Lake Park’s waterfront about to begin makeover years in the making

Alexandra Clough | The Palm Beach Post

March 17, 2022

On a barge in the Lake Park marina, a floating sales center offers a peek into the future of this small town along the Intracoastal Waterway.

The sales center features a model unit of the Nautilus 220 condominium, now under construction at 220 Lakeshore Drive on the southeast corner of Cypress Drive and U.S. 1. After nearly a year of marketing, the 24-story, twin-tower condominium complex is 40% sold, notching $188 million in sales, said Peter Baytarian, president of Forest Development, the project’s developer.

Units cost from the mid-$700,000s to nearly $4 million for a penthouse. Baytarian said the sleek, contemporary project is drawing buyers who want to live the Florida lifestyle.

“They want new, on the water, high ceilings and the latest amenities,” he said. “We tried to give each unit a view of the water.”

Nautilus 220 in Lake Park is a heady step for this overlooked pocket of Palm Beach County, now home to older low-rise condominiums, single-family houses and storefronts.

Condo project first step in a remake Lake Park waterfront

The Nautilus condominium complex is expected to be the first project in a larger plan to remake the waterfront into a destination filled with high-rise residences, restaurants, shops and tourists.

On a smaller scale, Forest Development could remake this town much the way Related Cos. kicked off development in West Palm Beach through the 2000 construction of CityPlace, now known as The Square.

Talks are underway between Forest Development and the town to build a 200-room hotel, a boat storage facility, and space for restaurants, on town-owned land just south of Nautilus.

In addition, Forest also is in talks to expand the town’s marina and build docks that can accommodate boats up to 80 feet in length.

Meanwhile, just over the line into Riviera Beach, Forest Development in December paid $7.3 million for the Winn-Dixie shopping center at at 3700 Broadway, directly south of the Lake Park-owned site slated for redevelopment into a hotel. Baytarian said discussions with Riviera Beach city officials are underway about a potential twin-tower condominium on the 3.5-acre property.

Lake Park town officials have worked for the past several years to sketch a new vision for this 9,000-resident town, which stretches just 2.5 square miles.

As part of their planning, town officials lifted building height limits around the marina, the town’s crown jewel, in hopes of turning this small town into a destination. Town manager John D’Agostino said Lake Park is “excited we have Peter Baytarian and his group as part of this development.”

Water views and neutral hues

At the Nautilus 220 floating sales center, a model condominium features clean white finishes, neutral wood floors, a private elevator, and balconies overlooking the water and Singer Island.

The 330-unit complex will feature units ranging from one to four bedrooms. The building will have a 24-hour concierge; mini-bowling, billiards and card tables; soundproof studio for music and podcasts; and an outdoor amenity deck with a pool, putting green and dog run area. A drone delivery pad featured in newer Miami condos also will be built on the deck.

Downstairs on the ground floor, restaurants, shops and office space are planned in this $300 million mixed-use project.

Construction began in January by builder Kast and is expected to be completed in June 2024. Forest Development is partnering with Miami builder Dan Kodski of Royal Palm Companies on the project, and Fortress Investment Group is slated to fund a $269 million loan by April, Baytarian said. The project manager is Zabik & Associates of Royal Palm Beach.

An outlier project or sign of things to come?

Even though change is just starting to come to Lake Park, real estate developers already are changing the face of once-quiet waterfront locations south of the town in West Palm Beach.

Developers such as Related Group of Miami are building apartments and planning to build a luxury condominium on North Flagler Drive, while Frisbie Group of Palm Beach is set to build an ultra-luxury condominium on South Flagler Drive, in addition to a possible apartment building on North Flagler Drive.

These developers are capitalizing on the city’s growth during the past two decades with new offices and hotels sprouting downtown, and companies and residents moving to the city from the Northeast and Midwest.

But Lake Park is not West Palm Beach. And buying in an up-and-coming area, instead of an established one, always is a greater risk, said Peter Zalewski, principal of Condo Vultures Strategies, a condo consulting firm in Miami.

Larry Zabik, Nautilus’ project manager, said he’s confident Lake Park won’t stay sleepy for long. He estimates about $2.5 billion worth of development is slated to take place south and west of the town during the next decade.

“This corridor is very strong,” he said.

To the northwest and south, more construction and development plans

To the northwest, construction is well underway at Palm Beach Riverstone apartments, a 374-unit complex slated for 45th Street, beside the Interstate 95 northbound off-ramp in West Palm Beach.

Just south of Nautilus in Riviera Beach, at 20 Bandol Street off of Broadway, DR Horton sold out its townhouse project, Riviera Cove.

Nearby, the 112-unit Berkeley Landing apartment is planned at 3100 Broadway. The complex, by Pinnacle Communities and Wendover Housing Partners, will feature workforce and market rate apartments.

Even a Forest Development-owned property at 310 U.S. 1 in Lake Park, used for Nautilus’ construction staging, soon could be transformed into a 56-unit apartment or condominium.

Baytarian said his sales team sells between three to seven units per week with prices averaging about $1.25 million per unit, or about $715 per square foot. While some buyers say they plan to live full-time at Nautilus, others are buying for a seasonal residence, he said.

The top floor feature penthouses with 1,500-square-foot private rooftop terraces, summer kitchens and plunge pools. Of those, all but one have sold. One floor down, Nautilus also is selling 15 penthouse-style units with upgraded interiors, priced from $2 million to $3.5 million.