Today, Related Urban President and CEO Kenneth A. Himmel announced plans for the continued reimagination of CityPlace into a vibrant downtown district to a crowded room of business owners and community partners as the keynote speaker for an event hosted by the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce. Himmel, who is regarded as one of the world’s preeminent experts on mixed-use development and thriving retail districts, unveiled innovative plans and new renderings of the company’s reinvestment through a variety of arts, culture, entertainment and experiential retail initiatives in West Palm Beach.
Related opened CityPlace in 2000 as a mixed-use, open-air entertainment and retail destination, and it has evolved into the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Related has constantly built on the development’s success and allure by adding new entertainment elements and diverse programming and is again reimagining the area as an urban district with a multi-phase series of exciting initiatives. The evolution of the district includes the curation and addition of density and fresh experiences to emerge as a constantly evolving platform for discovery.
“Continually adding new, inventive and dynamic retail, dining and cultural experiences allows us to engage with a broad range of visitors and regular patrons, giving them plenty of reasons to keep coming back,” Himmel said. "We are constantly looking at every aspect of CityPlace and asking how we can make it better for locals and visitors alike. As more residential and workplace options become available within the downtown district, we are responding to the kind of density and live-work-play opportunities that so many people are seeking."
Himmel recapped the successes of Hilton West Palm Beach and the impact the hotel has showcased in the tourism industry in less than two years. The Palm Beach County Convention Center recently turned a profit for the first time in its 14 year history and tourism officials say that it is a direct result of the connected hotel. “In the past two years, I have witnessed West Palm Beach transform, and today, I can see that we have entered a new chapter with the evolution of the downtown district,” said John Parkinson, general manager at Hilton West Palm Beach. "We have seen a tremendous shift in our guest experience and feedback with the advancement of new culture, arts, entertainment and dining. Related’s commitment to the transformation impacts an entire city positively and we’re grateful to have been in the beginning phase of the reimagination.”
Answering a demand in the market, the hotel recently unveiled the newly redesigned restaurant Galley in November, which features the addition of a curated contemporary arts collection, interactive tableside dining, expanded patio with fire pit and weekly live music. Due to the success of Restoration Hardware in CityPlace, RH West Palm, The Gallery at CityPlace has debuted a four-story, 80,000-square-foot gallery situated between Hilton West Palm Beach and CityPlace that includes a rooftop restaurant, wine vault and outdoor art installation by LA-based artist RETNA.
The district also recently opened WPB Collective, a collaboration of pop-up shops and experiences that showcases South Florida entrepreneurs and provides nearly 5,000 square feet of shared space for locals to sell in. Coming soon to the plaza’s hexagonal building is The Shack, a walk-up dining hub with al fresco seating, run by downtown healthy-eating favorite Field of Greens. “Over the next several years, experiential retail and dining combined with world-class cultural anchors will become synonymous with the very identity of Downtown West Palm Beach,” said Himmel. "We aim to add a range of ever-changing attractions and experiences to the locally authentic destination that is CityPlace."
Other exciting initiatives are underway including the reimagination of the movie theater experience, increasing the dynamic open and public spaces throughout the district with new restaurants, café and beverage experiences. In a future phase, Related will also be working collaboratively with the city and county to bring increased residential opportunities. CityPlace boasts local partnerships with brands like Urban Youth Impact, United Way of the Palm Beaches, Peggy Adams Animal Rescue and Continuum, sharing space for temporary activations that allow for community involvement and interaction. Earlier this month, Related unveiled multiple public art and culture activations led by Culture Corps.
In the heart of the project is Culture Lab, the former Macy’s storefront-turned-immersive-arts-experience that debuted internationally renowned artists. Michael Craig-Martin revealed Palm Beach Parade, his largest public artwork and his first in the United States, on the building’s exterior; sound artist Stephen Vitiello showcased his multi-channel, site-specific sound installation You Are the Magic on the second floor of the Culture Lab; Tokyo-based Frankie Cihi unveiled Hybrid Infinity, a large-scale mural with colorful geometric patterns on the façade of the south and east side of the Hibiscus parking garage; and Carole Feuerman’s The Message, a striking lifelike sculpture of a female in a swimsuit and cap, is poised next to the plaza fountain. Additional marquee art installations include replacing the 17-year-old CityPlace signs at the Rosemary Avenue and Okeechobee Blvd. entrance with a lush micro-park featuring a compelling sculpture by renowned artist Will Ryman, titled Blue Rose. On the corner of Rosemary Avenue and Evernia St, across from the new Brightline station, are plans for the creation of a "Magic Garden," a mixed-use open space with a hands-on teaching garden, in collaboration with West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority.
CityPlace has partnered with top cultural and education institutions including A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Norton Museum of Art, Armory Art Center, South Florida Science Center and Aquarium and West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District on future experiential offerings. “What’s most exciting is the different approach, whether it’s the sound installation, new art or fresh ideas,” said Raphael Clemente, executive director of West Palm Beach’s Downtown Development Authority. "That’s exactly what helps drive forward that identity of a place to make it special, and with what I know is planned, it’s really going to be an exciting addition to what we have."
With the continued commitment to an inspired vision that includes opening its borders, connecting the district to the Clematis Street destination and enhancing the density of the urban district with additional growth, Himmel announced plans for the creation of a 250,000-square-foot office building located adjacent to the new Brightline station. For more information about CityPlace, please visit CityPlace.com or call (561) 366-1000.
Imagery can be found here: http://bit.ly/2jFnI5a.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Related Companies is a fully-integrated, highly diversified industry leader with experience in virtually every aspect of development, acquisitions, management, finance, fund management, marketing and sales. The company has $50 billion of real estate assets owned or under development including best-in-class mixed-use, residential, and retail, office, trade show and affordable properties in premier high-barrier-to-entry markets. Headquartered in New York City, Related has offices and major developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, South Florida, Washington, D.C., Abu Dhabi, London and Shanghai, and is well-known for having developed the 2.8 million square foot Time Warner Center in New York City and the 72-acre CityPlace in West Palm Beach as well as being a leader in green building. For more information, please visit www.related.com.