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WEST PALM BEACH, FL-Cranes are busting out all over Downtown. New apartment construction is on go. American Land Development Group, headed by Granville Tracy, has begun preliminary site work for The Strand of West Palm Beach at the former Fidelity Federal Building parking lot on Narcissus Avenue, across from the Myer Amphitheater.

The 520,000-sf, 15-story twin-tower building carries an estimated total project cost of $56 million ($107.69 per sf).

The Strand will include 275 apartments, half of them condominiums, the balance rentals. Units will range in size from 700-sf, one-bedroom to 1,450-sf, three-bedroom, two-bath layouts. Monthly rentals will be between $1,000 and $2,000.

The mixed-use development will also provide 422 parking spaces, plus retail uses on the ground floor.

The second project, being developed by WCI Communities, is planned for the parcel previously occupied by WPTV (Channel 5), the local NBC affiliate that has relocated. The 15-story condominium building, not yet formally named, will be on Flagler Memorial Drive facing the Intracoastal Waterway and opposite Palm Beach.

Anticipated total development cost of the 240,000-sf WCI venture is $60 million ($250 per sf). There are to be just four apartments per floor, ranging in size from 4,500 sf to 8,000 sf. Pre-construction prices are expected to start at over $1 million per unit.

Developing high-end apartments in older downtown sections is becoming a growing trend in Palm Beach County. A JV of Parkwood Properties and Southcoast Partners will soon start the $30-million Palmetto Park Apartments at Royal Palm Road and Mizner Boulevard in Downtown Boca Raton. The eight-story, 300,000-sf main building will contain 255 rental apartments, with an attached five-story garage for 730 vehicles.

Some 60% of the apartments will offer two bedrooms and two baths. The roof of the five-story parking garage will feature an amenity deck, including a tropical swimming pool setting with spa, athletic facilities, business center and clubroom.

The construction site now has drive-through facilities for a Bank of America branch, which will have temporary replacements during the anticipated 18 months of construction. Four permanent drive-through lanes are to be situated in the open ground-floor area of the new building.

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