CityPlace Macy’s will be site of mural as RH set to open gallery

The shuttered Macy’s at CityPlace in West Palm Beach will have a new look in December: A mural covering the exterior of the entire building.

The mural will closely follow the November opening of the new Restoration Hardware gallery just south of the shopping and dining center, in the Okeechobee Boulevard median.

The Macy’s art installation was described in a recent Wall Street Journal magazine article.  Visual artist Michael Craig Martin will transform the former department store space, which closed earlier this year, into his largest mural to date, according to Ken Himmel,  president of Related Urban, the mixed-use unit of New York-based Related Cos., which built CityPlace.

In addition, sound designer Stephen Vitiello will create a sound installation “that will live in and around the detritus left behind” by brands that once called the space home, according to the article.

If it sounds a bit like the “Derelicte” fashion campaign imagined by the character Mugatu in the movie Zoolander, Himmel said there’s a method to this experiment.

“It’s all about driving different kinds of traffic to a project,”  Himmel told the Journal. “Mixed-use retail developments centered on cultural offerings are outperforming every other type of retail offering by a longshot.”

In other words, art and culture are cool, and they help stores sell things.

Meanwhile, an invitation-only opening is set to Restoration Hardware’s new West Palm Beach store on Saturday, Nov. 18. The opening will feature socialites such as Georgina Bloomberg, Lourdes Fanjul and Ariana Rockefeller. Golf great Greg Norman and wife, Kirsten, also are slated to attend.

A bellini bar, cavier bar, mojito bar, gourmet bites by RH’s café, plus a DJ, are part of the festivities.

At a time when retailers (see Macy’s) are shuttering their brick-and-mortar stores, Restoration Gallery is going in the opposite direction, opening grand galleries dubbed RH in selected locations.

The RH invitation describes the four-story, 80,000-square-foot furniture store as a gallery that “blurs the line between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors, home and hospitality.”

The gallery features a skylit rooftop restaurant with French antique black-and-white marble floors. In addition to interior furniture collections, including those for babies and teens, the gallery also has a rooftop “park” showcasing the store’s collection of outdoor furniture.

 

 

This clothing retailer is closing 3 Palm Beach County stores

Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree is closing 3 of its Palm Beach County locations as part of a restructuring effort, according to the company’s website.

Gymboree stores at CityPlace, Delray Marketplace, and the Boynton Beach Mall are among 350 stores slated to be closed. The company operates 1,281 retail stores under the Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 brands.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 13: People walk by the children’s clothing retailer Gymboree, which has filed for bankruptcy protection on June 13, 2017 in New York City. As retailers across the country continue to struggle, Gymboree said it plans to remain in business but will close 375 to 450Êof its 1,281 stores while filing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

RELATED: Gymboree to close 375 stores; files for bankruptcy

Liquidation sales at stores slated for closure are already underway, according to the company’s website.

“Right-sizing our store footprint is a central part of our efforts to ensure Gymboree emerges from this restructuring process as a stronger and more competitive organization, with greater financial flexibility to invest in our future,” Daniel Griesemer, President and CEO of Gymboree, said in a statement released in June. “Importantly, we will continue to operate a majority of our stores and will continue to deliver quality merchandise and superior service to our customers at our Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 brands. This was a difficult decision to make, but we are confident that it is in the best long-term interest of our Company, our customers and our broader employee base.

Gymboree also has stores at the Palm Beach Outlets, The Mall at Wellington Green and the Town Center at Boca Raton.

Gymboree joins a growing list of retailers and restaurants that have announced closures this year. Macy’sKmart, SearsJCPenney and Bebe have all announced store closures.

More than 40 Outback, Carrabba’s, Bonefish Grill and Flemings restaurants will be closing by the end of the year, the restaurants’ parent company Bloomin’ Brands Inc. announced in February.

West Palm Beach tourism company to offer 90-minute eclipse cruise

Looking for a place to watch Monday’s historic Solar Eclipse?

Visit Palm Beach,  which offers kayak and paddle board rentals and cruises aboard its 50-foot catamaran Hakuna Matata from the West Palm Beach waterfront, has just announced it will offer a 90-minute eclipse catamaran cruise for residents and tourists who want to view the event from the water. 

RELATED: Fake eclipse glasses ‘flooding’ market, astronomy group says

The 2 p.m. cruise departs from the waterfront docks along the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown West Palm Beach.

To reserve a spot call (561) 881-9757 or visit www.visitpalmbeach.com.

MORE: How Floridians can watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse

Monday’s eclipse is the first to travel coast-to-coast in the U.S. in 99 years.

ALSO:Upcoming total solar eclipse stirs fears of apocalypse

Florida is not in the path of totality, where the moon will completely overtake the sun and complete darkness will reign for more than two minutes.

About 80 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon in South Florida.

When E.F. Hutton called, restaurateur listened

Hutton Seafood & Raw Bar opening later this month in Northwood

There’s a new restaurant opening soon in West Palm Beach’s Northwood section.  The restaurant is called Hutton. The restaurant owner’s name is Tim.

But Timothy Hutton, the actor, is nowhere near this eatery.

Instead, owner Tim Klinefelter drew inspiration elsewhere.

Before delving into that story, however, it’s important to understand what Klinefelter was not going to name it: Klinefelter.

“I would never name a restaurant that,” he said, laughing.

Restaurant names should convey something about the place, be simple to remember and yet somehow, memorable.

Spouses or family members are easy names to turn to for a restaurant moniker. But many restaurateurs privately admit they default to naming their restaurants after their pets (Henry’s restaurant, named after a King Charles spaniel in suburban Delray Beach), or just inventing a word (Bolay, with locations in Wellington, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens.)

Klinefelter wanted to go in a different direction.

He thought of his time spent on Palm Beach during the past two years. It’s a place he visited and then grew to love after giving notice to his employer/partner in Charleston, S.C. After 10 years, Klinefelter left his job at Pearlz Oyster Bar, where he was general manager and operating partner.

Klinfelter said he needed a break. He described Pearlz as “insanely busy,” where every seat is filled within 15 minutes of opening.

In Florida, Klinefelter said he was inspired by the elegance of Palm Beach. And he wanted to acknowledge its rising profile, thanks to President Donald Trump. Trump owns Mar-a-Lago, the ocean-to-lake estate built by Marjorie Merriweather Post and her husband, financier E.F. Hutton, who co-founded a brokerage bearing his name.

So…Hutton.

“The name is synonymous and historic with Palm Beach,” Klinefelter said. Plus, he added, “It’s crisp.”

Look for fresh seafood items with an occasional hint of Klinefelter’s longtime career spent around Low Country cuisine: Sautéed shrimp with creole gravy and hoe cakes, or crayfish beignets, for example.

Shrimp and hoe cakes

Klinefelter said he’s taken care to design the space to be both elegant and inviting. He’s angling to attract not only Northwood neighbors but also Palm Beachers who might be inclined to drive over the new Flagler MemorialBridge, avoid downtown’s traffic and instead zip up Flagler Drive to dine.

Hutton Seafood & Raw Bar, at 407 Northwood Road, is slated to open Aug. 22.

Hutton artwork by Robert Shelton

These stores are set to open this fall at Palm Beach Outlets

Two national retailers will open their doors at the Palm Beach Outlets this fall.

Officials with the outdoor shopping hub announced Thursday that Bath & Body Works and Homegoods, a discount home decor chain, will be opening locations in the coming months.

RELATED: These new stores are coming to The Gardens Mall

The 2,500-square-foot Bath & Body Works store is expected to open in late September and will include a White Barn home fragrance and accessories shop.

The Homegoods store will be located in the space once occupied by Sports Authority.

Sports Authority, which had 35,000-square-feet at the outlets, closed its doors last year after filing for bankruptcy.

The outlet mall has over 100 stores.

See which new store just opened at CityPlace

CityPlace

Natuzzi Italia has opened a 9,000-square-foot store at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, a move that signals the shopping, dining and entertainment center continues to boost its home furnishings offerings.

The Italian furniture brand is located on Rosemary Avenue, just south of the Cheesecake Factory restaurant.

Natuzzi’s products, made in Italy, feature sofas, armchairs, furniture and home furnishing accessories. The company is known for its sleek, contemporary styles.

Natuzzi has six other stores throughout Florida but only one other in Palm Beach County, in Boca Raton. Worldwide, Natuzzi has 1,200 stores.

In a statement, Natuzzi’s global retail chief, Nazzario Pozzi, said the company is moving quickly to expand its presence in the United States.

Plans for Natuzzi’s new store first were revealed to the Palm Beach Post in September 2015 by Ken Himmel, president of Related Urban, the mixed-use unit of New York-based Related Cos. and the developer of CityPlace.

At the time, Himmel predicted the store would open in the spring of 2016. It’s not clear why the store is opening more than a year later.

But back in 2015, Himmel said Natuzzi was lured to the site by the presence of a massive  “mansion” being built in the median of Okeechobee Boulevard for Restoration Hardware, a furniture and home furnishings store.

The 60,000-square-foot store is slated to open soon and will kick off Himmel’s plans to transform CityPlace into a home furnishings destination.

CityPlace has changed up its retail roster during its 17 years of operation.

It was designed as a large retail destination, with a number of high-end stores. Then it focused on home furnishings during the real estate boom. It then switched heavily to entertainment and dining when the recession hit.

Lately, women’s retailers have cycled out due to the advent of on-line sales, so Himmel has said home furnishings stores will play an important role at the center.

Last September, The Shade Store, a  Port Chester, N.Y.-based company selling premium custom window treatments, opened at CityPlace.

 

CityPlace sues to evict Revolutions bowling, again

Revolutions at CityPlace

CityPlace has sued Revolutions Bowling Bar & Grille twice this month, and the latest lawsuit looks like the West Palm Beach retail center is serious about evicting the bowling alley — and collecting on guaranties backing a lease.

On June 23, CityPlace filed a Palm Beach County Circuit Court lawsuit, alleging Revolutions owes $429,801 in past due rent.

The lawsuit seeks to enforce a guaranty of $3 million by Revolutions chief executive Bruce Frank. The complaint also seeks to enforce a guaranty by Revolutions’ parent company, Jupiter-based Frank Entertainment Companies.

Frank Entertainment owns Cinebowl & Grille at the Delray Markplace. It also owns the Cinebowl slated to go into the Abacoa entertainment center in Jupiter, a deal just approved by the Jupiter town council.

It’s unclear what effect the guaranty enforcement on Frank Entertainment will have on its plan to go into Abacoa. But the guaranty does state that CityPlace Retail can pursue any of Frank Entertainment’s assets, court records show.

This lawsuit follows an eviction action filed June 2 by CityPlace in county court, seeking to toss Revolutions from the center for failing to pay the rent due by May 15.

This marks the fourth eviction lawsuit CityPlace has filed since Revolutions opened at the center in 2013.

The latest legal actions indicate CityPlace has lost its patience with Revolutions, which operates a high-end bowling alley at the north end of the mixed-use center on Okeechobee Boulevard east of Interstate 95.

Late last year, Revolutions quietly fended off two eviction lawsuits filed against it by CityPlace, according to court records.

Last 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 $10,441 in back payments for chilled water for the HVAC system.

This lawsuit was settled, too.

In May, Bruce Frank, Revolutions chief executive, said the 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, he said.

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

Live music, plus the new food and drink additions, should boost Revolutions fortunes, Frank said at the time.

Earlier this year, Frank said Revolutions had invested $7 million in CityPlace.  Frank could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

To read Revolutions’ response to the lawsuit, and its counterclaim against CityPlace, go to mypalmbeachpost.com

Brightline holds safety workshop for police, fire officials

Officials with All Aboard Florida’s Brightline held a train safety workshop on Saturday for police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers from Broward and Palm Beach counties.

More than 35 first responders attended the workshop, which was held at Brightline’s rail repair yard in West Palm Beach, the company said.

Brightline hosted more than 35 first responders from Broward and Palm Beach counties and cities at Workshop b on Saturday, June 24. (Photo provided by Brightline)

RELATED: Rep. Brian Mast questions former Brightline head about financing, safety

During the four-hour workshop, Brightline’s emergency management team provided training, an equipment and facility tour, and an overview of its safety and security plans, the company said.

MORE: Brightline, FPL to partner on biodiesel fuel for trains

“Safety is Brightline’s top priority, and it’s critical that we partner with all first responders along the rail corridor before we launch our service,” said Brightline Safety and Security Director Robert Gatchell, a railroad law enforcement veteran, serving 15 years for New Jersey Transit. “This specialized training and preparedness workshop offers our local responders insights on how rail works and how to deal with rail incidents. Collaboration is key to the safety and security of our guests, employees and the many communities in which we will operate. Our unified goal is for the highest level of safety preparedness.”

Brightline is expected to begin service later this summer. A grand opening is expected to be held in the fall.

Once operational, Brightline’s trains will shuttle passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour. Ticket prices have not been announced.

Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years from the time work starts.

Brightline in April launched a safety campaign designed to warn students and those living near the Florida East Coast Railway corridor about the dangers of walking along train tracks.

The company has asked cities along the route to help promote the campaign, part of a national program called Operation Lifesaver, which is designed to reduce collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and prevent trespassing on or near railroad tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

Brightline, FPL to partner on biodiesel fuel for trains

Brightline and Florida Power & Light on Friday announced they have inked a two-year deal that will supply the high-speed rail project’s fleet of trains with U.S. sourced biodiesel fuel.

Under the contract, FPL will supply 2 million gallons of the fuel per year for Brightline’s fleet.

The new Brightline train station in downtown West Palm Beach on May 23, 2017. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

FIRST LOOK: Inside WPB’s new Brightline train station

The companies will kick off the collaboration on Wednesday with the “first ever fueling of the trains” at Brightline’s railroad operations center in West Palm Beach.

RELATED: Why is Brightline testing its train in this state park? 

Biodiesel fuel is a cleaner-burning alternative produced from renewable sources like corn, soybeans and used cooking oil.

Brightline is expected to begin service later this summer. A grand opening is expected to be held in the fall.

Once operational, Brightline’s trains will shuttle passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour. Ticket prices have not been announced.

Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years from the time work starts.

Job fair to be held next week at West Palm Beach Marriott

Job seekers will get a chance to meet with over 25 employers at a career fair planned Tuesday (June 27) at the Marriott in West Palm Beach.

By Stuart Pilbrow

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Marriott at 1001 Okeechobee Boulevard, located just east of Interstate 95. According to organizer jobnewsusa.com, more than 1,000 positions will be available.

Job seekers can view the event directory and pre-register online at www.jobnewsusa.com/southflorida.