Could this vacant, Lake Worth building become a city business center?

LAKE WORTH — Earlier this week, Mayor Pam Triolo told The Palm Beach Post the city has flirted with the idea of restoring the 1000 Lake Avenue property, long vacant and owned by the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, and turning it into a space right across the street from City Hall where residents can conduct city business.

Joan Oliva, the agency’s executive director, said today that would be a good idea.

“If we could work with the city and develop that building and potentially that block into some sort of mixed-used campus-like facility, that would be wonderful,” Oliva said. “But that’s not our only consideration.”

Oliva acknowledged the city hasn’t had any serious discussions with the CRA on the matter.

Besides, the 14,381-square-foot strucutre, built in 1925, needs a ton of work.

“It has a whole bunch of issues with it,” Oliva said. “It’s not in good condition, but we realize it’s in the historic district and we’d love to restore it.”

The price tag to do that would be $4 to $5 million, Oliva said.

“We’re thinking maybe the city doesn’t occupy the entire building and we get some mixed-use out of it so we can apply for some tax credits or a public-private partnership,” Oliva said. “I’m going to work my hardest to get that building open in the next few years.”