Saturday, May 12, 2018

“THE ONE”: Luxury condominiums in our vibrant Downtown Lake Worth.


Last August was the groundbreaking for “THE ONE”. Learn more about this exciting project below.

 Eight months later. . .

Click on image to enlarge:
“Chic Coastal Living: Less than a Mile
from the Beach.”

Below are photos including a short video from the groundbreaking last August at 1 South Palmway, ergo the name, “The One”. For the Project Overview by SunDream Investment click on this link.

For more information contact Douglas Elliman Real Estate, “Est. 1911”. The builder/general contractor for this project is CCSI: Gil Courchene, Sr., CEO & Chairman.

Photos of the groundbreaking last August:
Lake Worth Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell (left to right) with commissioners Herman Robinson, Omari Hardy, and Andy Amoroso. Mr. Jeff Mercier (on right) is president of SunDream Investment.


Mr. Mercier with Realtor associate Lori Principe.
Call Realtor Associate Lori Principe at 561-880-7683 for more information or email: lori.principe@elliman.com

A short video of the groundbreaking last year.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Blue Front BBQ: It’s more than just excellent BBQ, it’s a step back in time.

The Blue Front a little while back received another in a long line of glowing food reviews. . .

But did you know this structure at 1132 N. Dixie Hwy. in the City of Lake Worth is one of the few survivors of what’s called “roadside architecture”? It’s true. Read more about that below.

Most recently it was Laura Lordi, the food reviewer at the Post, who gave the Blue Front another rave review (at the end of this blog post). However, another BBQ restaurant, Mississippi Sweets, also was reviewed but that restaurant does not have a “Lake Worth location” as was falsely reported.

So just briefly, if someone comes up and asks you “Do you know where Mississippi Sweets is?”, that particular BBQ restaurant is way out west near Wellington in suburban Lake Worth. The Blue Front BBQ is located in the actual City of Lake Worth (next to the Academy for Positive Learning and across the street from our newest marijuana dispensary) and is open today; call 561-833-6651 for more information or use this link.

Now back to the Blue Front’s historic “roadside architecture”.

I stumbled upon a postcard of a roadside motel and restaurant in Perry, Florida. That city, which is situated in Florida’s Nature Coast about 50 miles south of Tallahassee, has a number of U.S. Routes, including U.S. 27, that meet and run through the city.

Before the dawn of Interstate highways and turnpikes, these roads were how people traveled long distances by automobile. Dixie Hwy. (U.S. 1) played the same role in the middle part of the 20th century. This created demand for lodging and restaurants along these routes and the “Mom & Pop” motel and dining era began here in Lake Worth.

Some of these structures used particularly eye-catching Mid-Century Modern architecture which became its own genre commonly referred to as highway or roadside architecture. The resulting building design usually ended up being a “sign” itself, designed to attract the attention of travelers along these roads.

Below is an example of just such a roadside motel/restaurant called the “Skylark” in Perry, Florida during its heyday, and a picture of how the same buildings look today.

The structure itself was part of the advertising:
The ‘motel’ presently with its signature arched sign.

What remains. You can still see the original sign
with its unique outline, sans the neon.

We once had many examples in the City of Lake Worth along U.S. 1. “Kristine’s”, now home to Blue Front BBQ, is a notable survivor. Here is a postcard of that building during the mid-1950s.

When you drive down Dixie Hwy. can you see the resemblance to the former Kristine’s?
This structure is one of the few survivors of restaurants and “highway architecture” to lure in and interest customers passing through our
City prior to I-95.

Below is an early edition of the former “Patio” restaurant that once occupied the southeast corner of Cornell Drive and North Dixie Hwy. It was later expanded, lost much of its character, and ultimately was demolished. The property is still a vacant lot today, across Dixie from the former “Park Avenue BBQ”, which is now a parking lot for World Thrift next door — the good news is they are doing a nice job of streetscaping and landscaping — not an eyesore like it once was.

The vacant lot where the Patio restaurant once stood remains an eyesore, and has been for many years.

The empty lot, once the “Patio”, is used mostly now for truck parking and an easy short-cut sometimes.
The former “Patio Coffee Shop, Lake Worth, Florida”. All these years later still a vacant lot and eyesore on Dixie Hwy.

For the most part, time has not been kind to these structures. Most have been either modified beyond recognition or demolished. There are areas of the country that still retain and promote their architecture along these former once-thriving and bustling highways. Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway are examples.

Along this stretch of Dixie Hwy. in this City many see the potential, also referred to as the ‘P’ word. Slowly but surely it’s changing for the better and a lot of people are noticing — especially the Millennials — but it’s never fast enough for Yours Truly though.

Am I thrilled our City has a thrift store located along one of our major gateways? I wasn’t a few years ago. But I am now. Because World Thrift is drawing crowds of people into our City. Every day. And many of those visitors are interested in learning more about this area.

Millennials, Hipsters, and Apatharchists love shopping at World Thrift! Use this link to learn why.

The operators of World Thrift* are taking pride in their community and doing everything they can to make improvements to this former bowling alley from “back in the day”. A once-vacant lot just to the south of the thrift store, where a decrepit BBQ joint once sat, is now more “vibrant” along our Dixie Hwy.

A parking lot isn’t my dream for that location. But it’s nice to see business owners take pride in their parking lot, adding streetscaping and new asphalt, to make it more appealing. And for that I’m grateful.

As promised, here’s an excerpt from Laura Lordi’s review of Blue Front BBQ:

Blue Front is not only known for its barbecue — the restaurant is famous for its signature barbecue sauce. From the baby back and St. Louis-style ribs to the pulled pork and smoked chicken, the ‘cue stands up to its reputation.
     Pit-smoked St. Louis-style ribs were the hit at our recent visit. They were big and juicy, with just the right amount of crisp . . . Noteworthy sides include the baked beans, which have a hint of cinnamon. The cornbread (¢99) is off the chain, super moist, with a just the right amount of sweetness. And the collard greens are a must-try.
 

*The famous World Thrift & Consignment Store is located at 2425 Dixie Hwy. in the little City of Lake Worth, open 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., MondayFriday.
     For more information call 561-588-4050 or use this link for their Facebook page. Remember, every Wednesday is “Senior Citizen Day!”

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Very good news for the good people of Cleveland, Ohio.


Here is news from reporter Marty Finley at Louisville Business First:


“Even as the Florida-based owner of downtown Louisville’s The Starks Building searches for a new developer to take over the nearly vacant building, the company has sold another large office property that was facing possible foreclosure [emphasis added] in Cleveland.
     The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Delray Beach, Fla.-based Hudson Holdings recently sold the nearly vacant 925 Building to a Cleveland buyer in MIllenia Cos. for $40 million. The sale saves the massive tower, which exceeds 1.3 million square feet, from the brink of foreclosure, according to the report.”


Fortunately for the City of Lake Worth, Hudson Holdings is no longer involved with the historic Gulfstream Hotel. More good news is the approvals to move forward with this project remain in place.


Hudson Holdings: “5 STAR LUXURY
COMING SOON”?
“THE GULFSTREAM HOTEL”.
 

Cleaning up the mess.
Click on image to enlarge:
This banner is no more either.


Remember Hudson Holdings and
“Preserving Tomorrow”?
Preserving Tomorrow”? “[T]his elegant property is undergoing a multi-million dollar face lift.”

Now with Hudson Holdings out of the picture. . .
“The Gulfstream, located two hundred yards from the ocean and in the heart of downtown Lake Worth, Florida, will combine old world charm with
modern amenities.”

“The 115 room main hotel has a planned expansion of 135 rooms, parking and off street retail.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Traffic Alert. “Construction Activity Notification” in Downtown Lake Worth.


For more information contact Mr. Ben Kerr, the City’s Public Information Officer at 561-586-1631; email: BKerr@lakeworth.org


Lake Worth, FL* — As part of the ongoing Downtown Water Main Improvements Project substantial road works will be taking place on M Street between 1st Ave. South and 2nd Ave. North until May 21. Residents are advised to follow the detour signs during the work which will be occurring between 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. each day.
     Contractors will work to minimize disruption and at least one lane will remain open on Lake Ave. and Lucerne Ave. during this time. However residents should prepare for travel delays on these routes in the vicinity of the construction.


*We are LAKE WORTH. A hometown City that is committed to delivering the highest level of customer service through a commitment to integrity, hard work and a friendly attitude. We strive to exceed the expectations of our citizens, our businesses, our elected officials and our fellow employees.”

Monday, May 7, 2018

UPDATE. Today, Monday, May 7th. Press/Media Alert Level: MODERATE.


Over the weekend the Press/Media Alert Level (PMAL) was HIGH. The PMAL is now MODERATE. However, an alert remains in place so please remain vigilant.


Following the migratory Season and prior to the Snowbirds returning later this year is typically a very slow time of year for the press and news media. Things have been going so very well in this City and for the most part we’ve fallen off the radar of the press and news media. However, because a City meeting later today has two of the five major elements to grab the interest of the press and news media the Alert Level is MODERATE. That could change to VERY HIGH or even HIGH once again this afternoon. So “Stay Tuned” as they say.

Ahead of tonight’s Finance Advisory Board (FAB) meeting (see agenda below) please take a few moments and refresh your memory: “How to do press/media interviews”. Click on this link for all that information with tips and two instructional videos.

You may also find it helpful to review “The 4 things you need to know for good meeting etiquette” by Mr. Joshua Borgmann. Along with a short video there is also very good advice and helpful tips from Mr. Borgmann “so you don’t look stupid”.


And most importantly! Be courteous at public meetings and always be respectful of the Chair.

Wearing a prom dress with a banner “Miss Congeniality” isn’t necessary. Just being charming and graceful is enough.
There will be public comment at the FAB tonight; three-minute maximum per participant. All comments, questions, and requests must be directed to the Chair of the fabulously FAB!

FAB agenda follows:

Finance Advisory Board
Monday, May 7th [TODAY]
City Hall Conference Room

[Note: One of more members of any board or the City Commission may attend and speak at this meeting of FAB.*]


Roll Call: 6:00.
Agenda: Additions/deletions/reordering.
Approve minutes: February 5, 2018.
Unfinished Business.
New Business:
  • Open Meeting — Michael Bornstein, City Manager.
  • Update on Finance Director.
  • Update on Vacancies in Finance.
  • FY 2019 Budget Calendar of Events.
  • Set next meeting date (proposed June 4, 2018).

Public Comment: Please remember, three-minutes maximum per participant [Helpful tip: it’s a good idea to compose your written comments and time yourself ahead of meetings].
Closing Comments.
Adjournment.


*Please be advised: If a person decides to appeal any decision made by FAB with respect to any matter considered at such meeting he or she will need a record of the proceedings, and that, for such purpose, he or she may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

To ‘Save’ the former Lake Worth Casino at the Beach back in 2011, it first had to be 94% demolished (see video below).


But that was just the beginning. . .

Because from that point things really went downhill from there:


“When the building, which cost $6 million, was opened in 2013, it was riddled with issues, including water intrusion, bad drainage, leaking and rusting.”
Excerpt from The Palm Beach Post dated March 3rd, 2016 titled, “Is progress being made with troubled Lake Worth casino building?”



Here’s what was left of the former ‘historic’ Casino structure following demolition work in July 2011:
The video below is of the actual demolition
in progress.


Palm Beach County history
in the making.

Enjoy!


But it was all worth it because the ‘renovated’ Casino was such a bargain at just $6M!

Right?


Actually it wasn’t a bargain. Six years later we’re still paying the price:


“The eliminated amenities, or ‘value engineering’ if you like, reduced the cost but resulted in lower lease rates, event rates, and contributed greatly to un-leased second floor space.”

Another public meeting in this City of Lake Worth and another tombstone ad published in The Palm Beach Post.


PLEASE TAKE NOTE the City Commission
of the City of Lake Worth, will consider
on first reading. . .


Our LOCAL paper of record is
The Lake Worth Herald.

The ad in the Post has met all the City’s legal requirements but . . . “Honest to God!”


The latest tombstone ad from the City of Lake Worth was published in the Post on Friday, May 4th; eleven days prior to this public meeting.


See the ad below publicly noticing a public meeting on Tuesday, May 15th about the City’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs). When is comes to things like the LDRs the word “public” is a very big deal.


Tombstone ads are typically unadorned text, black on white, often enclosed in a simple box, with a centered headline and a number of lines in the body of the ad, usually also centered. The name originates from their similarity in appearance to the text on a tombstone (headstone) grave marker.


Reacting to tombstone ads published in the Post, below is a quote from Lake Worth resident Mary Lindsey at the City Commission on April 24th:


“Commissioner [Scott] Maxwell is 100% right. As a community we went through hell for 7½ years putting these pulling LDRs together. A big part of the issue then [2010–2011] I see has continued and it’s lack of public notification.
     I understand it’s a publicly noticed meeting and that all the legal requirements for that are met.
     But somebody please for the love of Dear Holy Jesus tell my why we would spend one nickel notifying anybody of anything in The Palm Beach Post, especially the legal notices, when we have our very own local community paper of record [The Lake Worth Herald].
     Honest to God!”


True. This ad meets all the legal requirements
publicly noticing a public meeting:
Mary Lindsey is absolutely correct. The Lake Worth Herald needs to be our LOCAL paper of record publicly noticing public meetings. This ad needs to appear in this week’s Herald. And the Neigh- borhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council and our City’s neighborhoods need to be publicly notified as well.

A Look Back: “Historical Overview of our Current City Hall (former Municipal Auditorium)”


It’s hard to believe sometimes . . . this blog began nearly 12 years ago. The first blog post was on May 3rd, 2006 titled “Pace of Building Permits”, a sobering look back at our City’s cumbersome operations back then.

Now and then, especially for new or recently new blog readers, I’ll go back and find a blog post about our City’s history that will surprise a lot of residents, especially all those who’ve come to call The City of Lake Worth “home” in the last 2–3 years or so.

Looking back through some of those early posts found this one about Lake Worth City Hall from August 2006. The current City Hall was once the City’s Municipal Auditorium, what you know now as the “City Hall Annex” at the Cultural Plaza was City Hall “back in the day”.

Enjoy this look back in our City’s history and how the current City Hall came to be, a blog post titled, “Historical Overview of our Current City Hall”.

Click on images to enlarge: