A pair of specialty grocery store chains are vying for a spot in a major development that is 10 years in the making in Royal Palm Beach.
And it just so happens that both stores either recently left or are about to leave Wellington.
Fresh Market and Sprouts both want to move into the 26,000-square-foot grocery space that is part of the Tuttle Royale project, on the south side of Southern Boulevard and west of State Road 7, developer Brian Tuttle told Royal Palm Beach’s council last week.
Speaking at the April 20 meeting, Tuttle said Fresh Market has been the expected tenant, but he was recently contacted by Sprouts. “They said they’re not giving up the territory,” Tuttle said of the chain, which is closing its Wellington store on State Road 7 in the Shoppes at Isla Verde plaza on April 30.
At the meeting, the council unanimously approved a slate of items related to Tuttle Royale, including a major milestone: The site plan for the Main Street portion of the project, which includes hundreds of thousands of square feet of restaurants, retail, residences, a gym, a movie theater, a bowling alley, a hotel and the new home for the Palm Beach Improv, which is moving from The Square in downtown West Palm Beach as The Square’s owners, Related Cos., plans to redevelop.
The council had to vote to approve five of the uses that exceed 20,000 square feet, including the grocery store, movie theater and gym. All votes were unanimous.
The movie theater will either be an iPic, Apple Cinemas or Landmark Theatres, Tuttle said. The experience will be higher-end, with limited food service and reclining seats, he said. None would have a restaurant, because there are going to be restaurants — including a much-anticipated Cheesecake Factory — elsewhere in Main Street, he said.
The development team is in talks with LA Fitness to build an upscale LA Fitness Signature Club at Main Street, Tuttle said. This higher level of LA Fitness includes upgraded services, more in line with the offerings of a center like Lifetime Fitness, he said.
The bowling alley will be from Bowlero, Tuttle has said, with 29 lanes in the roughly 32,000-square-foot space, with a food and beverage service area and an arcade.
The Palm Beach Improv comedy club will be paired with a restaurant, similar to how it is now at The Square with Copper Blues, Tuttle said.
The hotel proposed now is a 225-room AC Hotels by Marriott, with 125 quick-stay rooms and 100 extended-stay, Tuttle told the council. Half of the top floor of the hotel would be a pool for guests with a view overlooking the neighboring park, and the other half would be a banquet area.
I first reported Sprouts’ closure last month, with the company citing a move to smaller-footprint stores. The Wellington store, on the opposite end of the plaza from Best Buy, is about 30,000 square feet. Newer stores are closer to 23,000 square feet, a Sprouts representative said.
Fresh Market also recently closed its store on Forest Hill Boulevard near the Mall at Wellington Green, with the owners of the Wellington Green Square shopping plaza planning to replace it with Publix. Crews already tore down the former Fresh Market. Two tenants, Kirkland Home and CityMattress, also closed to make way for the new, larger grocery store.
Either way, Tuttle said, Main Street will have “a grade A, best-in-class grocery store.”
Main Street, the site plan approved last week, is just one piece of Tuttle Royale. One apartment community is built, and two more apartment communities and a single-family home community are planned. With Main Street, some buildings include two stories of residences above first floor shops and restaurants. A regional park and charter school are in the future. Tuttle previously mentioned retailers Lululemon and Lilly Pulitzer as potential tenants.
“This will be the fashion center of central Palm Beach County,” he said.
Asked by the council about working together going forward, Tuttle said his team will continue to “very interactive with the city.”
“We are not going to be Harborside,” Tuttle said, referring to the Jupiter waterfront mixed-use development that battled the town in court over live events. “We’re not going to be in the newspaper arguing about lights and noise. We’re not doing that. There’s no win in that.”
Tuttle told the council he plans to combine three lots in the single-family home neighborhood to build a house for himself, and then build houses for his children. “We intend for this to be a legacy,” he said. “I mean, I hope you like like me, ’cause I ain’t going anywhere.”
The developer thanked village staff and the council for working with him over the years. He began buying land in the area, formerly Acme Ranches, about 10 years ago. In the decade since, getting the project to this point has taken countless hours of meetings with Royal Palm Beach staff, several amendments to existing zoning and a new Mixed Use Social Center Land Use Designation.
“You’re at a major milestone, and congratulations on that,” Mayor Fred Pinto said. “Keep up the momentum.”
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