April 16, 2014

community portrait

Palm Beach County

Norton Museum
The internationally recognized Norton Museum houses 6,000 works of art.

Quality of Life

Biggest Strengths

Massive wealth; well-established philanthropic institutions and inclinations; great natural resources and climate; higher-than-average education levels; a large, diverse aerospace and growing high-tech industry sector that now includes bioscience; a savvy, engaged economic development effort; a major downtown resurgence in West Palm Beach.

Biggest Needs

History of quirky political climate that’s not always business-friendly; cloud left by recent scandals involving county commissioners; the county’s poor are very poor, particularly in the western agricultural areas; economic development along the coast is uneven. Suburban development patterns have produced congestion.

Crime

Palm Beach County’s crime rate has been improving in recent years. The state’s third-most populous county ranks 11th in crime rate per 100,000 population, according to FDLE statistics.

Amenities

Polo in Wellington
Polo is a major attraction in Wellington.
» The $30-million creation of a public waterfront space in West Palm replaced the public library, which moved to a new city center a few blocks west, and is revitalizing downtown. Clematis Street is resurgent, and the presence of downtown condos, the CityPlace shopping center and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is establishing a vibrant residential, shopping, dining and entertainment scene, with a great deal of potential still untapped.

» Mizner Park in Boca Raton and the Atlantic Avenue area in Delray offer shops, galleries, restaurants and entertainment in their parts of the county.

» The county boasts 17 performing arts theaters. It is home to the Flagler (history) and the internationally known Norton (art) museums.

» The four-block, ultra-lux Worth Avenue shopping district still epitomizes Palm Beach style.

» The world-renowned Breakers resort is located here.

» The Palm Beach Zoo, using a solar array donated by the FPL Group Foundation, has the first zoo animal hospital in the country to achieve LEED certification.

» Jupiter hosts the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals for spring training and two single-A minor league teams during the summer.

» The county has more than 40-plus miles of beaches and is home to more than 150 golf courses — the most per capita of any county in the country — and the headquarters of the PGA of America. The area hosts the Honda Classic at PGA National.

» During the winter, equestrian facilities feature polo, dressage and steeplechase.

Tags: Treasure Coast

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