Waterfront land in West Palm Beach is in such high demand that 60-year-old condominium units sold for as much as $1.8 million last year on North Flagler Drive where a clutch of adjacent properties have been bought by a single family and a Miami-based developer.

Every unit at the Flagler Cove condominium in the 4700 and 4800 blocks of North Flagler has changed hands in the past four years. Prices started in 2019 at $145,000 but increased post-pandemic to between $1.1 million to $1.8 million in 2023, according to Palm Beach County Property Appraiser records.

The condominium, which is four two-story buildings built in 1964, is along the Lake Worth Lagoon within sight of the Palm Beach/Lake Worth inlet, Peanut Island, and across from Palm Beach.

It’s on a stretch of North Flagler previously ignored or overlooked by developers but that is now squeezed by high-rise condos and apartments that have recently opened, are under construction, or are in the planning stages as investors clamor for buildable waterfront lots.

Kenneth Baboun, president of developer BGI Companies and principal builder of the 22-story Alba Palm Beach condominium, bought five of the Flagler Cove units last year under a limited liability company that lists him as the manager.

Alba Palm Beach broke ground in August at 4714 N. Flagler Drive, just south of a single-family home owned by the family that bought the other units at the adjacent Flagler Cove.

Major high rise construction and real estate development in downtown West Palm Beach. New office towers in downtown West Palm Beach, or already completed ones, such as 360 Rosemary, have lured about 100 firms since 2019 to Palm Beach County.

In a statement, BGI Companies said it has no announcements “at the moment” but “remains bullish on the growth of Northwood and will continue to double down on the development within the neighborhood.”

In an August Palm Beach Post story about Alba beginning construction, Baboun said the company was shopping for “other options” in West Palm Beach. Alba units cost between $2.5 million and $10 million.

“We believe so strongly in this market,” Baboun said.

The owner of the single-family home, Justo Naranjo, whose family bought the other Flagler Cove units, did not return a message requesting an interview. Flagler Cove units are currently being rented with some undergoing renovations.

To be sure, there are some residents of North Flagler opposed to the burst of new development. The proposed Apogee condominium, which is just 550 feet north of Alba, is being fought by the Northwood Harbor Historic District.

“This overdevelopment of the waterway is a mistake,” wrote North Flagler resident Steve Annabel on a comment card read at a Dec. 19 West Palm Beach Planning Board meeting. “Investment groups and developers are overcrowding this unique area.”

Still, developments expected to follow Alba on North Flagler include Olara, with two towers soaring more than 300 feet at 191 N. Flagler Drive. Also, the Miami-based Related Group is proposing a 25-story condominium at 4906 N. Flagler Drive called Apogee. Related Group opened the 24-story dual-tower Icon Marina Village along North Flagler in March 2023.

Units in the 60-year-old Flagler Cove condominium, outlined in red, sold for more than $1 million in 2023 to the developer of Alba Palm Beach, a new luxury condominium two lots south of Flagler Cove. The lot to the right (north) is owned by the Flotilla Club.

And New York’s Related Cos., which is led by Miami Dolphins owner and Palm Beach resident Stephen Ross, launched sales last month of the 140-unit luxury condo Shorecrest at 1901 N. Flagler Drive. Shorecrest’s units are expected to sell for between $1.5 million to $10 million.

Related Cos. is not affiliated with the Miami-based Related Group led by Jorge Perez.

Illustrated Properties of Palm Beach luxury real estate agent Lynn Telling said there is a market for high-end new construction in West Palm Beach that wasn’t there before the pandemic.

“We are seeing the relocation of very prominent firms, and we are getting more affluent buyers,” Telling said. “The builders are trying to meet the demands and the allure of the waterfront with these upscale condos.”

An October analysis of IRS income migration data from 2020 and 2021 by the Economic Innovation Group found Palm Beach County had a net gain in adjusted gross income of $7 billion — the highest of any county nationwide.

Steve Simpson, a Realtor with William Raveis, said the North Flagler waterfront is popular because it's not historic — a designation that comes with restrictions on teardowns and home designs. Simpson is listing a newly built $39 million home on North Flagler.

“West Palm Beach is completely on peoples’ radar now,” Simpson said.

The Alba property on North Flagler, combined with the single-family home and Flagler Cove condominium, is a total of about three acres of contiguous waterfront property.