communities from the negative effects of over-development,” the Northwood Shores flier said. “A recent city trend appears to overlook these carefully crafted rules.”

Capt. John “Pop” Rybovich, Sr. and his wife, Anna, started Rybovich and Sons Boat Works in 1919 on the Intracoastal Waterway near 45th Street after emigrating from Slovakia in 1902. The operation was sold in 1975 and later became part of Rybovich Spencer. In 2004, it was bought by the Huizenga family; patriarch Wayne Huizenga made a fortune in waste management and video rentals and once owned the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins.

The Related Group is an affiliate of The Related Cos., a partner in CityPlace, and is the developer of the planned Hilton adjacent to the Palm Beach County Convention Center. That 13-story, 400-plus room hotel is set to start construction by the end of 2013 and open in the summer or fall of 2015.



Location: East side of North Flagler Drive, between 38th and 44th streets.

Size: 14.3 acres (plus 4.6 acres of submerged land).

Buildings: Six high-rise towers; one five-story commercial/office/parking garage complex.

Condominium units: 1,059.

Office space: 61,500 square feet.

Dining: 15,085 square feet.

Retail space: 10,000 square feet.

Marina slips: 272.

Dermot OBrien Group

With close to $300 Million in sales on Singer Island since 2004 (close to 250 different properties) Dermot OBrien Group of Sotheby’s International Realty Singer Island is the recipient of the 2012 Ritz Carlton Residences Power Broker Award, 2013-2014 International Property Magazine Best Real Estate Agent Florida Award and the 2017 - 2018 International Property Magazine Best Real Estate Brokerage Florida Award. Dermot was selected as the 2010 & 2011 Unique Homes Magazine Singer Island market specialist, in addition to being a 2008, 2009 and 2010 Platinum Producer for Illustrated Properties Real Estate.

Dermot has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, a Diploma from the British Chartered Institute of Marketing and a BA from University College Dublin in Ireland. A life long learner he recently completed a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute. With over 35 years of experience in real estate sales, marketing, new product development and management consulting he continues to enjoy the entrepreneurial career path.