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The Fla. Wall Street? Developers Focus on West Palm Beach

U.S. financial markets keep some New Yorkers in New York, and developers think a southern hub might give fence-sitting investors another reason to relocate.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Developers plan to repurpose West Palm Beach as Florida’s answer to Wall Street, with financial firms like Goldman Sachs Group and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management moving in to help make the state more attractive to New Yorkers driven out of Manhattan by COVID-19.

One particular target: Financiers on the fence about leaving New York City.

Seasonal residents once largely skipped West Palm Beach, but the debut of amenities like the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, a Restoration Hardware outlet, hotels and ultra-luxury waterfront condominium The Bristol raised its cachet. The Bristol sold out after COVID stuck, while homes in nearby neighborhoods El Cid and SoSo were scooped up at record prices.

Most downtown Class A office space is now owned by Stephen Ross’ Related Cos., including a tower that aspires to be the epicenter of Wall Street South. Goldman Sachs will have a branch in this building, with some of the firm’s most senior trading executives expected to be tenants.

Laura Lofaro, CEO of financial executive-search and consulting firm Sterling Resources International, says it remains uncertain whether West Palm Beach’s financial dreams will bear fruit, however, but real estate entrepreneurs like NDT Development’s Ned Grace are counting on an influx of young adults drawn to the retail, dining, housing and office space under development.

Source: Bloomberg Wealth (09/01/2021) Gordon, Amanda L.; Natarajan, Sridhar; Wong, Natalie

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