Wednesday, January 20, 2016

[PINNED POST] The only reason you need to NOT VOTE for Frank McAlonan: a vote for him is another nail in the coffin for the historic Gulf Stream hotel in Lake Worth

[STILL unchallenged. The blog post below was first published on Sunday, 1/17. Last night (1/19) at the Lake Worth City Commission meeting would have been the perfect time to discuss 'better' ways to save the Gulf Stream hotel, or at least raise the question, but Frank McAlonan was absent on this major issue. In fact, I don't think the hotel was mentioned once at the commission meeting last night. It's very late in the game, the fourth quarter with the seconds clicking away, and Frank McAlonan has 'better' ideas to save our historic hotel? Fine. Let's put aside all the missed opportunities to present these ideas in the past. Can the public have at least a few more details please on 'better' ways to proceed forward? Continue reading the blog post originally published on 1/17:]

Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso's position on the rezoning of the Gulf Stream hotel is unambiguous: He supports the efforts necessary to move the project forward despite the anger and ire from a very small group that disagree. Here is how the Lake Worth City Commission voted:
Remember: The "overwhelming" support to limit the building height surrounding the Gulf Stream hotel property IS A MYTH.
Frank McAlonan's position is more 'nuanced'. He claims to support saving the hotel but doesn't support taking the steps to save the historic structure. So he's for saving the hotel and against it at the same time. The citizens of Lake Worth deserve better politics than this. If you vote for McAlonan you are giving the Gulf Stream hotel a date with the wrecking ball like all those other structures that have been lost over the years and here's why: he's claiming that because a two-story structure (a beach house/tiki bar/'hotel') in Delray Beach is successful so therefore the Gulf Stream hotel, in its current state, can be successful too. Nonsense.

McAlonan was interviewed by a hack claiming to be a journalist. In the rambling PR piece he said that Crane's Beach House Boutique and Luxury Villas in Delray was an example of how the Gulf Stream hotel could be successful. I'm sure Crane's Beach House is a wonderful place and no doubt they are a success in Delray Beach. But comparing a two-story beach house of about 15,000 square feet built circa 1950 to the historic Gulf Stream hotel in Lake Worth is absolute hogwash.

More times than I can remember I've laid out the reasoning and the logic for supporting the Gulf Stream hotel project being rezoned (not "upzoned"!) to 65' in a very small area in downtown Lake Worth:
The white arrow is pointing at a tiny white dot. That white dot is the historic/iconic Gulf Stream hotel property in downtown Lake Worth.
I've also explained the historical context and why the hotel, in it's current configuration, cannot survive in modern-day America. It has to be modernized to be competitive or has to be torn down. It's as simple as that. The Coastal Observer also ran articles on the history of the hotel and the headwinds it faces to compete for tourists and business travelers. Even The Palm Beach Post editorial board, no friend of development, saw the need for the Gulf Stream project to move forward.

But Frank McAlonan disagrees. Does he support demolishing the Gulf Stream hotel and building a two-story beach house/tiki bar in its place? There is a debate coming up on January 25th. If you support saving our City's Gulf Stream hotel then I strongly suggest you show up at the debate.

All this angst over the renovation of the Gulf Steam hotel IS OVER 20 FEET OF BUILDING HEIGHT. That's all. Just 20 feet. Twenty feet is about 6 adult steps by a human being. Twenty feet is about the width of the goal post in football. And just twenty feet is the difference between a big leap forward for our Gulf Stream hotel or a not-yet-set date but still certain fate of the wrecking ball.

If this issue is important to you, please cast your vote wisely. The future of the City depends on it.