Juno Beach officials still need to OK the Ocean One villas planned between A1A and U.S. 1.
Unoccupied for 13 years, a prime piece of north county real estate may not be vacant for much longer.
Developer Tom Frankel, whose Frankel Enterprises built Azure in Palm Beach Gardens and Admirals Cove in Jupiter, wants to put 22 villas on 3.88 acres between A1A and U.S. 1 just west of Kagan Park.
In July, Juno Beach’s Planning and Zoning Board members voted 5-0 to recommend approving Frankel’s project, called Ocean One. It still needs approval from Juno Beach’s Town Council.
A brochure for Ocean One advertises some of the planned features for the two- to three-story villas spread across 11 two-family buildings. The living areas will have 10-foot ceilings. Each unit is expected to come with a two-car garage. They’ll have floating architectural staircases. Pools could be added for each unit.
The homes will have about 3,500 to 4,000 square feet of living space. Frankel bills the homes as luxury residences, and offered $1.8 million as an early estimated price point.
Local real estate broker Rebel Cook said Frankel should have little problem finding buyers.
“It’s a winner,” Cook said. “He’s going to get it because of all the people that are coming down from up north.”
Frankel bought the property for about $7.2 million from previous owner Seminole Ridge LLC this year.
Cook and north county Realtor John True both spoke highly of Frankel’s development record, saying it’s an indicator for success. True said he sold about a half-dozen units in Frankel’s Azure project.
“That’s going to be a very successful endeavor,” True said of Ocean One.
The history of the property, stretched out over a bluff along A1A, is a winding one. A Juno Beach family that bought the land in 1971 for $27,200 sold the property for $6.5 million in 2006 to developers who gained approval to build 31 townhomes there.
The family’s stucco home was torn down in 2007, but the townhomes were never started, an apparent casualty of the housing market crash.
At the July planning and zoning meeting, board member Bob Hamilton said he worried about traffic safety at Ocean One’s entrance onto A1A. A few Juno Beach residents also spoke at the meeting, expressing concerns that included the possibility of excavation damaging nearby homes and whether the project will be too tall.
The ridge itself is “too extreme to build on,” Frankel said, so he plans to cut down the bluff’s height by about 10 feet at its peak.
Mayor Jason Haselkorn declined to talk specifics, but said the town “has always emphasized quality over quantity when it comes to density issues. This does appear to be keeping with that theme.”
Construction could start as soon as October, Frankel said. If that happens, he hopes to finish the first units by next fall.
“It’s just such a great location,” Frankel said. “We haven’t really done true marketing but we have a lot of interest.”