Nora hurtles toward a groundbreaking with more investors betting big on West Palm Beach

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Rendering of Nora, a new district planned on the north side of downtown West Palm Beach.

Welcome to The Dirt! I’m real estate reporter Kimberly Miller with the latest developments in the sizzling market.

Real estate may be in self-reflection mode in South Florida but everyone still seems to be betting on downtown West Palm Beach with a mystery buyer snatching up a portfolio of more than 50 properties near the Square and just west of the coming hipster-in-paradise Nora district.

There’s a catch, however, to the bulk buy that you can read about below. The Dirt is sure these investors did their homework, right? But, well, who knows? It seems anything goes these days in the still wild and still raucous world of Florida real estate.

Who is buying up property near downtown West Palm Beach?

A long time ago in a cubicle not far from where I’m sitting right now, I wrote about a dreamer who was giving away a Tesla with every condo unit he sold in a yet-to-be built development in West Palm Beach.

Yeah, that failed, so he turned to housing for poor people, buying up a bunch of homes tied to a state program. With the market up, he sold the bulk of the portfolio. To whom? We’re not sure because the buyers had the nerve to do it under a Delaware-based LLC, which is a hard nut to crack.

About 10 restaurants to be featured in the new Nora district

The nora district is to proposed to be along N. Railroad Avenue and home to hip restaurants, bars, shops, and apartments in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The much anticipated Nora district is expected to break ground this year and senior business reporter Alexandra Clough has an essential update on its progress.

Nora, which is short for North Railroad Avenue, is another area along the tracks that is getting a cool new boost of energy. Who knew being near the train tracks was going to be so fashionable, so in vogue, so Pretty in Pink! (Still waiting on that magenta karmann ghia coupe, BTW.)

Cautionary tale: Don’t mess with Palm Beach’s ARCOM

The Palm Beach Architectural Commission recently rejected the design of this contemporary-style house for 218 Merrain Road in Palm Beach.

You think Palm Beach is sophisticated, demure, and cultured, right? Well, it can be a full on Lord of the Flies over there if you cross the town’s powerful Architectural Commission. It takes its job of safeguarding Palm Beach’s design aesthetics very seriously. You don’t get to build just any old spec mansion without its approval. I mean, come on.

Luxury real estate reporter Darrell Hofheinz tells the tale of two houses that got the smackdown recently on the north end where there is a concern about “mansionization.” It’s real thing folks, and not just on the island. .

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The mother ship beckons, will rents respond?

With real estate starting to chill out some, rents are also expected to stop their meteoric rise, but that doesn’t mean they are going back to 2019 prices.

The thought is some remote workers are being called back to the mother ship, which may be in New York, Chicago or California. So, even if you need to show up only two days a week, you can’t live in South Florida, unless you have a G5 airplane, and if you are a player with a G5 airplane and lots of money, did you see my hint above about the pink karmann ghia?

Where will the rent price hikes slow the most? You may be surprised.

Are you rich enough for Palm Beach? If you have to ask….

Seen in the foreground is Palm Beach’s Tarpon Island as it looked when it was purchased in July 2021 for $85 million by developer Todd Michael Glaser and an investment group.

Ho hum, just another month for stratospheric home sale prices on the island. It’s no surprise that homes are selling for upwards of $50 million but Hofheinz has another fabulous story that puts it all in perspective.

It’s a mindblower.

Live lightly.

Kimberly Miller is a veteran journalist for The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA Today Network of Florida. She covers real estate and how growth affects South Florida’s environment. If you have news tips, please send them to

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This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Nora reveals one new restaurant as investors bet big on West Palm Beach