An e-commerce facility behind the new Publix shopping plaza on Seminole Pratt Whitney Road will be the latest commercial addition to the fast-growing Westlake community, John Carter, senior vice president of Minto Communities, told the Westlake City Council at a meeting on Monday, May 9.
Though Carter did not name the business, he described it as a local e-commerce firm that currently leases space but is “in growth mode” and wants its own facility.
“I’m thrilled with the growth,” Mayor JohnPaul O’Connor said about new businesses that plan to bring jobs to the fast-growing municipality. “It’s a valuable piece of the puzzle to keep the city sustainable.”
Carter, who represents Westlake’s major landowner and primary developer, updated the council on various growth, leasing and construction-related developments during the consideration of a request for approval of the plat for Persimmon Blvd. West. The council approved the plat 5-0 for the road that will loop around the back of the Publix-anchored Shoppes at Westlake Landings, run alongside the M-2 Canal and connect with the extension of Town Center Parkway.
The Persimmon extension will include multi-use paths and charging stations, said Donaldson Hearing, of the land planning firm Cotleur & Hearing, who frequently represents Minto at council meetings.
The 48,000-square-foot Publix project is well underway, with footers poured and the parking lot nearly complete, Carter said, adding that the store is on target for opening next year.
That plaza has had great success leasing the nine bays of retail space that also are part of the initial 10-acre project, and there is a waiting list, Carter said. He noted that the Florida-based supermarket and shopping center chain has an adjacent 10 acres to the north that could be rapidly developed, especially with Town Center Parkway’s extension by Minto west along that property.
“I think everything we have done to set the table for [Publix] is bearing fruit,” Carter said.
He also noted that Mitchell Property Realty of Fort Lauderdale appears that it could begin construction in October on the 227,000-square-foot Westlake Commerce Center. Located south of Persimmon Blvd. West, the center will consist of two buildings — one of approximately 146,000 square feet, and the other some 80,000 square feet.
The council also approved the plat of Town Center Parkway Phase 4, which runs from the northeast traffic circle approximately one third of a mile to Westlake’s northern boundary at what someday is expected to become 60th Street North, connecting 140th Avenue North with Seminole Pratt Whitney Road. The 60th Street extension is not presently part of Palm Beach County’s five-year road plan, but the plan is upgraded annually, council members were told.
Even without that connection, when Phase 4 is finished, it will mark the completion of a 3-mile stretch of roadway from Seminole Pratt Whitney Road all the way to Westlake’s northern boundary, Hearing said.
“It’s a significant amount of infrastructure,” he said. “It’s exciting to see it get all the way to this point.”
In other business:
• The council reviewed the first reading of a food truck ordinance that would establish “definitions, requirements, vending locations, parking and storage of inactive food trucks, waste disposal, locations by zoning district and penalties for violations,” according to documentation provided by staff.
The council indicated a desire to protect brick-and-mortar businesses while having reasonable control over food trucks, but not stymie their use for special events or as vendors at construction sites, suggesting that staff make some changes to the proposed ordinance. The council will see the amended ordinance for a second and final reading in June.
• The council voted to move its monthly meetings to the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.
• The council formed an ad hoc committee to assist in planning for July’s FourthFest, a project championed by O’Connor. Resident Megan Hemp, who organized the Christmas parade of golf carts, was among those named to the committee.
“A lot of people are excited to get involved and write checks,” O’Connor said of the city’s first large-scale public event. “We already have some big-dollar commitments.”
There will be a number of family-oriented attractions, along with food trucks, live music and a 28-minute fireworks display, O’Connor said. He added that there will be parking for 3,000 cars and non-Westlake residents are welcome.