Minto Hoping To Accelerate County’s 60th Street Timetable

Members of the Westlake City Council heard from Palm Beach County staff Tuesday, June 4 that design work for 60th Street North between Seminole Pratt Whitney Road and 140th Avenue North won’t be finished until 2026, with construction to be completed in 2028.

They also heard in a presentation from County Engineer David Ricks that the 60th Street segment between 140th and 120th Avenue North won’t be completed until 2030. While a road exists in that area running alongside West Palm Beach’s M-0 Canal, it is mostly dirt.

The two-mile segment of a divided four-lane road between Seminole Pratt and 140th Avenue, running along the north side of Westlake, will cost an estimated $31 million, Ricks said. The remaining five-lane segments from 140th Avenue to State Road 7 will cost an estimated $23 million.

“This is a major priority for the county,” County Commissioner Sara Baxter told the council.

Despite that, the county’s timetable would leave Westlake residents without a viable east-west road connection for at least another four years, with perhaps a six-year wait for a clean, multi-lane route to reach Coconut Blvd., Royal Palm Beach Blvd. and State Road 7.

However, John Carter, the Minto Communities USA senior vice president in charge of the 3,800-acre Westlake development, said this week that there may be ways that the project can be moved onto a faster track.

“We believe there could be cost savings through a public-private partnership [between Minto and the county],” Carter said Tuesday. “We believe it can be done faster and more cost effectively… The county has sent over an agreement for us to look at. We’re beginning the process of working through it.”

The agreement could present an opportunity to accelerate the timetable. An agreement likely would include the discounting of some portion of the $30 million in proportionate share money that Minto still owes the county under an agreement made when Westlake was approved in 2014. The total amount of “prop share” money Minto agreed to was $54 million, Carter said, and the company will have to pay every cent of it one way or another.

At present, Westlake has no real east-west access and can be reached only via Seminole Pratt Whitney Road running north-south between Northlake and Southern boulevards.

“More [road] connectivity is a good thing,” Carter said. “It’s something we believe would be mutually beneficial. It’s something worth working toward.”

Carter added that, “Minto has been engaged with the county, [but] at the end of the day, this is the county’s project.”

Minto and the Seminole Improvement District, which provides most of the infrastructure for Westlake, sued in 2020 in an attempt to gain an east-west connection between the development and Indian Trail Improvement District roads across a small canal to 140th Avenue North near Persimmon Blvd. However, ITID countersued to block the access and recently won in circuit court. Minto and SID representatives have said they will appeal.

Ricks also told skeptical council members that the long-delayed expansion of Seminole Pratt north of Orange Blvd. to Northlake is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2026.

“That’s a real target?” Mayor JohnPaul O’Connor asked.

“Yes,” said Ricks, even though the project is currently only 33 percent complete. The contract has been extended for a year so far due to “multiple utility conflicts,” according to his presentation.

Meanwhile, the $11 million, one-mile widening of Northlake from Seminole Pratt east to Hamlin Blvd. is scheduled to go to bid late this year, Ricks said.

The Seminole Pratt and Northlake projects are not within Westlake’s boundaries but do have a major impact on access to the community and traffic flow.

In other business:

  • The council approved the site plan for construction of a Tractor Supply retail outlet off Persimmon Blvd., behind the Westlake Landings shopping area and south of the Publix at Westlake shopping plaza.

The main building will be 23,957 square feet with a 20,055-square-foot outdoor display area and a 1,300-square-foot storage shed for garden supplies.

Councilman Gary Werner pushed Tractor Supply’s representative to commit to a concrete block structure for the garden supplies and a decorative fence around the 4.5-acre property instead of an eight-foot chain-link fence with inserts that block the view. However, Tractor Supply’s Jennifer Nylander resisted, and Werner found no additional support from the council.

Donaldson Hearing, representing property owner Minto, told the council that Tractor Supply already agreed to “substantial enhancements to the landscaping to make sure it goes well beyond the minimum requirements.”

In the end, the application was approved 5-0.

Because of the nature of Tractor Supply’s typical hobby-farmer customer, O’Connor said he hopes the addition of this particular business can be a “bridge to the surrounding area to start bringing in all this outside [retail] traffic… Westlake is great, but we’re not an island. We’ve got these 17,000 rooftops that surround us.”

O’Connor added, “I think this is one of those first dominoes to tip to see what happens in the macro.”

The site is part of the property that was once planned for the Adrenalin World amusement park before that venture fell through.

  • The council approved a site plan for the community’s first bank, a Fifth Third Bank branch that is slated for the Westlake Plaza owned by Publix. The bank will have 1,956 square feet of space inside, plus two drive-through lanes and bike racks.

A Chase bank also is in the works for the nearby Winn-Dixie plaza. City Manager Kenneth Cassel said this week that the Chase site plan is under review by staff.

  • The council appointed Carole Waldman of Cresswind Place to the Art in Public Places Committee. Waldman is a custom framer with Art of Life in West Palm Beach.