AHS Residential could build more than 700 apartments near West Palm Beach on land leased from the town of Palm Beach.

Village at Banyan Ridge LLC, an affiliate of Miami-based AHS Residential, filed an application to amend the county’s comprehensive land use plan for the 28-acre site at 5976 Okeechobee Blvd. It’s about five blocks east of Florida’s Turnpike.

The developer has an agreement to lease the property from the town of Palm Beach, which has been using it for waste and storm debris disposal. It would likely require environmental remediation.

The developer wants to amend the land use from eight units an acre to 12 units an acre. It would also seek a density bonus based on providing workforce housing. The project would have 721 apartments, including 302 workforce apartments for people earning up to 140% of area median income, and up to 76,230 square feet of commercial space.

There’s a shortage of workforce housing in South Florida, so this project could meet the demand from working families for rental units.

Juan G. Fernandez, corporate counsel for AHS Residential, said the developer is still working on the design for the community. It will likely be garden-style apartments, he said. There would be some commercial development along Okeechobee Boulevard, he added.

“It’s a great location – tons of activity/energy along Okeechobee,” Fernandez said. “It’s centrally located with easy access to the Turnpike and I-95. There is a great deal of demand for our product in the county and we believe this development will further enhance this location.”

The preliminary traffic study says the project would generate 3,922 daily vehicle trips.

Josh Nichols of Schmidt Nichols represents the developer in the application.

“The site has been underutilized since it was purchased in 1940 since, at that time, it was at the far western edge of development,” Nichols stated in the application. “Today, this is clearly no longer the case, which therefore constitutes infill development for the best and highest use.”

According to the application, Village at Banyan Ridge is co-owned by Ernesto Lopes and Rubens Menin. Lopes is the CEO of AHS Residential and Menin is the chairman of Brazil-based MRV Engenharia E Participacoes S.A., which invested $200 million in the Miami developer in 2019.

The comprehensive land use amendment is set to be scheduled for a County Commission hearing April 29 to transmit it to state officials, followed by a final adoption vote in July. A more specific site plan would be required at a later date.

Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2020/02/06/ahs-residential-proposes-700-apartments.html