Originally Posted: 6:00 a.m. Sunday, August 26, 2018


West Palm Beach mulls land-use changes that would allow art theater, apartments on old Carefree Theatre site

Nearly three years since prominent New York developer and part-time Palm Beach resident Charles Cohen bought the West Palm Beach property where the Carefree Theater once stood on South Dixie Highway, the land sits bare.

Two go-rounds with city officials and citizen opponents lie in the dust, including one effort by Cohen to build an art theater/movie house/apartment/restaurant venue bigger than zoning allows next to the residential neighborhood the site backs, and one Okeechobee Business District-like effort to change zoning citywide to let him to build something smaller but big enough to make financial sense.

But here comes round three, as Cohen’s cohorts are scheduled back before the city commission Monday, asking the board to tweak rules to make it worth his while to try again, even if for something smaller still.

Neither Cohen nor his land use consultant, Jon Schmidt, could be reached for comment and Cohen’s West Palm attorney, Greg Young, declined to address the issue before Monday’s initial vote on the zoning and land use changes.