More than 250 Riviera Beach residents, elected officials and business leaders from throughout northern and central Palm Beach County gathered yesterday to celebrate the ribbon-cutting for the public improvements at the city’s municipal marina. The public portion of the marina redevelopment totals an investment of $35 million, and is led by the Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
Combined with future private development, the revitalized marina investment is expected to exceed $375 million. Now officially known as the Riviera Beach Marina Village, the 23-acre property features the new, two-story Marina Event Center, a reimagined Bicentennial Park, plus parking and infrastructure improvements.
Designed to become a significant visitor destination, the new Marina Village offers a wide variety of fishing and watersports, and will soon feature restaurants, shops and other amenities. The goal is to create a vibrant, relaxed destination for visitors and residents alike in a spectacular waterfront location unmatched anywhere in Palm Beach County.
“As it develops further, Riviera Beach Marina Village is going to be the living room of our city – a showcase that will attract a wide range of visitors from Palm Beach County and beyond,” said Tony Brown, Executive Director of the Riviera Beach CRA. “Interest in ecotourism and water activities increases each year, and we offer visitors a range of experiences to connect them to nature above and below the waves; from scuba diving to deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, paddleboarding and kayaking, all in a spectacular setting overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, Peanut Island and Singer Island.”
The new Riviera Beach Marina Event Center will be officially open to the public in April, but dozens of guests yesterday toured its two levels and marveled at the expansive ocean and Intracoastal views from the second-story patio. It offers large and small banquet and meetings rooms, a two-story restaurant, a café, and what will be the first-ever permanent display of Riviera Beach’s history. The project also includes a $4 million dollar makeover of Bicentennial Park including the addition of a new pavilion, interactive splash fountain and plenty of green space for open-air events and concerts.
“This is an achievement our city council can point to with great pride,” said Dawn Pardo, Riviera Beach City Council Chair. “We are grateful to Viking Developers for inspiring this vision. Now that we have forged ahead with the public development, we will begin implementing private development in phases, starting with five restaurants and requests for proposals on other City and CRA owned lands. We remain confident that this important new addition to the city’s amenities will spark prosperity and economic development throughout our city.”
“An investment such as this beautiful Marina Event Center right on the water makes a significant impact on the region as well,” said Beth Kigel, President of the Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce. “It demonstrates real commitment on the part of the city and CRA that the economic course is set and moving forward. We say bravo to all who made this happen.”
A formal grand opening event for the public will be held in May 2016. Future plans include a waterfront “Restaurant Row,” a permanent free-standing Public Market, and a mixed use facility that would include a hotel, parking, offices and retail shops.
Riviera Beach Marina Village came to fruition thanks to support from a wide variety of partners including the Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, the City of Riviera Beach, Viking Developers, Palm Beach County, and lending partners at BB&T Bank, Key Bank, and the National Development Council.
Small and Minority Business Enterprise goals for this project exceeded expectations thanks to the diligent effort of construction partners The Weitz Company, D. Stephenson Construction and Clearspan Structures. Acting as the owner’s representative, the Gilbane-CSI-RDBG partnership reports contracts for this project totaled 47.07-percent SBE, 19.56-percent MWBE, and 30.96-percent local (Riviera Beach) participation. Architects Song + Associates provided updated designs and improvements all through the construction process.
For more information, contact the Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency at www.rbcra.com or 561-844-3408.