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Directors' Fall Luncheon -21

Civic Association Directors Hear Updates on Development Projects

Directors of the Palm Beach Civic Association received updates on the Charley’s Crab, Royal Poinciana Way and the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center developments at a Dec. 14 luncheon meeting at The Colony.

Chairman and CEO Bob Wright welcomed the 85 people to the luncheon during the Civic Association’s 75th anniversary year. Mr. Wright thanked Scripps Research for sponsoring the event.

Douglas A. Bingham, executive vice president of Florida operations at Scripps Research, spoke about the Palm Beach County facility, which marks 15 years in Jupiter next year. Mr. Bingham oversees and implements institutional policy and strategy on the Florida campus. He said one of the groups he met with during the proposal phase of bringing Scripps to Florida was the Civic Association.

Mr. Bingham spoke briefly about Scripps Research, which is headquartered in San Diego.
“Our mission is basic science, educational training, and the translation of our discoveries into new medicine,” Mr. Bingham said.

Some of Scripps medicines that are advancing to clinical trials pertain to Parkinson’s disease, various cancers, Irritable Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, and new pain medications that aren’t as addictive, he said.

Mr. Bingham was nominated to the Civic Association board of directors and directors at the luncheon voted unanimously to elect him to the board.

Frisbie Group Projects

David Frisbie introduced Cody Crowell and Robert Frisbie, Jr., who spoke about the Charley’s Crab and Royal Poinciana Way projects. Michael Ainslie and Matthew Smith updated everyone on the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center.

The revitalization at the former Charley’s Crab site on South Ocean Boulevard will reduce density and increase town revenues by a multiple of 10, Robert Frisbie, Jr. said. There will be five residences – four luxury townhomes with 9,000 square feet of living space each and one single-family residence. The target for completion is 15 months.

“We are very thankful for the community support on this collaboration and look forward to delivering a beautiful product next season,” Mr. Frisbie said.

In talking about the Royal Poinciana Way revitalization, Cody Crowell said that the overall restrictive barriers from the 1980 code has created a difficult scenario for landlords to invest back into their buildings.

“Our plan was to do it right and do it better than anyone can imagine,” Mr. Crowell said. “We’re very fortunate to have The Breakers as team members.”

The project on 1.3 acres will include underground parking with 86 spaces, three buildings on Royal Poinciana Way and three buildings on Sunset Avenue. The Breakers will own and operate a restaurant as well as some retail space. The project will be completed by the end of 2019 and will also increase the tax revenues for the town by tenfold, Mr. Crowell said.

“The collaboration between our project, Royal Poinciana Plaza, Bradley Park and others have created a more walkable, livable energetic environment that those in the community will love and other people will see as one of the most beautiful properties in Palm Beach and in the world,” Mr. Crowell said.

Recreation Center

Matthew Smith explained how the idea began to build the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center.

The existing recreation center was an outdated building that was rapidly aging, and the town wasn’t prepared to spend the money to update it, Mr. Smith said. Many parents watched their children play sports on the field, but had never been inside because there was nothing in the building for them. Aside from the tennis courts, the recreation center lost money on an annual basis, he said.

A public-private partnership was formed with Mr. Mandel funding one-third of the cost of the new building, the town adding one-third, and the Friends of Recreation raising money for the remaining one-third.

The project will cost $13.8 million and feature a 17,000 square-foot recreation center will feature an indoor gym, an outdoor basketball court, fitness center, a playground twice as big as the existing one, a multi-purpose athletic field with better drainage, a covered viewing pavilion, snack bar, a new tennis pavilion, and updated pro shop.

One-hundred twenty-five residents donated to the project, but $105,000 is still needed to make the target fundraising goal, Mr. Ainslie said.

The work is set to be finished and programming to begin by Dec. 1, 2019, he said.

“We probably called on 250 families in Palm Beach to get the 125 donations that we have,” Mr. Ainslie said. “This is a really wonderful town, a town that cares about its future and families who are willing to invest in that future.”