On Thursday, the Riviera Beach Planning and Zoning Board approved the $4.3 million plan to transform the barren “dry sand” area between the Ocean Mall and the dune into a park bordered with lush vegetation. The board’s recommendation is expected to go before the city council on Nov. 19.
Proposed are tennis and volleyball courts, a covered playground, grills, picnic pavilions, a concessions building, showers, restrooms, open space for concerts, and vegetation to shelter the park from sand blown by ocean winds. The design incorporates features suggested by residents during a planning workshop last year.
Catalfumo Construction and Development Inc. will build the park through a 2006 agreement with the city that includes leasing the Ocean Mall property for 50 years and building 60,000 square feet of space for shops and restaurants. Joey Eichner, president of Catalfumo Development, expects work on new buildings to begin within the next two to three months, even though three businesses are still operating in the old mall. “We’re still on target to finish in May or June,” Eichner said. Unlike the Ocean Mall, which is being rebuilt with private money through the lease agreement with Catalfumo, the beach park will be built with city money.