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Shoppers’ patience runs thin as CityPlace construction continues

Shoppers are getting tired of the construction in CityPlace which has been blocking roads and walkways for the past four months.


The popular downtown shopping center is getting an upgrade nearly two decades after it’s opening in October 2000.


Related Companies, the global real estate industry that manages CityPlace, is trying to improve the overall appeal by making it more comfortable and flexible in street space, according to the CityPlace website.


“Our redevelopment plans for CityPlace were inspired by some of the great cities of the world and the way they are re-thinking how we use public spaces,” a Related Companies representative who requested to remain anonymous said. “We want to create a destination that enhances the way we live, work and play with a focus on wellness, arts and design, entertainment, retail, and unique culinary experiences.”




Despite the overall goal of enhancing the CityPlace experience, construction time has become a nuisance for many shoppers.


The process started on Oct. 29 of last year and is still in phase one, according to West Palm Beach Reimagined.


“I hope it finishes fast, people have been having a hard time parking,” local resident Brian McGinty said. “I have a lot of friends who work here and it’s been impacting them.”


All access to Rosemary Avenue between Okeechobee Boulevard and Hibiscus Street has been cut off temporarily due to the construction.


The ongoing process has blocked off not only areas for parking, but pathways to get to stores as well. This makes it difficult for customers to get around.  


Eric Joseph, a regular at CityPlace, is not pleased with the recent changes.


“I think it’s a bit unorganized the way they have it blocked off in certain places,” Joseph said.


Local resident Joe, who has requested The Beacon not share his last name, goes to Starbucks everyday to enjoy his coffee.

  

However, when it comes to the ongoing construction, he finds it to be a hassle.


“It seems extremely disruptive, my heart goes out to the tenants,” Joe said.

Despite the inconveniences the construction has caused, others such as Halle Burkhalter don’t mind the intrusion and are looking forward to what the new CityPlace will have to offer.


“I know that it’s improving it,” Burkhalter said. “A little bit of construction doesn’t hurt anybody.”


With the end in sight, CityPlace is looking forward to creating an environment that enhances the way customers “live, work, and play,” according to the West Palm Beach city website.


The construction is scheduled to be completed this spring. Phase two of the project is scheduled to start later this year.


By Morgan Therrien and Sofia Jas

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