South Palm Beach, Florida

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South Palm Beach, Florida
Town of South Palm Beach
Aerial View of South Palm Beach Proper
Aerial View of South Palm Beach Proper
Official seal of South Palm Beach, Florida
The Best Town on the East Coast[1]
Location of South Palm Beach, Florida
Location of South Palm Beach, Florida
Coordinates: 26°35′30″N 80°2′15″W / 26.59167°N 80.03750°W / 26.59167; -80.03750Coordinates: 26°35′30″N 80°2′15″W / 26.59167°N 80.03750°W / 26.59167; -80.03750
Country United States
State Florida
County Palm Beach
Incorporated (town) -->1955[1]
 • Total0.28 sq mi (0.73 km2)
 • Land0.11 sq mi (0.28 km2)
 • Water0.17 sq mi (0.45 km2)
3 ft (1 m)
 • Total1,471
 • Density13,747.66/sq mi (5,291.84/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)561
FIPS code12-67650[3]
GNIS feature ID0291401[4]
WebsiteTown of South Palm Beach Florida

South Palm Beach is a town located in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The town is situated on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. The entire town is approximately 5/8th of a mile (1 km) long along South Ocean Boulevard (Florida State Road A1A), its only street. It is between the Town of Palm Beach to the north and the Town of Lantana and its public beach to the south. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,471.


Florida route A1A runs through the center of town built between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal (2008)
Town Hall and Police Department building (2007)

South Palm Beach is located at 26°35′30″N 80°2′15″W / 26.59167°N 80.03750°W / 26.59167; -80.03750 (26.591746, –80.037525).[5]

South Palm Beach is bordered to the north by the Town of Palm Beach; to the east by the Atlantic Ocean; to the west by the Intracoastal waterway (known locally as the Lake Worth Lagoon); and on the south by the town of Manalapan. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq mi), of which 0.3 km2 (0.12 sq mi) is land and 0.5 km2 (0.19 sq mi) (60.61%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

2020 census[edit]

South Palm Beach racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[7]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 1,270 86.34%
Black or African American (NH) 15 1.02%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 1 0.07%
Asian (NH) 26 1.77%
Some Other Race (NH) 2 0.14%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 34 2.31%
Hispanic or Latino 123 8.36%
Total 1,471

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,471 people, 754 households, and 341 families residing in the town.


As of the census[3] of 2008 (population updated from 2013), there were 1,138 full-time residents in 453 households and 196 families residing in the town. The population density was 5,204.3 inhabitants per square mile (2,076.0/km2). The seasonal (part-time) estimate for the town is 3,000 or more residents in the winter months. There were 872 housing units at an average density of 6,492.3 per square mile (2,589.9/km2). Currently, the town consists of 25 condominiums, 4 single-family houses and 15 townhouses. The racial makeup of the town was 99.28% White (97% were Non-Hispanic White,)[8] 0.14% Native American and 0.57% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.29% of the population.

There were 453 households, out of which 2.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 3.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.7% were non-families. 52.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 28.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.54 and the average family size was 2.14.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 2.6% under the age of 18, 1.4% from 18 to 24, 11.3% from 25 to 44, 30.5% from 45 to 64, and 54.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 67 years. For every 100 females, there were 75.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was US$39,375, and the median income for a family was $47,250. Males had a median income of $41,591 versus $30,536 for females. The per capita income for the town was $38,456. About 15.3% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2000, English was the first language spoken by 92.96% of residents, Finnish by 3.90%, and French as a mother tongue made up 3.12% of the population.[9]

Shore stabilization[edit]

The beach in South Palm Beach before Hurricane Wilma in 2005

From 2003 to 2016, there have been six shoreline and dune restoration projects for the town's beach.[10] Since 2007, Palm Beach County has completed several engineering studies to evaluate long-term erosion control alternatives, including doing nothing.[11]

The Town of Palm Beach had completed its beach nourishment projects in 2016 pronouncing its "coastline is in pretty good shape."[12] No shore stabilization work was performed in South Palm Beach. Plans called for a $5.6 million "Southern Palm Beach Island Comprehensive Shore Stabilization Project" during 2019 and 2020 that was designed to rebuild about 0.67 miles of the town's shoreline.[10] In early 2019, the County determined that the project was "cost prohibitive" and officially withdrew a request for the needed permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.[13]

With assistance from the Town of Palm Beach, a smaller beach nourishment option by trucking sand to feed the eroding town's beachfront may be possible in early 2010.[14]



Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn (2009). The inn was demolished April 2016.

Originally built in 1964, the Polynesian inspired, 58-room Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn and its ocean-front restaurant Tides Bar and Grille, located at 3550 South Ocean Boulevard, made up the only commercial business establishment within the town of South Palm Beach.[15] It was described as "one of the last vestiges of old Florida along A1A."[16]

Kosova Realty bought the inn for $3.3 million in 2002 and named it as Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn.[17] Known to locals by its former name, the Hawaiian Inn, the two-story motel lost most of its beach during Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and was not being maintained.[18]

A proposal by the Paloka family owned-and-operated realty company to replace the inn with a luxury resort-style 12-story condominium-hotel built over two stories of parking was unanimously rejected by the South Palm Beach Town Council in October 2007.[19] The established comprehensive plan limits new buildings to six-stories over one-level of parking.

On September 18, 2009, the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council meeting expressed concerns about the redevelopment and recommended that the Town of Palm Beach should respond to negative opinions by its citizens prior to adoption of the amendments, as well as ensure that development approval conditions address problems with the use, height limits, and negative impacts on the beaches.[20]

The Paloka family tried to change the town codes to allow a bigger building such as a 14-story condominium and "were willing to build the town a public safety building and new town hall to sweeten the deal."[21] They increased business at the property during 2011 and were planning capital improvements, but foreclosure proceedings began.[21] Kosova Realty filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2012.[17][22]

In November 2012, the operation was purchased by Paragon Acquisition Group of Boca Raton, a distressed property development company, with plans to improve and revive the facility, as well as "possibility of a development project in the future."[23] DDG then partnered with investor Gary Cohen of Paragon on the development.[24] According to the CEO of developer DDG, Joseph A. McMillan, Jr., in 2012 a DDG affiliate paid $8.25 million for the 1.1-acre (0.4 ha) site.[17][25][26] Although the property has received minor renovations and is being managed as a hotel and restaurant, the long-term prospects for it are for condominiums according to the CEO of Paragon.[27][28]

The current zoning for oceanfront property in the town allows 33 units per acre, while a more dense project would require a referendum.[27] Plans by DDG were announced for 30 residential units to be built above a one-story parking garage.[29][30] The old motel and restaurant on the site were demolished in April 2016.[28] Marketing for the new 30-unit building featured amenities such as concierge service, a dog park, and private jet service.[25] In June 2018, the building "officially topped out, reaching its full height of seven stories."[31] September 2019 marked the completion of the building.[32]


  1. ^ a b "Town of South Palm Beach Florida". Town of South Palm Beach Florida. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Demographics of South Palm Beach, FL". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  9. ^ "MLA Data Center Results for South Palm Beach, Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  10. ^ a b Seltzer, Alexandra (5 September 2018). "County asks state for $7.6 million to help 'critically eroded' beaches". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Southern Palm Beach Island Comprehensive Shoreline Stabilization Project". Town of Palm Beach. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  12. ^ Kopf, Aleese (3 September 2016). "Coastal projects: Major sand dredging in rear-view mirror". The Palm Beach Daily. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  13. ^ Moffett, Dan (27 February 2019). "South Palm Beach: Beach project appears dead after county backs out". The Coastal Star. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  14. ^ Moffett, Dan (5 September 2019). "South Palm Beach: Long-awaited beach renourishment could take place in April". The Coastal Star. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  15. ^ Rogers, David (30 October 2007). "South Palm Beach board to tackle Oceanfront Inn plan". The Palm Beach Daily News. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  16. ^ Salisbury, Susan. "Former Palm Beach Hawaiian Ocean Inn to be razed for six-story condo". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  17. ^ a b c Miller, Kimberly (15 January 2013). "South Palm Beach oceanfront hotel sells for $8 million". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  18. ^ Felker, Chris (1 October 2014). "South Palm Beach: Locals say aloha to former 'Hawaiian' Inn". Coastal Star.
  19. ^ Kacoha, Margie (1 November 2007). "South Palm Beach rejects plan to redo inn". The Palm Beach Daily News. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  20. ^ Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (18 September 2009). "Draft Amendments to the Town of South Palm Beach Comprehensive Plan DCA Reference No. 09-1" (PDF). Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  21. ^ a b Roach, Emily (30 January 2012). "South Palm Beach's Oceanfront Inn for sale". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Kosova Realty Corp Bankruptcy (9:12-bk-15431), Florida Southern Bankruptcy Court". Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  23. ^ O'Meilia, Tim (December 2012). "New inn owner wants 'neighborly' update to hotel". The Coastal Star: 10.
  24. ^ Hofheinz, Darrell (16 November 2016). "Planned beachfront condo near Palm Beach launches revamped website". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  25. ^ a b Huriash, Lisa J. (11 October 2018). "Need a lift? New luxury South Palm Beach condos will provide private jet service". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  26. ^ Solomont, E.B. (1 August 2018). "The Closing: Joe McMillan". The Real Deal. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  27. ^ a b Smith, Jane (January 2014). "Hawaiian' sees upgrades under new owners". The Coastal Star: 23.
  28. ^ a b Doris, Tony. "Aloha to good times; former Hawaiian Inn demolished". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  29. ^ Clough, Alexandra (16 May 2016). "New luxury condo to rise in South Palm Beach". Palm Beach Post.
  30. ^ "3550 South Ocean". DDG Partners. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  31. ^ Gambrell, Holly (14 June 2018). "Palm Beach's 3550 South Ocean Condo Tops Out, Development Progresses". The Palm Beacher. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  32. ^ "Oceanfront Condo In A Decade Celebrates Completion" (Press release). ABC 7. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019 – via DDG Parners.

External links[edit]