Palm Beach Island is known for its rich history, Mediterranean architecture, luxury shopping and dining, and natural beauty. A haven for high-net-worth buyers in search of a tropical stateside escape, the island has long been viewed as its own oasis, despite its close proximity to the Florida mainland. That is rapidly changing however, as neighboring West Palm Beach bustles with new development.
Located just over the bridge from Palm beach Island, West Palm Beach's rich cultural offerings and new developments have many viewing it as an extension of the island itself; a "Palm Beach West" of sorts.
"The entire landscape of West Palm Beach has changed over the last 10 years, with high-rises being built on every corner. WPB used to be a second-class citizen to Palm Beach, but that is no longer the case. In fact, many new residents who could easily afford the island have chosen West Palm Beach to be more centralized and city-centric." - Sabra Kirkpatrick, Brown Harris Stevens Sales Director
Aside from new developments, what draws many is the balanced lifestyle West Palm Beach offers. Coming from out of town? Palm beach International Airport is small, well-run airport is just over three miles from the heart of downtown. You can shop at a luxury boutique, dine at a restaurant helmed by a Michelin chef, and then visit the Kravis Center a few blocks away for a touring Broadway production. All of this is within shockingly close proximity to quiet, residential neighborhoods popular among families.
"For decades, people have chosen to retire in South Florida. It's only been over the last 10 years that younger people with families, without families, or those wishing to start families are also flocking to West Palm beach. Children growing up here can ride bikes and swim in the ocean 365 days a year. It's sort of magical." - Sabra Kirkpatrick
Many prospective West Palm Beach buyers, particularly young families, are moving to areas like SOSO, Historic El Cid, and Prospect Park for their wealth of land offerings and suburban feel, despite being within a mile of downtown. Those in search of a more cosmopolitan, big-city lifestyle tend to favor to new developments like The Bristol, La Clara, and the Alba. The upcoming Park Central project has generated a lot of buzz as well.
There are also plenty of new-construction homes in these areas with warranties, relieving buyers of the need to research contractors. "Buyers, particularly out of town buyers understand that they are at disadvantage in regard to knowing the local trades," said Kirkpatrick.
One of the best parts of West Palm Beach, however, is that there is truly no "typical buyer." Investors, young professionals, families, and retirees all are calling the area home, making it one of the most up-and-coming real estate destinations in South Florida---and perhaps the country.