CityPlace (Rosemary Square) Shopping Center in Downtown West Palm Beach, FL

West Palm Beach is known for its vibrant downtown area, where Clematis Street and CityPlace are major attractions. Over the years, these areas have undergone significant changes, including a notable name change from CityPlace to Rosemary Square and then back to CityPlace. This article delves into the reasons behind these changes, their impact on the community, and what they mean for the future of downtown West Palm Beach real estate.

The Original CityPlace: A Downtown West Palm Beach Landmark

CityPlace, formerly known as Rosemary Square and The Square, is an upscale lifestyle center in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, along South Rosemary Avenue. This New Urbanist mixed-use development seamlessly blends Mediterranean and Venetian architectural elements, offering a unique and vibrant urban experience.  CityPlace was originally conceived in the late 1990's as a mixed-use development to revitalize downtown West Palm Beach. It quickly became a central hub for both locals and tourists, featuring shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, and residential units. The development played a crucial role in transforming the area into a lively, sought-after destination. 

Spanning over 600,000 square feet, CityPlace encompasses several city blocks and features more than 60 restaurants and stores, alongside rental apartments, condos, and offices. Since its grand opening in October 2000, CityPlace has played a pivotal role in the urban renaissance of West Palm Beach, transforming an area once plagued by crime, poverty, and abandoned businesses into a thriving center of commerce and culture.

Why the Name Change to Rosemary Square?

In 2019, CityPlace was rebranded as Rosemary Square. This change was part of a larger $550 million transformation plan by the Related Companies, aiming to create a more dynamic, community-oriented space. The rebranding to Rosemary Square was intended to reflect the new vision of a greener, more walkable, and more engaging urban environment. This initiative included new public spaces, updated landscaping, art installations, and improved connectivity with surrounding neighborhoods.

The Vision Behind Rosemary Square

The reimagining of CityPlace into Rosemary Square was more than a cosmetic makeover. The developers sought to infuse the area with a sense of community and sustainability. Key elements of this vision included:

  • Greener Spaces: Incorporation of lush greenery and public art to enhance the urban experience.
  • Walkability: Creating pedestrian-friendly zones to encourage walking and reduce vehicular traffic.
  • Cultural Hub: Hosting events, performances, and installations to foster a vibrant cultural scene.
  • Community Engagement: Providing spaces that encourage social interaction and community building.

CityPlace is anchored by popular establishments like LA Fitness and Publix, with notable hotspots such as Cheesecake Factory, Sloan's Ice Cream, and Starbucks, drawing both locals and visitors. Although Macy's, once a prominent anchor, closed in 2017, and the AMC Parisian 20 and IMAX theaters have also ceased operations, the center continues to offer a dynamic shopping and dining experience.

Impact on Local Businesses and Real Estate

The transformation into Rosemary Square had a significant impact on local businesses and the real estate market. The enhancements attracted new retailers and restaurants, boosting the area’s appeal and foot traffic. Real estate values in the vicinity also saw a positive uptick as the area became more desirable for both commercial and residential investments.

Challenges and Community Feedback

Despite the ambitious plans, the transition from CityPlace to Rosemary Square was not without challenges. Some long-time residents and business owners were skeptical about the changes, concerned that the new identity might alienate the community that had grown around CityPlace. However, many appreciated the efforts to modernize and revitalize the area.

Why the Return to CityPlace?

In a surprising turn of events, the name was changed back to CityPlace. This decision was influenced by several factors:

  • Brand Recognition: CityPlace had established strong brand recognition and loyalty over the years. The name was synonymous with downtown West Palm Beach's resurgence and success.
  • Community Sentiment: Many residents and visitors had a nostalgic attachment to the name CityPlace, which played a role in the decision to revert.
  • Market Dynamics: Feedback from businesses and stakeholders indicated that the CityPlace brand still held significant market value and appeal.

CityPlace Tower and Shopping in Downtown West Palm Beach, FL

What Does This Mean for Downtown West Palm Beach?

The name changes reflect the evolving nature of downtown West Palm Beach. As the area continues to grow and develop, maintaining a balance between modernization and preserving cultural identity is crucial. The return to CityPlace signifies a respect for the community’s preferences and a commitment to honoring the legacy of the original development.  

Beyond shopping and dining, CityPlace stands as a central hub for entertainment in West Palm Beach, complementing the nearby Clematis Street's vibrant scene. The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. School of the Arts are within walking distance, as is the Palm Beach County Convention Center, making CityPlace a cultural nexus.

Looking Ahead: The Future of CityPlace

CityPlace will likely continue to embody the dynamic spirit of downtown West Palm Beach. The area's ongoing evolution, including future developments and enhancements, will ensure it remains a key destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Real estate investors and business owners can expect continued growth and opportunities as CityPlace adapts to the changing urban landscape.

The journey from CityPlace to Rosemary Square and back again highlights urban development and branding complexities. It underscores the importance of community input and the power of a well-established brand. As downtown West Palm Beach continues to thrive, CityPlace will remain a cornerstone of its vibrant culture and economic vitality, attracting visitors and residents alike to experience its unique blend of history and modernity.

CityPlace stands as the epitome of a New Urbanist mixed-use development. In addition to retail, CityPlace is home to over 600 private residences, including several condominium buildings like CityPlace Tower, Montecito, and CityPlace South Tower, as well as nearby condos that are within walking distance of CityPlace.  While they aren't in CityPlace "proper," they are considered to be in the downtown West Palm Beach district.  These include One City Plaza, Two City Plaza, and several others which can be found here

Frequently Asked Questions About CityPlace

Why was CityPlace renamed to Rosemary Square?

CityPlace was renamed to Rosemary Square as part of a $550 million transformation to create a more community-oriented and sustainable urban environment, featuring greener spaces, pedestrian-friendly zones, and cultural activities.

What prompted the return to the CityPlace name?

The return to the CityPlace name was driven by strong brand recognition, community sentiment, and feedback from businesses and stakeholders indicating the name's significant market value and appeal.

How did the name change impact local businesses?

The name change initially boosted local businesses by attracting new retailers and increased foot traffic. However, the return to CityPlace also reinstated familiar branding that many businesses and customers preferred.

How does CityPlace contribute to the real estate market in West Palm Beach?

CityPlace positively impacts the West Palm Beach real estate market by increasing property values and attracting investments, making it a desirable location for both commercial and residential real estate.

Contact Information
Provide a valid email address.
This will also be your password.
Newsletter consent

Posted by Brian Pearl on


Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.