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Kolter's big build: Four housing projects in four PBC cities

POSTED ON: FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Four cities. Four projects. Four different places for people to live.

Kolter Group, of West Palm Beach, is building houses all over Palm Beach County, and each of its four projects represents a different slice of the housing pie: apartments, town homes, single-family houses and a luxury condo complex along the water.

In North Palm Beach, there’s the Water Club, a luxury condo complex at 1280 U.S. 1.

The land was home to Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center, operated by The Passionists of Saint Paul of the Cross Province in New Jersey. Kolter paid $23.5 million for the site’s seven acres in 2004.

Now Kolter is building three towers featuring condos overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.

The first two towers contain 164 units. Some 130 already are sold, and they are expected to be ready for buyers by fall, said Bob Vail, president of Kolter Urban in West Palm Beach.

Demand was so strong, Kolter sought and received approval from the town to build a third tower, consisting of only 30 units.

Sales at the third tower started a couple of weeks ago, and already Kolter counts eight reservations, Vail said. The $10,000 reservations will be converted into contracts in April when condo documents are completed, Vail said.

The third tower is more expensive than the prices quoted for condos in the first two towers, where units range from $700,000 to $1.3 million and are roughly 2,000 square feet each, Vail said.

In the third tower, units start at $1.7 million and go up to $3 million because there are only two units per floor and they are extra-large, between 2,900 to 3,400 square feet.

Vail said the third tower is designed for buyers coming from large country club homes who don’t want to give up extra bedrooms when extended family comes calling. Construction on tower three will start in June, with completion slated 24 months from then.

Down the road to Palm Beach Gardens, Kolter has another project that’s just starting to sell.

It’s Alton, a community of single-family houses and town homes. The property is on the 681-acre Briger tract, a parcel on Donald Ross Road across from Scripps Florida.

Alton will feature town homes starting at $400,000 and single-family houses starting in the mid-$500,000s up to more than $1 million. Kolter is approved to build up to about 1,500 homes on the site, but this first phase will feature about 200 single-family houses and roughly 100 town homes, said John Manrique, vice president of marketing for Kolter Homes.

Moving down the coast, Kolter has started construction in West Palm Beach on The Alexander, a 205-unit rental apartment project at 333 Fern St.

The property originally was slated to be built as the Isis condo, but Kolter nixed the moniker when the terrorist group of the same name began rampaging its way across the Middle East in 2014.

Then Kolter decided to switch to apartments, concluding that condos would not work at the site because demand for condos was limited mostly to properties with water views.

At 20 stories, The Alexander will be the first new apartment tower in West Palm Beach when it’s completed in 2017. The property will share parking with a rental project by Ram next door, the Alexander Lofts apartments.

Meanwhile, down in Boca Raton, Kolter has started construction of Moderne Boca, 75 town homes with a very modern design and about 3,000 square feet of space each.

The 6-acre property is at Military Trail and Spanish River Boulevard. A sign for the town homes went up just a couple of weeks ago, and Vail said Kolter has received “over 100 inquiries already.”

Kolter’s saga with the land began in 2005, after a prior owner had the land rezoned to residential from light industrial. Kolter sketched plans to build 45 town homes starting in the $800,000s and going up to $1 million.

The plan was dashed by the housing crisis, however. So Kolter went back to City Hall and won approval to change the zoning to retail. Shops, a pharmacy or a bank branch were contemplated.

But that idea never took flight, either. So, Kolter sought to have the land rezoned back to residential.

Through the years, the once-isolated site has become desirable and centrally located, Vail said.

The property is near the Interstate 95 interchange being built at Spanish River Boulevard. It is also next to the Pondhawk Natural Area. In addition, the land is near a popular lakeside walking trail at the city library and park, on the north and south sides of Spanish River Boulevard.

When Kolter is done with all these projects, it won’t be finished in Palm Beach County by a long shot.

Right now, Kolter is undergoing the approval process for 5000 N. Ocean, a 48-unit boutique condo planned for Singer Island. If approved, each luxury condo will be priced at around $1.6 million.

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