El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association | A West Palm Beach & National Register Community

9/21 Update on Frisbie Belvedere Plaza

Important Update: The Carefree has resubmitted a Planned Development Application to the City of West Palm Beach

Dear Neighbor,

The Frisbie Group's Future Land Use request to the Planning Board passed unanimously on Tuesday night. The parcel will now be consolidated under "Commercial East", allowing a much greater density to be built. This change in the Future Land Use has effectively cleared the runway for major development.

The City's process did not work in our favor. The change in Future Land Use doesn't even require a rendering. And upon voting to change the Land Use, the Planning Board did note the site plan approval would be a different ball game.

However, the Frisbie Group did submit a rendering with their Future Land Use application. And additionally, they have submitted a complete Site Plan to the Planning Board on a parallel track even before this Future Land Use was approved.

Thank you to the ten El Cid residents who attended the meeting, seven of whom stood up and spoke on the record about their concerns for the project. Some concerns mentioned by your neighbors:

    • We are all concerned about the excessive density, height, and waivers for redevelopment projects along Dixie Highway. This application to amend the Future Land Use Map appears to pave the way for all of those things to be easier to achieve.
    • The Site Plan (see here) submitted to the City was not presented in any neighborhood outreach meeting nor was it presented to the El Cid Historical Association Board.
    • While the Frisbie Group has built some beautiful projects, what is to prevent them from selling to another developer? Why should the City approve the change in Land Use without a plan?
    • Originally, the Frisbie Group said they were not planning to exceed 3 stories, the project is now 5 stories tall.
    • The entire GROUND level is just a parking garage. The pedestrian experience will be walking next to a giant stucco wall.

- This is important because the Frisbie Group constantly compares the project to Magnolia Court and their Via Flagler project. However, garages for Magnolia Court are only on the backside of the building with doors and windows on the ground floor facing the sidewalk. And for Via Flager, the parking is underground with lots of retail on the ground level.

- At the El Cid Board's very first meeting in May 2022 with the Frisbie Group, the Frisbie Group mentioned that they did not want to dig underground for parking. The Board was happy to hear that as that would be a great disturbance to the neighborhood. However, the size and scope of the project being discussed was completely different. What is now being brought to the table would certainly warrant underground parking.

    • The current retail in the plaza is a huge neighborhood amenity. The walkability adds a lot of value to our neighborhood, especially as crossing Dixie is increasingly dangerous.
      - The Frisbie Group also compared the project to Via Misner and Via Parigi. But both of those Vias are on the ground floor, with various retail stores and open to the public. A significant portion of the Frisbie Project will be private condos and the public will not have access to those areas.

The first of three neighborhood "information sessions" scheduled by the Frisbie Group is TONIGHT at 6:00pm at the Redeemer Lutheran Church. The next two are scheduled for October 3rd, and October 17th also at 6:00-7:30pm at the Redeemer Lutheran Church. We strongly encourage attending one of these meetings.

To join the meetings by zoom, you may find the links sent by the Frisbie team HERE.

We thank you for your attention. We cannot underline enough how important your participation is during this process. Ultimately, we may need to take a firm stance as a neighborhood and all parties should be heard.

Warm regards,

El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association Board