Shopping Plaza Redesign Could Ease Tensions With Neighbors

The revised site plan for Coconut Crossing moves most of the development away from homes on Hamlin Blvd.

The latest plan for commercial development of the 28.7-acre property at the southwest corner of Northlake and Coconut boulevards may be a sight that will no longer leave nearby Hamlin Blvd. residents eyeing an eyesore.

On Wednesday, Aug. 10, shopping center builder Konover South came before a special meeting of the Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors seeking support for the proposal that would shift the retail properties to the front of the parcel near Northlake and create a larger buffer between building backsides and nearby homeowners.

“I’m very happy with the changes,” Supervisor Joni Martin said. “It’s much more in line with what we wanted. It makes it not an eyesore, but something that reflects the area.”

In 2011, the parcel’s previous owner submitted to the necessary Palm Beach County boards a design for what was then called the Shops at Indian Trails. The plan, which was approved by the county, centered around a 46,000-square-foot supermarket that backed nearly onto Hamlin.

The design for what is now being called Coconut Crossing calls for a smaller supermarket of 21,950 square feet that will sit in line with a “light [auto] repair and maintenance” business such as Jiffy Lube, a medical office, a sit-down restaurant, a casual restaurant, several drive-through restaurants and a gas station/mini-market at the corner of Northlake and Coconut.

Only a daycare center will back onto Hamlin, and even that will be buffered by extensive landscaping and an 8-foot-wide, 1.07-mile walking trail that loops the property, explained Jeff Williams, executive vice president for development of Konover South.

Most of the remaining 6.93 acres along Hamlin will be a wetland preserve, dry detention and open space, according to Williams, who said the overall design will have a rural feel to it.

“I love the fact that you have the retention area in the back end,” ITID Vice President Betty Argue said. “This reflects more of what the community asked for.”

Konover South expects to have all of the buildings leased “before we put a shovel in the ground,” which the company hopes will be in February 2023 with businesses opening in early 2024. “We’re happy and excited with the tenant line-up as we perceive it,” Williams said.

A national grocery store chain and sit-down restaurant already are onboard, he added.

Though Konover South’s promotional materials note that more than 3,000 new housing units have been approved for development just across Northlake, Williams said his company would be moving forward with or without Avenir.

“Our primary vision is for this to be a neighborhood development to provide uses that are not currently here for the current residents who will like and appreciate it,” he said.

“Our residents are ready for additional services there,” said Martin, particularly noting the daycare center that can help fill a need for young families.

The new design reflects a “tremendous win” for nearby residents and ITID, Argue said.

The board voted 4-0 to send a letter of support to the county in favor of the new plan.