Real estate, growth and development are the real economic drivers
As someone who was born and raised in southern Florida — Martin County, to be exact — in the 1960s, then working in Palm Beach County since the mid-1980s, I've witnessed the power and change of Florida's undisputed No. 1 industry: real estate development.
Yes, tourism is huge here. Henry Flagler's legacy lives on. Agriculture is still a cash crop. No matter how much it continues to shrink in size. But real estate development remains the undisputed king in a state that adds some 900 residents a day.
To be sure, those population growth figures create demand for dining, entertainment, schools, healthcare and more. But people must first have someplace to live. And that's what essentially drives our economy.
That's also why The Palm Beach Post (and the Palm Beach Daily News) tend to dedicate so much of our own real estate — both in print and online — to covering the industry. Because we understand that real estate, growth and development not only drive our economy, but subscriber interest.
Who doesn't want to know what's being approved, or denied to built in this county. And yes, the closer it is to your doorstep, the greater the interest. Need I even say NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) here? Then there is the frustrating, ever-increasing cost of buying or renting a place to live in this county.
Just last week, the Post reported on a planned facelift for a slice of an "Old Jupiter" business district. We covered the latest in mega-homebuilder GL Homes' controversial push to swap land in north county for more marketable land in the Agricultural Reserve. With that, we noted how a state program to protect farmers is disappearing as fast their farmland. And once again, we noted the continued frustration of local Realtors — and prospective homebuyers — dealing with a dearth of inventory in a hot housing market.
To be sure, real estate development is not all we do, as you can see in the list of stories below from last week. But we will doing more on the topic in coming weeks and months as we ramp up our coverage.
We do this every day, with the support of our subscribers. Post reporters and photographers are always out there looking, covering, questioning.
I hope you enjoy and continue to support local journalism. We're grateful, and we'll make more.
And yes, you can tell a friend.
You can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and find me on Twitter at @rchristiepbp. Or send in a news tip to email@example.com. Subscribe to independent reporting that supports democracy via subscribe.palmbeachpost.com.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Real estate, growth, development are economic drivers in Palm Beach County