Walls are going up on Palm Beach Outlets, the project replacing the 45-year-old Palm Beach Mall on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard.
After nearly a million square feet of old, enclosed mall was pulled down, construction crews started on foundations and poured cement walls for the new project. Those walls are then raised, making the buildings take shape.
“You’ll see the construction going ahead very quickly now because the tilt up is a very quick process,” developer’s representative Tom Carabine said.
New England Development, a Massachusetts-based real estate firm, partnered with Eastern Real Estate and Lubert-Adler to buy the 80-acre mall in October 2010 for $35.5 million. Construction will likely push the project cost to $200 million.
Demolition of Palm Beach Mall started in January. Ranger Construction Industries started on the ground prep in March. Initially developers planned to build around the JCPenney, but the company decided to close at that location in April.
The outlet center will be finished first — 80 to 100 stores set in an open rectangular area in the center of the property. That is scheduled to open in February.
A strip of 10 big-box stores will be built along the Interstate 95 boundary. The old JCPenney store is still in the way for some of those buildings.
Carabine said the JCPenney and Firestone structures have been turned over to the developers. Asbestos and other hazardous materials must be removed before they can be demolished, a process that will likely take two months for the JCPenney store, he said.
Demolition will take another month or more for the remaining buildings.
So by the fall, all vestiges of the old mall should be gone.
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