Economic Development News & Insight


The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB), in cooperation with Enterprise Florida, Palm Beach County, and the City of Belle Glade, announced that it has assisted Passages Belle Glade, a holistic treatment facility for individuals battling with addiction and eating disorders, in locating to Palm Beach County.

“Passages Belle Glade, the east coast presence of Passages Malibu, is being created with the intention of transforming the former 100,000 square foot Glades General Hospital into a non 12-step center for those battling with addiction and eating disorders; it will also provide juvenile treatment.  This project is an exceptional example of the good that can be achieved when entities such as the City of Belle Glade, the State of Florida, and Palm Beach County work together for a common cause.  This project will create approximately 225 new jobs that will provide salaries higher than Belle Glade’s average wage.  The facility, located at 1201 S. Main Street, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016,” said Chris Prentiss, Co-Owner of Passages Belle Glade.

Passages Belle Glade received a Brownfields Redevelopment incentive from the State of Florida in the amount of $350,000.  A Brownfields Redevelopment incentive awards a tax refund to companies that choose to occupy previously-used structures, particularly in economically-disadvantaged areas.

The BDB assisted the company through the incentive process with the State of Florida and introduced it to CareerSource Palm Beach County for help with staffing needs.

“Three years ago, the BDB entered into a formal contractual relationship with the Lake Okeechobee Regional Economic Alliance (LORE) to create a solid strategic plan for creating jobs. This included dedicating a full-time BDB employee to the Glades to focus on recruitment, retention and expansion.  We are starting to see great progress and will continue to market the area aggressively, “stated Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board.

“The City has been solidly behind this project from the very beginning and we will continue offer assistance and guidance in any way we can.  We are all very excited about this project and are anxiously looking forward to its opening in 2016,” said Lomax Harrelle, City Manager of Belle Glade.

About Passages: Passages’ original incarnation, Passages Malibu, was founded in 2001 by father and son team Chris & Pax Prentiss. Pax successfully overcame a 10-year addiction to alcohol, cocaine, and heroin using a program consisting of holistic, one-on-one therapy. This highly effective therapy is now the backbone of the Passages treatment program and its founding philosophy.

Passages Malibu has earned the coveted JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations)accreditation, only given to the top 6% of the nation’s behavioral health treatment programs

About the BDB: The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is the official public/private economic development organization for Palm Beach County and Enterprise Florida.  Founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit corporation, its primary purpose is to attract and retain new industry, business investment, high quality jobs and workforce development through corporate relocations, expansions and international trade. During the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 12,650 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $62,900, resulting in more than $615 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County.

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