Florida East Coast Industries, parent company to the All Aboard Florida company planning private, high-speed passenger rail service in Florida, announced it is developing two luxury housing towers in West Palm Beach and Miami adjacent to its train stations.
The projects, being developed with the big Miami developer Lincoln Property Co. under the brand, “Park-Line,” gives Florida East Coast Industries a significant revenue opportunity, perhaps one answer to a question long raised by critics of the planned, private Brightline train service: how will it ever make money?
Park-Line plans a 290-unit downtown tower in West Palm Beach and a two-tower complex with 816 units in downtown Miami. Both projects, Florida East Coast Industries Vice President Daniel Quintana pledged in a press release, “transit options just steps away from their front door, including our new Brightline train service that will seamlessly connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.”
The projects would be consisted with what urban planners have long preached, development of city centers around transit corridors.
All Aboard Florida, owned by Florida East Coast Industries, plans to launch its Brightline trains in South Florida later this year, with privately-owned and -operated passenger rail service connecting West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami on tracks in the Florida East Coast Railway corridor.
The company also plans to extend the line northward through the Treasure Coast to Orlando, mostly in the Florida East Coast Railway corridor, bringing a high-speed passenger railroad connecting Florida’s two biggest tourism hubs, South Florida and Central Florida.
That proposal has been hotly controversial. And, in spite of company assurances, its fate remains unsettled. Many residents and political leaders in Treasure Coast counties object to the potential safety and traffic concerns for people in an area that would be nothing more than ride-over territory. They’ve been fighting the proposal.
But the bigger problem for All Aboard Florida and Florida East Coast Industries, which also owns Florida East Coast Railway, may involve the company’s attempts to find about $1 billion in financing for the northern route. All Aboard Florida has suspended its timetable for construction and operation of the project.
The Miami housing development is to be directly attached to the MiamiCentral train station All Aboard Florida is developing, and the West Palm Beach tower is to be across from the Brightline station entrance.
The MiamiCentral location also will have 180,000 square feet of retail space and 300,000 square feet of office space. Florida East Coast Industries is marketing it as a place where office employees will be able to have a live-work-play lifestyle in one location.
“Each of the innovative towers in West Palm Beach and Miami will expand residents’ playground and working options by utilizing a vast variety of transit options just steps away from their front door, including our new Brightline train service that will seamlessly connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach,” Quintana stated in the news release.