WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 12, 2014) - Today marked the start of construction for All Aboard Florida's downtown West Palm Beach station. The existing building was demolished so construction on the approximately 60,000 sq. ft. station and platform can begin. Today's event marks the start of construction on the second of its three South Florida stations along the Miami-to-Orlando corridor, and is the latest in a series of significant milestones for the highly-anticipated passenger rail project that will revolutionize travel throughout Florida.
The West Palm Beach station will be located on 2 acres of land adjacent to the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) corridor on Quadrille Boulevard, between Datura and Evernia Streets. Located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, the station will be located near the thriving CityPlace mixed use development, the shops and restaurants of Clematis Street, and several arts institutions such as the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The station will drive new visitors and tourists directly into the shops and attractions of this bustling downtown area and serve as a transportation hub so those visitors can reach cultural, economic and shopping destinations throughout Palm Beach County.
"All Aboard Florida will be transformative for West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County and the State of Florida, marking a new and exciting beginning for rail travel and the regions it will serve," said Michael Reininger, President and Chief Development Officer of All Aboard Florida. "Palm Beach County is now one step closer to becoming part of a more mobile, connected region that will feel the economic benefits from the creation of thousands of jobs during construction and expanded business and tourism opportunities."
Providing a new gateway into the city and all of Palm Beach County, the West Palm Beach station was planned and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) in association with Zyscovich Architects and will include a modern, multi-story lobby spanning an elevated passenger lounge area for travelers and parking facilities. The station, located between Datura and Evernia Streets, was chosen as it provides nearby connections to the Palm Beach County's countywide transit system known as Palm Tran, the downtown West Palm Beach trolley system and the downtown West Palm Beach Tri-Rail station.
"This train station will not only spur the future economic growth of downtown West Palm Beach but of Palm Beach County as a whole," said Palm Beach County Mayor Priscilla Taylor. "This new rail system will serve as a gateway to our county, welcoming more residents, tourists and businesses. The public transportation connections within walking distance of the All Aboard Florida station in downtown West Palm Beach provide the opportunity for visitors from Orlando to Miami to reach many destinations in Palm Beach County without a car. It is the only way to provide this much economic and customer base growth without a massive increase in road building."
"West Palm Beach is proud to have All Aboard Florida become a central focal point of our downtown," said City of West Palm Beach Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell. "We are so excited about the tremendous positive impacts their train station will have upon the future of West Palm Beach for generations to come. It is impossible to fully comprehend and calculate the benefits of having tens of thousands of national and international visitors every year disembarking in West Palm Beach and what it will mean to our City and County, while at the same time reducing the large volume of automobile traffic on our highways. Welcome, All Aboard Florida!"
Each of All Aboard Florida's three planned stations in South Florida; Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, will serve as both gateways to their respective cities, and as key portals and iconic destinations. As part of the urban infrastructure of each community, the stations are expected to generate significant economic impact to the state. Economists estimate that All Aboard Florida will add more than $6 billion to Florida's economy over the next eight years, including a $164 million economic impact for Palm Beach County through 2021. Nearly 1,200 jobs will be created in Palm Beach County through the construction of the station and the rail line.
About All Aboard Florida
All Aboard Florida is an intercity passenger rail project being developed by Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI) - owner of Florida's premier passenger rail corridor - that will connect Miami to Orlando with intermediate stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This rail service will give Floridians and visitors a viable transportation alternative to congested highways and airport terminals. All Aboard Florida will provide a high?quality experience for passengers and will be the first privately owned, operated, and maintained passenger rail system in the United States. For more information, visit www.AllAboardFlorida.com.
About Florida East Coast Industries
Florida East Coast Industries, LLC (FECI) is one of Florida's oldest and largest full-service commercial real estate, transportation, and infrastructure companies. Headquartered in Coral Gables, Fla., FECI has a rich history dating back over a century. Mr. Henry Flagler first established a predecessor company in 1892, which became a pioneer in the development of Florida's eastern coast. Today, FECI continues to transform Florida as the parent company to four distinct business lines including Flagler, a full-service commercial real estate company; All Aboard Florida, the United States' first privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system; Flagler Global Logistics, an integrated logistics company that offers a wide range of logistics services and real estate solutions; and Parallel Infrastructure, a leader in third-party Right of Way (ROW) investments and management services. FECI is owned by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, LLC. For more information, visit www.feci.com.