Three CityPlace tenants fend off evictions

Revolutions Bowling Bar & Grille at CityPlace recently brought aboard a new food operator, which is a good thing for the bowling alley’s financial future: Late last year, Revolutions quietly fended off not one but two eviction lawsuits filed against it by CityPlace, according to court records.

Revolutions isn’t alone. Two restaurants, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Miami Grill, also were sued for eviction by CityPlace, in West Palm Beach.

In November, CityPlace Retail sued Revolutions, alleging it was behind on the rent by $141,255 as of October 12, 2016. The Palm Beach County Court lawsuit was settled within days.

But the very next month, CityPlace sued Revolutions again, this time for $78,632.

That figure represents one month’s base rent of $56,250, plus taxes, plus an extraordinary $10,441 in back payments for chilled water for the HVAC system. Monthly chilled water costs are $8,739, according to documents in the case.

This lawsuit was settled, too.

Bruce Frank, Revolutions chief executive, said bowling lane business has been strong. But it’s the food that has struggled to make its mark in a center crowded with competing restaurants.

Late last year, Frank teamed up with Burger & Beer Joint of Boca Raton to offer burgers and other fare to bowlers and visitors. B&B also opened up an outdoor Flair Street bar at Revolutions, featuring bartenders tossing drinks in the air along the lines of that fine Tom Cruise film, “Cocktail.”

(The B&B venture has not been without controversy: A Burger & Beer Joint franchisee recently filed a demand for arbitration against the parent company, alleging its franchise was terminated as part of a scheme by B&B to team up with the bowling alley.)

Live music, plus the new food and drink additions, should boost Revolutions fortunes, said Frank, who leads Frank Entertainment Group, based in Jupiter.

“We continue to invest in the project and believe in it,” Frank said. “We are working with the landlord to create the best environment that is financially fair to both sides. We invested $7 million in the project. We have to get something.”

Also sued for eviction in 2016 were a Moe’s Southwest Grill franchise location (allegedly late on the rent to the tune of $38,331) and a Miami Grill franchise (late for $103,294 in rent, the suit claimed.) Both matters were settled.

Dan Finlayson, the Palm Beach Gardens-based franchisee for Miami Grill and the former franchisee of Moe’s, attributed the lawsuits to “personal matters.” Finlayson said he’s settled his debts with CityPlace. In December, he sold Moe’s to another operator.

Since CityPlace’s inception in 2000, the housing, shopping and dining center has been a revolving door of stores and eateries. The 9/11 attacks, the recession, the lack of a convention center hotel, competition from restaurants on Clematis Street and now shifting retail habits by shoppers who prefer e-shopping to the real thing all have battered CityPlace.

Then in January, the center suffered another blow when Macy’s announced it was closing the CityPlace store, which was shuttered in March.

The Macy’s shutdown hurt the center and its tenants, Frank said: “When you close the only department store in the development, people think this whole place is going out of business.”

Sources say most of the tenants at CityPlace are on percentage rent, which means they pay rent based upon a percentage of gross sales. CityPlace’s owners, which include developer The Related Cos., are trying to work out a troubled $150 million construction loan on the project. The loan slipped into default last July and now is in special servicing.

Finlayson has some insight into how CityPlace and its tenants are faring.

“I know CityPlace is having some issues attracting customers, but I think it’s more with the larger restaurants in CityPlace. Moe’s and Miami Grill are two of the smaller stores in the plaza and things are good,” he said.

A Related Cos. official declined to comment on the litigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subculture Coffee finds new home in Delray Beach

Subculture Coffee

 

Subculture Coffee Roasters soon will be serving java once again to loyal downtown Delray Beach customers.

The popular coffee shop has leased space at 20 W. Atlantic Avenue, the southwest corner of Swinton and Atlantic avenues. The location formerly was home to Nature’s Way Café.

New home of Subculture Coffee in Delray Beach

The move comes after West Palm Beach-based coffee company closed its downtown Delray Beach space at 123 E. Atlantic Ave., after it lost an eviction lawsuit in March.

Subculture’s move to the south side of Atlantic Avenue is part of a long-term deal between the coffee company and Hudson Holdings, owner of property on the south side of Atlantic Avenue along Swinton Avenue.

The coffee shop will be in a temporary funky, green building along Atlantic Avenue until Hudson Holdings wins the city’s OK to do a restoration of six historic houses there.

If all goes to plan, Subculture then will move into one of those houses and take the entire space, as Subculture co-owner Rodney Mayo now has with his iconic Dada restaurant on North Swinton Avenue.

Mayo said Hudson Holdings’ Steven Michael called Mayo and pitched him the idea when he heard Subculture needed new space.

“It’s been my dream to have a coffee shop in an old historic house. This clinched the deal,” Mayo said.

The coffee company posted news of its temporary new Delray Beach location on its Facebook page Tuesday: “Say hello to our new home at the corner of Swinton & Atlantic. Construction is underway!”

Indeed, workers on Wednesday were sanding concrete floors and quickly readying the space for Subculture, which expects to be open by the end of May.

Mayo said the new location will be more akin to the main, West Palm Beach store, at 509 Clematis St. Subculture’s new spot will serve a range of food, including breakfast and lunch until 3 p.m. There also will be a separate annex for juices.

But coffee will not be roasted at 20 W. Atlantic Ave., as it was in the old Delray spot and as it is now in West Palm Beach.

On the plus side, the new location will have substantially more seating. That’s because at 2,200 square feet, it will be three times as large.

“Everyone is ecstatic because it will have more parking and more seats,” said Mayo, who noted that some patrons found it frustrating to have to “pay $10 to park for a $5 cup of coffee.”

Mayo also plans to host events there, including poetry readings and live music.

The location is temporary because Hudson Holdings plans to tear down 20 W. Atlantic Ave. and rebuilt into a 22,000-square foot, four-story building. The building will featuring retail on the ground floor, office space on the second floor, and then residential space on the third and fourth floors.

A breezeway to an interior courtyard and walkway leading to the six restored historic homes, including Subculture’s house, is part of the design.

Mayo said the house will have five parking spots just for to-go orders, plenty of nearby parking and also, outdoor seating.

All of this hinges on Hudson Holdings’ plan to restore and reuse the historic homes, plus plans to build a new hotel and condo-hotel units across from the Sundy House on South Swinton Avenue.

For more on this story, check back with mypalmbeachpost.com.

Need a job? 5 things to know about Career Expo this month

CareerSource and Boynton Beach city officials are co-hosting a “Career Hiring Event” March 23. Here are the key details:

  1. CareerSource says some 30 national and local employers are seeking to fill hundreds of jobs.
  2. The event is free.
  3. Job seekers are asked to dress professionally and to bring updated copies of resumes.
  4. It’s recommended you register ahead of time as a job seeker at EmployFlorida.com.
  5. Access more information about the job fair. at:  www.careersourcepbc.com.
The expo is March 23 at the Carolyn Sims Center, 225 NW 12th Avenue, Boynton Beach

Here is the official press release on the event.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Who:

Nearly 30 local and national employers are participating in a Career Expo Hiring Event hosted by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the City of Boynton Beach. Employers at the event include Allied Universal, City of Boynton Beach, Florida Atlantic University, Hartland ManorCare, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Publix, Starbucks, Walgreens, Wells Fargo and more.

What:

Employers will be interviewing candidates and hiring onsite to fill immediate job openings in Palm Beach County. There is no charge to attend. Dress in professional business attire and bring printed copies of your resume. For faster entry, participants are encouraged to register in advance as a job seeker at EmployFlorida.com

When/Where:

March 239:00 a.m. to noon (8:30 a.m. entrance for veterans only)

Carolyn Sims Center, 225 NW 12th Avenue, Boynton Beach

 

Another convention center hotel looks likely

Hilton West Palm Beach
Hilton West Palm Beach

A top Related Cos. executive confirmed last week that the New York-based company is increasingly likely to build another hotel next to its new Hilton West Palm Beach at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Ken Himmel said Related has been happily surprised by the success of the Hilton, which celebrated its first anniversary last month. The Hilton is at 600 Okeechobee Blvd.

The hotel logged room rates of $270 per night in January, higher than an expected rate of $230. “We made six months worth of profits in January. It’s unbelievable,”  said Himmel, president of Related Urban, the mixed-use unit of Related Cos., which developed CityPlace and the Hilton hotel.

Hotel occupancy was 88 percent in January, Himmel added. The hotel “beat every one of our budgets, both occupancy and rates the first year,” Himmel said.

In addition, the convention center is enjoying an unprecedented surge in business thanks to finally having a hotel next door for conventiongoers.

“The convention center has tripled its bookings going forward,” Himmel said.

Those numbers are leading Himmel and other top Related executives to consider adding another 200 rooms on an adjacent parking lot.

It’s a big commitment, but Related is feeling upbeat about the city.

“We have every reason to believe that keeping our investment profile high (in West Palm Beach) is going to make a lot of sense,” Himmel said.

That hotel, which could be a boutique Hilton brand such as the Curio Collection, would share the Hilton’s amenities, including the pool and facilities.

A final decision is expected to be made by year’s end, with a new hotel possible built by the end of 2019, he said.

Himmel said the Hilton has experienced an unexpected boost to its business: Bookings by the media in town to cover President Donald Trump when he visits his part-time Palm Beach home, Mar-a-Lago.

But having Trump in town hasn’t just been good for Hilton and Related. Himmel said reporters are spending money around Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, too.

Pop-up gallery takes over Clematis Street space

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Art has made its way out of an art show and onto Clematis Street in West Palm Beach.

Mr. Brainwash made such a big splash at the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair this past weekend in the city owned “tent site” that a Cleveland-based gallery has opened a pop-up art gallery downtown featuring his work and other artists.

Contessa Gallery now is leasing 539 Clematis Street  as a winter satellite location, according to gallery co-owner Steve Hartman.

The pop-up gallery, which began stocking the space immediately after the weekend show, was an impulsive move by Hartman and West Palm Beach property owner Jonathan Gladstone.

But sometimes art, like love, is hard to explain.

So it was that Gladstone and one of his children were captivated by the modern pieces shown by Contessa, which has a collection featuring pieces by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

Gladstone was especially struck by works done by Mr. Brainwash, the high-profile street artist and former French filmmaker, Thierry Guetta, also known as MBW.

And Hartman, who counts a longtime following of Palm Beach and Miami clients, had been thinking of setting up shop in a more permanent way locally.

Neither man overthought it, fortunately, and 36 hours after they met, Hartman was putting pieces up on the wall of Gladstone’s building.

The property previously housed Footwear & More and prior to that, Habatat Galleries.

Gladstone is psyched about his current tenant: “It’s maybe one of the greatest opportunities for Clematis Street to present a really serious artist and one that has worldwide recognition.”

Contessa’s Hartman is excited, too. It’s the first pop-up gallery he’s done but he’s thinking of doing it other cities.

“We’re very passionate about what we do and we talk to everybody,” he said. “We’re very approachable.”

And fun. The whimsical pop artwork stocked by Contessa is recognizable and easy to appreciate.

And the folks at Contessa like to spend time talking to buyers, who often become close friends, Hartman said.

Hartman said Mr. Brainwash is particularly sought after: “He’s the hottest artist in the world. And he’s collected all over the world.”

On Wednesday afternoon, about 50 works were already hung on the walls and more were on the way.

Girl power: How three women helped create CityPlace

Lynda J. Harris
Lynda J. Harris

There are city fathers, and then there are city mothers.

Lynda J. Harris was a city mother.

She was the attorney for the Related Cos., which built CityPlace and helped kick off the renaissance of West Palm Beach’s downtown.

Harris died Dec. 14, following an illness and complications from a botched 2013 spinal surgery.

Ken Himmel is president of Related Urban, the mixed-use unit of New York-based Related Cos.

Here are Himmel thoughts on Harris, in his own words:

I have been leading the development of CityPlace, with my partner Steve Ross (owner of the Miami Dolphins), since its inception and opening in October of 2000.

We began our work together in West Palm Beach in 1998 when we competed with top national developers and got selected to take on this game changing mixed-use development, aspiring to create a new “downtown ” for West Palm and Palm Beach County.

Our decision to enter the competition and enthusiastically compete changed to a ” go for it” mode the day three dynamic professional woman came to our New York headquarters office to pitch us to take a hard look at this small community city and lead a transformational development.

Those three professionals, Pat Pepper (former mayor of West Palm); Nancy Graham (then mayor of West Palm) and Lynda Harris, the leading land use attorney in West Palm Beach, all came to New York that day with a mission: To convince us to give this competition our best effort.

And that we did then, to win the competition. And we’ve been working that vision even to this day.

Behind all that visioning and leasing and marketing and construction was a combination of political leadership and drive from Nancy Graham — and the legal leadership and community understanding that comes with years of successful experience, the full complement of skills and savvy that came with every assignment and challenge that Lyn took on with such commitment and enthusiasm.

Lynda Harris was in a league of her own when it came to legal and community counsel.

The original master plan for the complete 72-acre downtown CityPlace that Lynda Harris and Nancy Graham began with Steve Ross and me 18 years ago continues today under the able guidance and support of our current mayor, Jerry Muoio, as she enthusiastically envisions the next generation of quality growth for West Palm Beach and its downtown.

There is no question in my mind that if Lyn Harris had successfully survived her surgery from three years ago, she would be directly in the middle of all this new exciting development that Mayor Muoio is now leading.

And Lyn would be, as always, the go-to legal and community resource to get things done and built.

Lyn Harris was far more than my lawyer in West Palm. She was a close family friend and provided genuine counsel and friendship to my wife and children, who looked on in awe of what she had sacrificed in her life to achieve her great professional goals.

We will all miss her, but what a wonderful legacy to leave behind, knowing she made the difference in creating a vibrant new community in this special place called West Palm Beach.

Go in peace, Lyn. Your contributions here are a permanent part of this city, never to be forgotten!

 

 

 

These are the best and worst airlines for mishandled baggage

Having your baggage lost, damaged or stolen is a quick way to spoil an otherwise fun holiday trip. According to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are a few airlines you might want to avoid if you don’t want this to happen to you.

The most recent Air Travel Consumer Report from the DOT shows that in September, Frontier Airlines had the greatest number of reports of mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, at 5.62, while Southwest Airlines had the overall most reports of mishandled bags, with 30,049.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

» RELATED: Florida sees record tourism pace

For the first nine months of this year, the DOT said that Expressjet Airlines takes the lead for the greatest number of reports per 1,000 passengers of mishandled bags, with 4.41, and Southwest again ranked at the top, with 342,155 total mishandled baggage reports.

In compiling its data, the DOT looks at reports of lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered baggage for major airlines.

» RELATED: Flying for the holidays? These airlines are the worst for cancellations

So which airline is the best when it comes to mishandled bags? For both September and the first nine months of 2016, Virgin America leads the pack.

Here’s the full list from the DOT for January through September:

1. Virgin America: 5,838 mishandled baggage reports; 1.01 reports per 1,000 passengers
2. JetBlue Airways: 40,217 mishandled baggage reports; 1.66 reports per 1,000 passengers
3. Alaska Airlines: 30,228 mishandled baggage reports; 1.71 reports per 1,000 passengers
4. Delta Air Lines: 171,120 mishandled baggage reports; 1.86 reports per 1,000 passengers
5. Spirit Airlines: 33,320 mishandled baggage reports; 2.26 reports per 1,000 passengers
6. United Airlines: 146,781 mishandled baggage reports; 2.58 reports per 1,000 passengers
7. Hawaiian Airlines: 20,509 mishandled baggage reports; 2.65 reports per 1,000 passengers
8. Southwest Airlines: 342,155 mishandled baggage reports; 3.04 reports per 1,000 passengers
9. Skywest Airlines: 74,066 mishandled baggage reports; 3.28 reports per 1,000 passengers
10. Frontier Airlines: 36,541 mishandled baggage reports; 3.42 reports per 1,000 passengers
11. American Airlines: 327,157 mishandled baggage reports; 3.54 reports per 1,000 passengers
12. Expressjet Airlines: 71,284 mishandled baggage reports; 4.41 reports per 1,000 passengers

 

 

 

Farmer’s Table restaurant offering new Express food service

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Farmer’s Table, a popular Boca Raton restaurant serving fresh, seasonal food, is opening a unique take-out business it hopes could be a model for future expansion.

Farmer’s Table Express will include sandwiches, salads and snacks. It also will feature popular Farmer’s Tables dishes that are sealed at the restaurant so they can be prepared later at home.

The restaurant has dubbed Farmer’s Table Express the “slow food fast” take-away concept. It is next door to the restaurant and adjacent to the Wyndam Hotel at 1950 Glades Road.

“We wanted to create new opportunities in a different way to get healthy food into consumers’ hands” — and do it in a fast, convenient way,” said Abigail Nagorski, Farmer’s Table Express general manager.

Mitchell Robbins, the restaurant’s co-owner, said customers dining in the restaurant will be able to order Express meals from their table and have their take-out orders brought to their table before they leave.

Customers also can order online at farmerstableexpress.com or by phone and pick up their food. Hours for Farmers Table Express are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Plans are to offer the service starting in late November or early December.

The idea has been in the works since the summer, Nagorski said, and the restaurant has an executive chef dedicating to Farmer’s Table Express. New menu items have been created, including the snacks, such as almond butter oat date bites and chia pudding parfait.

Owners decided to vacuum seal certain menu items, so they will taste as fresh as if diners ate them in the restaurant. The items can be heated at home in boiling water from one to five minutes. Nagorski said sealed items can last about two weeks in the refrigerator.

If the concept works, plans are to expand Farmer’s Table Express, possibly to standalone locations. Over time, there could even be home delivery.

Nagorski believes it’s the only concept in the area to combine sealed food techniques with meals that are already fully prepared.

Farmer’s Table is known for its healthy food, which is sourced from local farms when possible. Dishes are not prepared with butter or cream, and the restaurant does not have a deep-fat fryer or microwave.

In addition, the restaurant says it does not use food that has chemicals, pesticides, hormones or antibiotics. The menu features something for everyone, including gluten-free items, vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as meat dishes.

Farmer’s Table is owned by Robbins and chef Joey Giannuzzi.

 

FAA: PBIA navigation points once named for Trump now equestrian-themed

A set of navigation points near Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach that once honored part-time Palm Beacher and President-elect Donald Trump now have more of an equestrian bent.

The Federal Aviation Administration — which announced it would change the names of the navigation points early in Trump’s presidential campaign — said the new so-called “fixes” are now in line with Palm Beach County’s role as a top equestrian destination. In July 2015, when the agency said the points would be renamed, new names had not yet been chosen.

President-elect Donald Trump (from left) stands with his son, Barron, wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka after delivering his acceptance speech early Wednesday morning in New York City. (Getty Images)
President-elect Donald Trump (from left) stands with his son, Barron, wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka after delivering his acceptance speech early Wednesday morning in New York City. (Getty Images)

» RELATED: How are divided Trump-Clinton local families reacting to election?

“In general, the FAA chooses names that are non-controversial and relate to the area in which the fixes are located,” the FAA said in announcing its decision. The Trump names had been in place since 2010, part of a batch of fixes named for prominent Palm Beachers including Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and musician Jimmy Buffett.

It’s common for the FAA to give navigation points five-letter code names, each with a local twist. For example, Orlando International Airport has several nearby points named for Disney characters.

The Trump points were UFIRD, short for “you’re fired,” Trump’s catchphrase on his reality TV show, “The Apprentice”; DONLD and TRUMP; and IVNKA.

» RELATED: Trump in Palm Beach — A complicated relationship

» PHOTO GALLERY: Donald Trump’s Palm Beach home Mar-a-Lago

One point was not renamed with the western communities of Palm Beach County in mind: The FAA said UFIRD became CRRMN, in honor of an FAA employee named Carman.

Here are the other points formerly named for Trump, with their new names and meanings from the FAA:

• DONLD is now RIDRR, short for “rider,” because Palm Beach County is home to a large equestrian community.

• TRUMP is now RBACK, short for the “rollback” equestrian maneuver.

• IVNKA is now SLIDZ, after the sliding stop some horses are trained to do after a rundown maneuver.

» RELATED: Part-time Palm Beacher Trump’s campaign defied gravity

» RELATED: How a Donald Trump presidency could affect Palm Beach County

Lyft offering discount on rides for election day in Palm Beach County

Ride-sharing app Lyft is offering an election day discount to help people get to the polls.

Lyft users can get 45 percent off one ride with a maximum discount of $10 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. The offer is open to customers in 20 markets, including the Miami market, which spans from south of Homestead to Palm Beach County’s northern border.

Why 45 percent? Voters on Tuesday are poised to elect the country’s 45th president.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

To get the promotion, existing Lyft users should go to the “Deal of the Week” email sent from Lyft on Sunday night.

Lyft also has a deal for new users: Enter the code NOVEMBER8TH to get $5 off your first 10 rides.

Here are the other locations where Lyft users can get 45 percent off a ride on Nov. 8:

Atlanta, Ga.
Baltimore, Md.
Boston, Mass.
Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.
Chicago, Ill.
Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colo.
Detroit, Mich.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
Nashville, Tenn.
New Orleans, La.
New York City and New Jersey
Orange County and San Diego, Calif.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Phoenix, Ariz.
Portland, Oregon
Washington, D.C.

The cars with the pink mustaches aren’t the only ones helping voters get to the polls: Zipcar is offering free rides between 6 and 10 p.m. on election night, and Uber is offering new users $20 off their first ride using the code VOTETODAY.

Read more about the Zipcar offer.