The Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission had the busy agenda Monday, April 17, filled mostly with requests related to the Tuttle Royale project, a large, mixed-use social center development located on Southern Blvd., just west of State Road 7.
The community can now begin to prepare for many new shops, events and other activities coming to the currently undeveloped space.
Urban Design Studio, agent for developer Brian Tuttle, began with a request to alter the master plan to include about 9.3 additional acres, pushing the project to over 165 total acres.
With the additional land request supported unanimously by the commissioners, the developers began laying out requests for specific amenities to be built. These include a full-sized grocery store, a movie theater, a fitness center, restaurants and a bowling alley. All items were recommended for approval by village staff, and the commissioners followed suit.
One local resident expressed concerns about the impact such a project will have on nearby neighborhoods, specifically the potential of losing her neighborhood’s security gate.
“There is no design nor any plans to make her community a non-gated community. Her community will remain intact the way it is today,” Planning & Zoning Director Bradford O’Brien said.
The commissioners seemed impressed with the new plans, and Tuttle was encouraged by their feedback.
“Everything we are bringing in is best in class, and it’s really nice,” Tuttle said. “When we get into the site plan, we will tell you about all the exciting restaurants. Ruth’s Chris, Cheesecake Factory, Tommy Bahama, there is an Italian restaurant and a Mexican restaurant, an ice cream place, a chocolate shop — they are all coming.”
Village staff proceeded to provide details on seven requested landscape waivers for Tuttle’s project, but much of the deviations from village code were necessary to accommodate this new type of development. Staff supported all of the requested waivers to allow for safe traffic flow of both vehicles and pedestrians.
Vice Chair June Perrin raised questions about the amount of vegetation overall and wondered if there would be enough trees.
“You are going to be overwhelmed. The long area on Southern, instead of spacing trees, we have them lined up. There are no red lights, only roundabouts. It will be really pretty with all the lights on the trees,” Tuttle said.
He emphasized the importance of open space as the focal point of the entire project. “We started this 10 years ago; it was no man’s land when I bought the first piece,” he said. “We flew all over the United States to look at successful centers, and the common theme in the new retail days is activities. There had to be things to do. If you just go to shop, it’s not going to work. So, we designed the park first.”
Some of the events will be minor, and major events will go through the permitting process, but all the events are designed for the local community in mind.
“We will have a Christmas village and a train track,” Tuttle said. “In the spring, we will have ice skating, and one month we are going to set up 20 bounce houses. It’s all about activating the park.”
Some of the stores expected include Lululemon, Anthropologie and Sephora. Tuttle explained that of the top 20 retailers, 10 of them are expected to be in this center. The idea is to bring a new and fresh design concept to Florida, he said, where the community can stay local for fun instead of driving downtown or to other areas.
After the landscape waivers were approved unanimously, planner Lentzy Jean-Louis of Urban Design Studio came forward with drawings and additional designs of how this new mixed-use space will look and feel.
“There is an impetus and a focus on creating this connectivity that everyone can traverse this site safely and have a great experience,” he said as he showed drawings of both traditional and elevated pedestrian pathways that connect the entire site. “What we really want it to be designed for is that open space in the middle for events such as car shows and food trucks. Really bring people out with their families and friends to these events and make it a social center.”
This project also comes with uniformed security guards that will always be roaming the space, with extra support on the weekends and at special events. There will be security cameras throughout the entire center. The plan is to have everything that the community needs in one area, from a dog park and fire pit to splash pads for kids and yoga in the park. The commissioners supported all the requests.
“This project is my legacy,” Tuttle said. “This is my kids’ legacy. We are going to make it work, and we are going to make it perfect.”
In other business, Royal Palm Beach’s Art in Public Places program moved forward with a new sculpture presented for placement in the Cypress Key project on the north side of Southern Blvd.
Applicant Boulevard Shoppes LLC received a recommendation for approval to install a 13-foot, 6-inch tall sculpture by artist Lucy Keshavarz. The work, titled “Ring Canopy,” is an aluminum piece 6-feet wide and 6-feet deep, covered in a bright white gloss powder coat. “It demonstrates an intricate and elegant arrangement of rings and beams of the sculpture that act as an abstract rendition of the natural environment,” Public Art Professional Mario Lopez Pisani said. “The rings of the sculpture especially represent the complex play of light and shapes observable in the canopy of a tree.”
A similar piece is currently on display in Clearwater, Florida.
The request was approved unanimously.
“I think this art looks wonderful and impressive,” Commissioner Adam Miller said.