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 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.

Dollar General plans gift card giveaway to mark opening of Riviera Beach store

To mark the opening of its new Riviera Beach location, Dollar General plans to give away gift cards and other items as part of a celebration set for Saturday.

The first 50 people in line when the doors open at 8 a.m. Saturday will receive a $10 Dollar General gift card, the company said. The first 200 people will get a free Dollar General tote bag with complimentary product samples.

The store is located at 3701 Broadway in Riviera Beach.

“Dollar General is committed to delivering a pleasant shopping experience that includes a convenient location, a wide assortment of merchandise and great prices on quality products,” said Dan Nieser, Dollar General’s senior vice president of real estate and store development.  “We hope our area customers will enjoy shopping at Dollar General’s new location.”

 

Hurricane Matthew: Dispute erupts over generator as shoppers stock up

A steady stream of shoppers made there way to stores across Palm Beach County on Tuesday to stock up on supplies as Hurricane Matthew churned north toward Florida’s East Coast.

Customers stock up at the Winn-Dixie in Palm Beach Gardens.
Customers stock up at the Winn-Dixie in Palm Beach Gardens.

Rebecca Sheppard said she purchased the last two generators at the Lowe’s home improvement store on Okeechobee Boulevard in suburban West Palm Beach.

Sheppard, who owns Hotel Evernia in downtown West Palm Beach, said she had just alerted a store employee that she planned to buy the two remaining generators on the sales floor, when another shopper came along and put one of the generators in his cart.

“My family comes first,” Sheppard said the man scoffed when she told him she had already claimed the generators.

Sheppard said store employees found another generator in the back of the store and she was ultimately able to purchase two — one of which she plans to use at the downtown hotel.

Sheppard was also stocking up on other supplies. She bought 9 cases of water for her and her hotel guests and 4 large gas cans.

“I am concerned some won’t be prepared,” Sheppard said of her guests. “I am just trying to play it safe.”

The Lowe’s was sold out of generators by noon, but manager Bill Lanning said he expected another shipment before the end of the day. Although checkout lines were short, Lanning said he noticed a surge of shoppers just after the store opened at 6 a.m. and customers continued to make their way into the store during the lunch hour.

Meanwhile, at the Winn-Dixie in Palm Beach Gardens, shoppers were stocking up on water, bread and canned goods. Shelves were stocked and check-out lines moved quickly.

Palm Beach Gardens resident Kay Uzzle, who was at the store to get water and fresh fruit, said the grocery chain was one of several stops she planned to make Tuesday to prepare for the storm. Uzzle, whose 185 pound Great Dane suffers from severe anxiety, said she also planned to fill prescriptions, including one for her pet, and stock up on items for her mother.

“What is going to happen is going to happen,” Uzzle said. “Make sure you take care of your family and your pets.”