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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two more Brightline trains headed to West Palm Beach

Two more Brightline trains will leave a California manufacturing facility today and are expected to arrive in West Palm Beach next week, the company said Tuesday.

Brightline’s BrightGreen and BrightOrange trains, named for the coloring on their passenger cars, are being pulled across the country by a locomotive.  Today’s departure marks the first time the company has shipped two trains at one time.

Brightline’s first train rolling through West Palm Beach on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.

RELATED: Tri-Rail to start service between Palm Beach County and Brightline’s Miami station late this year

Brightline unveiled its first train, named BrightBlue, at a special event in January. The company has been periodically testing that train on the rail line running south from its West Palm Beach rail repair facility.

BrightGreen and BrightOrange (Photo provided)

A second train — BrightPink — arrived in West Palm Beach last month.

The trains are being stored at Brightline’s repair facility near 15th Street in West Palm Beach.

RELATED: Brightline begins hiring for passenger train service

The trains are being built at Siemens’ manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif.

Brightline’s 5th train, BrightRed, is expected to be shipped from California in mid-June.

Brightline plans to launch the first leg of its passenger service this summer.

The first leg will carry passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami. Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the company’s West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years to complete.

Brightline has said it will start “pre-season” service between West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale in late July. Service between West Palm Beach and Miami is expected to begin in August.

Ticket prices have not been released.

A grand opening of the rail project is planned for mid-September, the company said.

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 the West Palm Beach-based coffee company closed its downtown Delray Beach space at 123 E. Atlantic Ave., following the loss of a trial for eviction 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 on Swinton Avenue.

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.

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.

This restaurant chain is expanding in Palm Beach County

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, a Broward County-based chain known for its burritos, outdoor patios and fresh salsa bar, plans to open seven new locations in the next 2 years, including at least two in Palm Beach County.

LIME Fresh Mexican Grill (photo provided)

Lime Fresh currently has six restaurants in South Florida and two on-campus locations at the University of Miami and Texas A&M University. The chain’s only Palm Beach County location — on State Road 7 in west Boca — opened last year.

RELATED: Lime Fresh Mexican Grill expanding north into Palm Beach County 

Lime Fresh plans to open a new location at 3331 Northlake Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens next month, the chain said in a press release. Another Palm Beach County location is planned in West Palm Beach, it said.

Lime Fresh touts its fresh ingredients. The chain says it offers a healthier, fresh alternative to Mexican food, including its homemade salsa, sauces and sides, which are prepared on-site.

Food is also prepared without the use of use of microwaves or freezers, the company has said. The menu includes homemade guacamole, queso dip, nachos, tacos, burritos, salads and soups.

“Lime fanatics crave our unique offerings because we serve real, freshly-made-to-order food accompanied by an enthusiastic staff that really enhances the guest experience,” Joey Belmont, CEO of Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, said in a statement.

 

 

 

As countywide numbers fall, this local hotel sees surge in international travelers

Although the number of international tourists who traveled to Palm Beach County fell by 4.5 percent in 2016, one local hotel says its has seen a recent surge in the number of bookings from guests living outside of the country.

During the first three months of the year, the Best Western Palm Beach Lakes Inn located across the street from the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach welcomed guests from across the world — some living as far away as New Zealand, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Roughly 15 percent of the inn’s bookings between January and March were made by travelers living outside of the United States, according to the hotel.

RELATED: Palm Beach County breaks tourism record in 2016

Rick Netzel, the inn’s director of sales and marketing, said he started noticing an uptick in the number of international travelers staying at the hotel during the last quarter of 2016. He attributes the rise to the inn’s location across the street from the outlet mall, rising room rates in the county and Best Western’s name recognition across the world.

“The outlets, that was a game changer,” Netzel said.

RELATED: Trump in Palm Beach —  U.S.-Chinese summit a boon for Palm Beach hotels

Palm Beach Outlets opened in 2014, replacing the 45-year-old Palm Beach Mall, which had become a sign of blight along Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Interstate 95. During its first six months of operation, the outdoor shopping mall drew roughly 4 million visitors, mall officials have said.

Shopping ranks among the top activities for tourists who come to Palm Beach County. A 2012 tourism study found 30 percent of tourists said shopping was one of the reasons for their visit.

According to Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing arm, 739,000 international tourists visited the county last year, down from 774,000 in 2015.

Despite the drop, the county welcomed a record-breaking 7.35 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 5.8 percent over the previous year. The jump was driven largely by an increase in domestic travelers, Discover said.

Tax Day 2017: Here’s where you can find a deal

Tax Day falls on April 18 this year, giving taxpayers an extra three days to file their returns.

Some local businesses are hoping to provide even more relief by offering freebies and discounts to mark the unofficial holiday.

DEAL ALERT: These stores are closing in Palm Beach County

Typically the federal tax deadline is April 15 — but that’s a Saturday this year. When Tax Day falls on a weekend, the IRS moves pushes the deadline to the following Monday — April 17. However, Emancipation Day — a legal holiday in the District of Columbia — will be observed on April 17, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Here’s a list of local businesses that will be offering deals on April 18. This list will be updated throughout the week as new offers are announced:

McDonald’s: Buy one Big Mac or Quarter Pounder with cheese, get on for a penny.

Sonny’s: The BBQ chain will be offering half price Sweet & Smokey or House Dry-Rubbed Rib Dinners (includes two sidekicks and homemade bread.)

Leila Restaurant: Leila Restaurant, a Middle Eastern eatery in downtown West Palm Beach, is offering a free cocktail with any entrée purchase all day on Tax Day.

3800 Ocean: 3800 Ocean, the restaurant at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, will be offering a number of happy hour specials to mark the unofficial holiday. The Happy Hour menu is available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Jardin Restaurant: Jardin in downtown West Palm Beach will  offer a free drink with the purchase of an entrée.

Firehouse Subs: Firehouse Subs is offering a free medium sub with the purchase of a medium or large sub, chips and a drink (valid April 18 – April 20). To redeem, guests may print or show the offer on their smartphone.

Word of Beer: World of Beer taverns nationwide are offering patrons a free select draught this Tax Day. Guests in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia can anticipate five dollars off their check in lieu of a free brew.

 

Check back for updates.

 

 

 

A record number of events were held at the PBC Convention Center in 2016

Convention and meeting bookings at the Palm Beach County Convention Center surged to record-breaking levels in 2016, boosted largely by the opening of the neighboring Hilton West Palm Beach and an enhanced sales push.

April and May are also shaping up to be banner months for the convention center, which opened in 2003 but struggled without a connected hotel to house conference attendees.

Over the next two months the center will host six conventions and meetings, including the governor’s annual hurricane conference. In all, the convention center will host events on 45 days during the 2-month stretch, bringing thousands of domestic and international tourists to the county.

Discover the Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing organization, said hotel bookings as a result of meetings and conventions last year grew by 94 percent compared with 2015’s level.

“We’ve been fortunate to nearly double our business in the ever-competitive groups and meetings sector,” Discover’s President & CEO Jorge Pesquera said. “We’re proud of our team members who have worked strategically to secure new business in close collaboration with hotels and the excellent Palm Beach County Convention Center team. The Palm Beaches continue to earn a broader appeal and reputation as a second-tier meetings destination, and meeting planners will find a full range of local experiential services to ensure their meetings and events are memorable.”

Before the Hilton opened in Jan. 2016, the convention center was limited to competing for events that would generate a maximum of about 450 nightly hotel bookings, officials have said.

But when Hilton’s 400 rooms are combined with those at other nearby hotels, including the West Palm Beach Marriott, the Hyatt Place and the Residence Inn in downtown West Palm Beach, the convention center’s sales team can vie for much larger events.

Here’s a look at the events planned at the convention center over the next two months:

April 6-9, 2017 – Society of Pediatric Nurses

SPN 27th Annual Conference structured for individuals within pediatric nursing and those interested in pediatric healthcare who want to enhance their professional and personal growth while providing a forum and share updates in  pediatric research

April 11-13, 2017 – Environmental Systems Resource Institute Public Sector GIS Conference

State and local government professionals coming together to learn the latest GIS(Geographic Information System) technology. Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system build to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and display all kinds of spatial or geographical data

April 22-25, 2017- Florida Water Resource Conference

Individuals dedicated to preserving and enhancing Florida’s water environment through an educational conference and scientific research

May 2-4, 2017- National Business Aviation Association Maintenance Management Conference 2017

Educational sessions, speakers, lectures and new technology and products exhibition on aviation maintenance

May 8-13, 2017- American College of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners

Serve as a resource to support all nurse practitioners and physician assistants with an interest in dermatology and provide information on the standards in dermatology practice, education, research, and professional development

May 14-19, 2017- Governor’s Hurricane Conference

Nation’s largest and best-attended conference focusing on hurricane planning, preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation
an opportunity to learn from the successes of others and identify proven best practices, as well as learning what mistakes to avoid before it’s too late.

 

 

 

This clothing store is closing all of its Palm Beach County locations

Bebe, a women’s apparel chain, plans to close all of its stores, including its three Palm Beach County locations, according to a letter set to state officials last week.

The national chain has stores at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, the Mall at Wellington Green, and the Town Center at Boca Raton.

Boca Raton, February 11, 2016
Town Center Mall
(Jennifer Podis / The Palm Beach Post)

Bebe is closing brick and mortar stores as part of a plan to focus on its online sales, according to Bloomberg.

RELATED: These stores are closing in Palm Beach County

In its letter to the state, Bebe said it planned to close the Boca Raton location by May. Nine employees at the store will lose their jobs, the letter said.

Bebe is the latest in a string of national retailers who plan to shutter stores amid a surge in online shopping.

For a complete list of stores closing in Palm Beach County, click here.

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