RPB Council Welcomes New Businesses To Village

The Royal Palm Beach Village Council.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, the Royal Palm Beach Village Council heard a variety of requests that involved new businesses coming to the area. These new projects range from two unique indoor recreational facilities to a longtime Palm Beach County meat processing plant to a new healthcare facility.

We Rock the Spectrum provides specialized equipment for children with sensory issues to exercise and develop various skills and abilities. Village staff supported the franchise moving into the Village Royale shopping plaza at 1169 A & B Royal Palm Beach Blvd.

Owner Amber Rudishauser has another location in Palm Beach County that offers open play times, bulk packages and monthly membership options.

“Our whole mission is inclusion,” she said. “So, while a lot of the equipment that we have in the building is designed to meet kids on the spectrum’s sensory needs, we also welcome just everybody. So, we want you to know it is not just for kids on the spectrum and not just neurotypical kids. We would like to include everybody. Any child can benefit from it, and that inclusiveness may be a benefit for everybody in that regard.”

The facility will serve toddlers to children about 10 years old to start, but the plans could serve middle school social clubs, offer summer camps and parents’ night out.

Meanwhile, in the Village Shoppes plaza at 10113 Southern Blvd., 99 Lives LLC is preparing to move in with a specialized video game training center.

“The proposed center aims to create a unique and engaging platform for video gamers ages 7 to 17, offering competitive e-sports training, mentorship, gaming skills development, personal brand building for athletes and other team-building activities,” Planning & Zoning Director Bradford O’Brien said.

Village staff supported the request.

“We’re really excited to come here to Royal Palm Beach,” owner and applicant Robert Eckert said. “It’s a new experience that we’re trying to bring here to offer kids. We want to focus on mentoring and teaching these kids to be team leaders.”

Eckert added that the Royal Palm Beach facility would be different from others located in areas like Miami that only rent computers and hold competitions, but would include other skills such as graphic and character design, but not programming.

Eckert also addressed questions about content, and explained they use a list of approved games from the school district.

Both We Rock the Spectrum and 99 Lives LLC were approved as indoor commercial recreation facilities, which require council special exception approval per the village code.

Another new business arriving in Royal Palm Beach is the Bush Brothers Provision Co., which has been operating in Palm Beach County since 1925 and is a fifth-generation wholesale meat processing business.

After operating in the same location in downtown West Palm Beach for nearly a century, Bush Brothers are looking to make Royal Palm Beach a permanent new home within the Aldi Park Planned Industrial District at 1131 – 1161 N. State Road 7.

“This is a relocation. We’ve been in the same building on North Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach since 1931, and we’ve been looking for a new home for a while,” owner Doug Bush explained. “We actually opened in 1925 across the street from our current location, and we moved into our current building in 1931. Now, hopefully, in 2024, we’re going to move in to Royal Palm Beach. We’re excited.”

One of many reasons why this new location is appealing is the fact that much of their existing staff live closer to Royal Palm Beach, Bush said. The company’s expansion is expected to bring 25 to 30 new jobs to the area. The meat processing facility will not have an open public store, and there is a detailed plan on handling processing waste that will not affect the community.

The requests for a special exception use and a parking variance were approved unanimously.

Finally, Baptist Health South Florida, in conjunction with Urban Design Studios, came to the council with a proposal for a new integrated care center on State Road 7, at the site of a former Toys R Us store.

O’Brien introduced the application with some background and details.

“The nature of this business and its scope of services is very important in differentiating between what has been before this council in the past with a standalone emergency room,” he said. “This is an integrated care center that has an emergency room component, [in addition] to the broad spectrum of services.”

While the facility will have an ER associated with a licensed hospital, it will also have physicians’ offices, ambulatory surgery, outpatient services such as physical therapy, diagnostic imaging and a laboratory. The intent is to provide comprehensive emergency services and an on-site physician 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Several requirements must also be met. Patients cannot be kept on site for more than 23 hours. At that point, they must be discharged or transferred to a hospital. What is different from past proposals is that patients will have a choice on their transfer location, depending on their additional care needs.

“I got an overwhelming concern from citizens that they didn’t want to be booked into a hospital 15 miles away,” Mayor Fred Pinto said. “So, what you’re telling me is that would not be the case? That they have some control over this?”

Village Manager Ray Liggins explained that the initial decision of where a patient goes is first determined by the ambulance picking them up. Ken Tuma with Urban Design Studios explained that walk-in situations would be assessed on site.

“If you had a heart issue and you weren’t stabilized, you can’t stay overnight,” Tuma said. “They would then be shuttled off to the closest, most appropriate hospital where their care would be taken care of. For example, you came into this facility, and you had a stroke, that’s not something that’s going to be handled at this facility — you would be taken offsite. But if I broke my arm, it’s a perfect spot for this facility.”

Tuma also explained that the offices at the care center do not have to be directly associated with Baptist Health.

“We need more hospital capacity not less,” Councilman Richard Valuntas said.

With the entire council and village staff on board, the first reading for the Baptist Health integrated care center was approved unanimously. The second reading will take place at the next council meeting, on March 21.