Anticipation mounts in Downtown West Palm Beach as an October launch date nears for the initial retail/entertainment section of CityPlace.

The 72-acre CityPlace is to include 500,000 sf of retail space featuring a Macy’s department store; 10 restaurants; and a 16-screen cineplex organized around an open-air plaza where a former church is being transformed into a multi-functional hall.

In addition, The Related Group of Florida is developing more than 600 residential units, while 750,000 sf of office space is also planned. The mixed-use complex is envisioned as the key element linking Downtown West Palm Beach’s already thriving Clematis Street restaurant row with the city’s concert-hall venue at Kravis Center and a new home for the Palm Beach Opera.

While initial openings in the shopping center remain on track for sometime in October, the overall project will be brought on stream over time. But even a partially opened CityPlace is seen by the city’s business community as drawing more people to the central business district. CBD.

Some owners of existing stores and restaurants know they are in for tougher competition, yet feel that surging customer counts are bound to help everyone.

CityPlace isn’t the only development action in town. Luxury apartment buildings continue to rise along Flagler Drive bordering the Intracoastal Waterway opposite swank Palm Beach.

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