The Royal Palm Beach Village Council heard a request from developer Brian Tuttle on Thursday, Oct. 20 that the village create an expedited approval process for the Main Street portion of his Tuttle Royale project.
Speaking during time for public comment on non-agenda items, Tuttle brought with him a team of highly experienced experts in fields ranging from design to finance, all involved in the Main Street project on the south side of Southern Blvd.
CEO Adam David Lynd and Anthony Tiritilli of the Lynd Company, Kevin O’Grady of Concord Summit Capital, commercial real estate expert Ryan Hallihan and Warren Dauber with the brokerage firm Newmark all spoke of the exceptional opportunity of Tuttle’s project.
Hallihan, who was instrumental in leading CityPlace upon its initial development, explained the best time to open a new mixed-used project is in September or October.
He stressed the painstaking details addressed in the project, such as lighting and parking, and how they did not want to make mistakes other projects had.
“Time kills deals, and time can kill projects,” he said. “We need to expedite this process, so we are not looking at trying to open a project in the summer.”
Dauber noted that the team has letters of intent from national businesses and said if hard construction doesn’t begin in four or five months, they would start to lose tenants. The target to open is fall 2024, he said.
Tuttle then requested a special schedule to expedite various approval processes.
Mayor Fred Pinto said that the village would work with him to the best of its ability, but he noted that there are many parts of the development out of Royal Palm Beach’s control.
“Where are you with the requirements for your comp plan?” he asked. “You have to go through a county review and an FDOT process. I’ve seen the processes over the years that could short circuit a project, so you’ve got to get a focus on to get the comp plan done. Get your comments back and requirements back from the county and FDOT. We have no control over that. There is no speeding over that.”
Tuttle said that those items would be completed soon. He added that an expedited construction schedule was needed so the leases in hand for national brands can be signed and lock-in tenants. He promised to have their traffic performance standards letter from the county within a few weeks.
Village Manager Ray Liggins said that he would do everything within his power to make a schedule ready to help.
“We’ve done numerous quick reviews, and we are committed to that going forward,” Liggins said. “I’ve heard that you need 30 days to five months to get all of them in place and start construction.”
He explained that eight to 10 hearings are needed to gain all the approvals legally.
“We can do that in five months,” Liggins said. “If comments are taken seriously, resubmittals are accurate and complete, we can do it. We’re going to need diligence, accuracy, completeness and do it with the quality you talked about delivering through the process of public hearings.”
When Councilman Richard Valuntus brought up concerns of a storm derailing the project, Tuttle said that the leases included an ‘Act of God’ extension to further protect the project.
In other business:
• Retired Marine Corps veteran Jacob Hampu of the local nonprofit United Dream also approached the council with a special request.
United Dream is hosting a special event on Saturday, Nov. 12. The disk golf tournament event will utilize part of the great lawn at Royal Palm Beach Commons Park, and while Hampu admitted to his willingness to pay for the rental, he implored the council for some kind of discount or waiver.
Pinto was concerned with setting a precedent.
“We have many, many requests throughout the year from different nonprofit organizations doing very worthy things,” he said. “Our policy is if we begin opening up discounts and waivers, it would be untenable. That’s not the way we run the village from the fiscal standpoint.”
Liggins offered a possible solution — introduce an option to lease half the great lawn for half the price. Since this event only needed tents and chairs for approximately 200 participants, the event will only utilize half the open space. The council agreed and added an item to the consent agenda allowing for rental of 50 percent of the great lawn.
In the future, corporate pavilions that are planned for construction would also alleviate such issues for smaller events.
The additional rental option was approved and applied to United Dream’s request.
• The site plan for Crestwood Park North will move forward with an inclusion that the village manager meet with the homeowners’ associations of adjoining neighborhoods to address the potential addition of vinyl slates to private chain link fences. This would be an additional buffer for noise coming from the park guests.
• Enterprise Leasing Company received approval to move their location a few doors down in the Village Shoppes to 10231 Southern Blvd. The move allows for car washes to take place indoors, which will be more environmentally friendly than the currently used bucket wash. There will be no additional vehicles in front of the business.