For immediate release
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (March 12, 2014) – Following an overwhelming majority vote on Tuesday to amend the charter language and allow private development on the City of Riviera Beach-owned Marina, the Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (RBCRA) officially launched its $375 million mixed-use development project that is expected to transform the area. The “yes” vote granted permission for the City of Riviera Beach to lease municipal marina properties to private interests, paving the way for the long-awaited public-private partnership between the City, RBCRA and Viking Developers. The project will construct and lease a waterfront marina village with an array of shops, restaurants, a boardwalk promenade, larger beach area, portable stage, a new event center to replace the deteriorating Newcomb Hall, and more.
“This was a pivotal decision that unlocked the potential for our city to compete in the 21st century,” said Tony Brown, Executive Director of the RBCRA. “The Marina redevelopment will bring hundreds and eventually thousands of jobs to local residents, in addition to millions in property tax revenues. We have one of the most spectacular waterfront locations in all of South Florida, and now we can finally move forward. Our citizens have a lot to celebrate today.”
Phase One of the redevelopment kicks off next month with a groundbreaking ceremony on April 10. The first phase is expected to provide 569 construction jobs over the next three years. Highlights of the plan include the new, two-story Riviera Beach Event Center with a main ballroom called Newcomb Hall that seats up to 300 people; smaller meeting rooms for community and civic groups; a full-service restaurant; café; and a rooftop terrace offering sweeping views of the Intracoastal Waterway, Atlantic Ocean and Peanut Island. The first phase also includes a $4 million makeover to Bicentennial Park, including a covered area for a portable stage, an interactive fountain, concessions, and more. Improvements will also be made to the infrastructure at the marina to accommodate the marina village.
“We have been a community divided for too many years over the Marina, and we are so grateful that our voters understood the challenges we faced with the charter language forcing the city to operate bars, restaurants, recreational concessions and more. Now we have a viable plan, thanks to informed voters, that will steer us onto a path of economic opportunity,” said Riviera Beach Councilman, Bruce Guyton. “Our beautiful waterfront is an untapped resource
that with the help from private investment and outside expertise can provide a significant amount jobs and opportunities for local residents, and transform our marina into the attractive destination it should become.”
The development subsidiary of Viking Yachts, called Viking Developers, is the master developer of the Riviera Beach marina project. The company has been an extraordinary corporate partner in Riviera Beach since 1999 and will be responsible for recruiting restaurants and additional investment. The private investment into the new marina will total over $336 million, for a total of $375 million.
“The Marina District is just the beginning of improvements throughout the city, as the effects of the redevelopment will spread out to the entire Broadway corridor, Riviera Beach Heights and beyond,” said Riviera Beach Councilmember Judy Davis, whose district includes the marina and surrounding communities. “This 10-year project will serve as the much-needed catalyst to revitalize the entire city and position Riviera Beach to be a leading visitor destination.”
For more information about the marina redevelopment, contact the City of Riviera Beach CRA at 561.844.3408.
Contact: Tony Theissen