PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL-Power center developer Retail Property Group of Fort Lauderdale is moving north into Palm Beach county with a planned 150,000-sf retail venture along Congress Avenue at Northlake Boulevard, 90 miles north of Downtown Miami.

The eight-year-old developer bought 38 strategically-located acres from Watermark Communities Inc. for $3.27 million or $109,000 per acre ($2.50 per sf). On the drawing board for the planned retail site are a 100,000-sf Staples Inc. store and a Chili’s Grill & Bar. The light industrial-zoned dirt would have to be rezoned retail before the project could break ground.

Beating Retail Property Group to the sales table last year was WCI, a Bonita Springs, FL-based builder who picked up equally prime Northlake Boulevard land from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. WCI paid $227 million or $15,286 per acre (35 cents per sf) for 14,850 acres.

WCI then sold the dirt to Catalfumo Construction and Development for $54 million or $36,363 per acre (83 cents per sf). Catalfumo plans to develop a so-far unidentified mega retail project on the land which surrounds the tony Gardens Mall on PGA Boulevard.

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