Site of popular downtown sandwich shop sells for $1.7M- Palm Beach Post
January 31, 2017
Site of popular downtown sandwich shop sells for $1.7M
A $55M mixed-use development will replace Russo’s.
By Tony Doris Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
WEST PALM BEACH — The former site of Russo’s Submarine Sandwich Shop sold Friday, as demand for downtown dirt
overtook even that for the delicious and popular subs Dan Russo sold there for decades.
At roughly $6 a sub, Russo would have had to sell 291,000 of them to match the $1,746,000 he got for the less-than-one- third-acre lot.
The buyer was PrivCap, a Boca Raton developer that plans a $55 million, 270,000-square-foot project called The Cosmopolitan, with luxury offices, a hotel, and, on the Russo’s section, a bank, shop or restaurant, said Anthony Hollis III,
real estate broker on the deal.
Russo closed the shop at 415 S. Dixie Highway in August in anticipation of the sale. Demolition is expected to take place within the next six weeks, Hollis said.
For the developer, the value of the lot was in the development rights that came with it, which enable construction of the 19-story Cosmopolitan.
Plans for that building include five floors of offices atop a seven-story garage, and a 201-room hotel, with entrances along Gardenia Street. Details of the project can be viewed at its website, wpbcosmopolitan.com.
The developer is in talks with “two or three” anchor tenants and with two hotel companies, Hollis said.
When construction is completed in early 2019, it will be the first new top-tier office building in downtown West Palm Beach in more than a decade. The project comes amid a nascent construction boom in the city, where property values are rising and roughly $2.5 billion worth of projects are in the planning stages,including more than three apartment or condo buildings already in the works.
Russo, though in his 70s, was not eager to stop making sandwiches,and in fact, he can still be tracked down at his Lake Park or Military Trail shops. But rising property values made the decision to shutter the downtown shop easier.
With every last grain of downtown dirt being swept up by developers, the land he bought for roughly $22,000 in the 1970's, and the adjacent lot he added for $150,000 in 1991, were worth multiples of that.
“It’s kind of a relief, because at my age I’m probably going to be able to spend a little time in Maine and be able to sleep late in the morning, perhaps,” he said in August. “But when you’ve done something just about all your life, it’s a hard thing to do, a very emotional thing.”