BY JODIE WAGNER
PALM BEACH POST STAFF WRITER
Arcadia Gardens, an upscale 55-plus complex will be built on old Amara Shrine Center land, will have 220 units for active seniors
PALM BEACH GARDENS — The Amara Shrine Center on RCA Boulevard came tumbling down last week, clearing the way for a new luxury rental community for active seniors. The 39-year-old building, which hosted monthly meetings of the 500-member fraternal organization, will be replaced by the $60 million Arcadia Gardens independent living community for ages 55 and older.
Site work began this week on the project, which will be built on the 11-acre Amara Shrine property just south of Legacy Place. The complex will feature 220 one and two-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom suites in two buildings over parking, as well as a 15,000 – square foot clubhouse.
Troy, N.Y.-based United Group of Companies is co-developing the project with Palm Beach Gardens-based Sina Companies. “We’re really excited for it, ” said Malcolm Sina, executive chairman of Sina Companies. “The more that we talk about it in the community, the more we get a positive response, not only from people in general but from people who feel they would be interested in the project, because it’s really unique in the area here, being a high end, rental-only independent living facility.” Arcadia Gardens will feature two identical “L”-shaped residential buildings and a clubhouse, Sina said. The clubhouse will include a living room and fireplace, a commercial kitchen with optional dining programs, a dining room, and lounge, a game room, arts and crafts room, a media center, a state-of-the-art fitness center and yoga studio, and an on-site private salon and spa. All the apartments will have a screened-in patio, kitchen, washer/ dryer, luxury finishes, and 9-foot ceilings. Outdoor facilities include a resort-style pool; kitchen and fire pit; croquet, pickleball and bocce courts; community garden, dog park, and private lake with walking paths. “Our communities provide residents with a full calendar of events and activities that encourage a healthy and social lifestyle, develop lasting friendships, and offer a full community-based living experience with no longterm commitments or financial burdens,” United Group of Companies spokesman Greg Eves said.
Rents are projected to start at $2,450 for one-bedroom apartments and $3,295 for two-bedroom apartments, Sina said. Rent rates are subject to change. Developers also have agreed to pay the city $550,000 for workforce housing. Construction on the clubhouse will begin first, followed by the two residential buildings. The entire project should be completed in about 22 months, Sina said. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 4.
Arcadia Gardens will be the third 55-and over independent living community developed by United Group of Companies in Florida. The others are Diamond Oaks Village in Bonita Springs and Sandalwood Village in Naples. All three are similar in design and amenities, though Sina considers the Palm Beach Gardens location as the best of the group. “We may be biased, but we think our location in Palm Beach Gardens is a little bit better location-wise and demographically,” Sina said. “It’s a very successful prototype that has been developed before.”
On WPTV news the evening before the groundbreaking