Good News: Most of our favorite restaurants and bars on Clematis Street are OPEN!
Here are the only ones I noticed were closed.
Sushiyama is closed
Hullabaloo is closed
Kapow is closed
We went out last night and even through Rocco’s Tacos. They were serving a limited menu, just the tacos, and had run out of Guacamole, but despite that, the party was on and the place was packed. People were looking to get out of the house and enjoy an evening on Clematis and Rocco and his team went out of their way to feed people until the curfew shut them down.
Tonight the curfew is moved till 10 so you’ve got plenty of time to get your dinner and drinks in.
For lunch, I hit up Field of Greens who thanks to not having lost power through the storm was able to get up and running quickly.
In CityPlace I have confirmation that Brio in CityPlace will be open until 8pm today with a limited menu.
This afternoon I spent an hour talking to the team from the Palm Beach MPO about the development of the 41-mile Palm Beach County stretch of the US1 Corridor (AKA S. Dixie HWY).
The purpose of this study is to develop a comprehensive plan to implement continuous multimodal facilities that connect the communities along the corridor, including upgrading the existing limited stop service to Corridor-Based Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and expanding this service north of West Palm Beach to Indiantown Road in Jupiter.
Since May the team has studied Boca, Delray, Boynton, Lantana, & Lake Worth. Over the next few days they will be talking with residents of West Palm Beach.
When attending the charrette, each of the attendees are taken through a series of projects which helps the team understand more about what the neighbors want in this very important street.
Here’s what I learned & what you can expect:
1. Understand the corridor.
Even with the 42 miles of corridor broken up into 6 specific study areas, the West Palm Beach section is a complex process.
The Right-of-Way that Dixie has to work with varied from 75 ft between 25th St. and 59th st, 60ft between Poinsettia Ave and Broadway, 8ft between Clematis and 34th St. and then between 80 and 74 ft in the South End.
To help understand what we had to work with the team had a “build your own road” kit. You had many different components of a “complete street”. In the South End I have 80ft. to work with, so I put together what would be a nice road based on that information.
2. What is important to you?
The second exercise was determining what was important to individuals. Each participant was given a list of 11 items and 6 spaces to fill in order of importance.
Here’s my list and an explanation on why these items matter to me:
Propensity for use: Any project would be pointless if nobody uses it. We need to make sure that the US-1 Corridor is used to it’s fullest.
Social Equity: The project should benefit all of the residents regardless of their social standing.
Fill a Gap in the Network: Having a useful network of public transport is very important. This project should prioritize items which give us a complete and usable network.
Safety: The US-1 corridor is VERY unsafe, there are very few safety and traffic calming features. Even though the speed limit is 35, the traffic often moves 40-50 mph. We need better crosswalks, protected bike trails and sidewalks.
Economic Development “Placemaking”: Many people look at streets as just a way to get from Point A to Point B. But projects which add more to the streets and give them the ability to become places to themselves, and benefit the stores and neighborhoods around them is a valuable resource.
Additional Mobility Options: Streets should be multi-modal. Any projects that make our streets a great experience for Cars, Public Transport, as well as Bikers and Pedestrians is important.
3. Public Transport Options
This part is what blew my mind. Did you know about the “Bolt Bus”? It’s an “express” bus that skips most of the stops on the Dixie Corridor. Better yet there’s a stop at Forest Hill and Dixie, which goes directly to Clematis Street.
Limited-stop service will be offered on a select number of weekday trips, in addition to regular service between Boca Raton and Palm Tran’s Intermodal Transit Center in downtown West Palm Beach.
Limited-stop buses will pick up and drop off customers only at predetermined stops along Route 1. There are 12 set stops northbound and 12 stops southbound compared with regular Route1 buses which may stop every 3 to 4 blocks. Buses will display “Limited-Stop Route 1” on the exterior destination signs, dashboard sign in the front window and a bright yellow BOLT ad on the outside of the bus.
City Soccer’s new Lounge is looking fresh! Starting the set up for our Mayweather vs Mcgregor Watch party Don’t watch the fight in small tv’s or blurry screens! Watch it in our 155 inch HD screens and surround sound, plus a great atmosphere!
Join us Saturday, August 26th, for an EPIC event! Roxy’s Pub will be showing the Mayweather vs McGregor fight in a venue unlike any other around. Cover will be $20 per person for standing room only. We are also offering VIP tables that will include entry for up to 6 guests, 1 bottle of liquor or champagne (mixers included), bottle service, and free entry to the rooftop after the fight. Call 561.296.7699 to book your table reservation now. Tables are limited.
Reservations available for $50 per person – $30 at the door. All covers include a $10 Duffy’s bonus card for your next visit.
Other Places around town
Hooters of West Palm Beach
2020 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
Watch the fight of the year at Hooters of West Palm Beach and see Conor McGregor take on Floyd Mayweather on Saturday, August 26 @ 9pm! Pre-sale tickets start at $30 a person which includes a $20 bounce back coupon for your next visit. Tickets at the door will be sold for $50 a person. Get your tickets now while we still have seats! Call us at 561-471-4008 or come in and ask your Hooters Girl for details.
Twin Peaks Restaurants
2224 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
Dont miss the fight everyone has been talking about! FLOYD MONEY MAYWEATHER. VS. THE NOTORIOUS CONOR MCGREGOR. Only $25 cover charge and 21 years of age and up.
Come witness history!! Where else but the Ultimate Soorts Lodge, being served by the beautiful Twin Peaks Girls.
The Aesop’s Tables were created by local artists and have lived at the West Palm Beach waterfront for two months over the summer.
This GoFundMe project aims to purchase a several of these beautiful tables and preserve them for the community. And we need your help!
A Big thank you to these individuals and companies who already donated $1320!
Lia Salgues, Joe Russo, Dee Hodge, Michael Roca, Michael Platt, Ginger Gowing Fowlkes, Palm Beach Segway Tours, Robert Norvell, Demetrius Klein Dance Company, Carrie Bradburn, Sherryl Muriente, Jennifer Smith, Jackson Wormus, Ed Walker, Brittany Perdigon, Susan Gibson. Jonathan Burgess, Juan Orellana
These amazing tables have provided a central place for locals to gather.
– We enjoyed weekday lunches
– We enjoyed Game Nights
– We enjoyed Trivia on the Waterfront
– We enjoyed picnics
Tables are up for auction on August 31st.
The money raised will be used to purchase as many of these beautiful tables as possible. The money will go to charity and the tables will be available for use by the community.
Purchasing some of these amazing pieces of ART will mean a lot of everyone in downtown and will enable us to bring back the fun in new, random and unexpected ways.
Any funds not used to purchase tables will be donated directly to the charities. All donors will be listed on a website which will be dedicated to tracking the tables over the years. Donors will also be members of a SECRET Facebook group which will be used to organize and coordinate what is happening with our tables.
THANK YOU!!! Every bit helps!
The idea to buy a couple of Aesop’s Tables was hatched on Wednesday evening around a table in the outside area of Hullabaloo. Juan Orellana, Sherryl Muriente and I hatched the idea, and this GoFundMe was set up on Thursday. Now three days later, we’ve raised almost half of our goal and I’m floored by the response we’ve gotten.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Here are a couple questions that have come up since we started:
Question: Are we buying the tables from the artists?
Answer: No. The tables were paid for by the City of West Palm Beach for the Summer in Paradise event on the Waterfront. Each table was paired with a charity, and at the end of Summer in Paradise, all the tables will be auctioned off and the money will go to the associated charity.
Question: How many tables are you buying?
Answer: We are expecting that tables will be sold for $1000 at auction, so we are targeting 3. It will be an auction so we could get more or fewer.
Question: Where will the tables go?
Answer: That is up to you. If you donated to this you’ll be able to suggest locations. We want to keep it fun and unexpected, but each location will benefit the community as a whole.
Question: Can I see the tables before they are purchased?
Answer: YES! Head on down to the waterfront before the 31st of August and you’ll be able to see them all.
Question: What charities are participating?
Answer: You can see a list of the 25 charities at the City of West Palm Beach website http://bit.ly/aesopstables
Question: Can I buy a table for myself?
Question: Yes, if you want to own one of these beautiful works of art, please pick one you like and then bid on it on August 31st from 6pm to 10pm. Bring your friends and your credit card!
Thanks again for donating and helping spread the word!
A very special art lesson will take place on Monday, Aug. 7th at Aesop’s Tables on the waterfront. That morning, local artist Mayling Pao will give a lesson to adult art students from Seagull Services at the table she painted to benefit Seagull, a non-profit that provides advocacy and training to youth and adults with developmental disabilities.
“We’re very excited to be a part of Aesop’s Tables and grateful that Mayling will be donating her time to work with a group of our program participants who enjoy art classes,” said Barbara Nurenberg, President, and CEO of Seagull Services. “Art is a regular part of skill-building at Seagull Services, and we believe this is the kind of community engagement the City of West Palm Beach envisioned when they created Aesop’s Tables.”
The group will gather at 10:30 a.m. to tour all 25 of the tables and have their art lesson at “The Raven and the Swan,” the table Pao painted to benefit Seagull. It is one of 25 colorful tables painted by local professional artists with a depiction of Aesop’s Fables for West Palm Beach’s third annual Summer In Paradise event. On Aug. 31, the tables will be auctioned on the waterfront, and the proceeds from each will go to its non-profit partner.
“I love the idea of an art lesson at Aesop’s Tables,” Pao said. “I teach art classes regularly, and I’m looking forward to seeing how my art influences Seagull’s art students,”
Seagull Services is a not-for- profit organization that assists individuals with life challenges affecting their self-sufficiency to live in dignity and realize their full potential. It provides services to children and adults with disabilities and their families living in Palm Beach and Martin counties. Among its services are education, training, employment, residential services, community integration, and support services.
Over the next few weeks and months, the City of West Palm Beach City Commission will be faced with a decision of whether or not to allow the building of Related Group’s One Flagler tower on the site of the Church of Christ Scientist reading room.
Over the years Related Group has done a lot for West Palm Beach, and I would agree with their statement that “One Flagler is a big, bold idea for West Palm Beach.” The proposed building will be a spectacular addition to our skyline.
I’ve sat through a few of Related Group’s presentations of One Flagler and have read countless discussions online. There are a lot of points made on both sides of the argument, and you can read the pros and cons on the One Flagler website and the PreserveWPB facebook page.
I want to address a few topics that I see misrepresented on both sides.
Will One Flagler fulfill our need for Class A office space?
What about the traffic?
Is the financial future of West Palm Beach in jeopardy?
Is this the only option for the preservation of the Church?
West Palm Beach & the Need for Class A Office Space
A good place to start is the story of my company, SMArtX Advisory Services (formerly known as HedgeCo/HedgeCoVest). The firm was started with the two founders in a single office in the Darth Vader building. When I came on board the team had grown to seven and had some beautiful space in a double loft unit on the top floor of the 101 Clematis building. This was unique space, with a view of the waterfront and the old City Library.
In 2007 we purchased the 4500 sqft space above Ultima Gym, which was our office for 10 years (and the birthplace of @aGuyonClematis) until the end of last year when we moved back to the Waterfront to a beautiful space on the 7th floor of the Citizen’s Building. We have fantastic views, modern space, and we pay $17 – $20 sqft.
The view from Citizen’s Building
Thanks to our business in the financial industry doing very well, we are looking to expand. One Clearlake at 250 South Australian has four empty floors and is leasing space at $30 – $40 sqft.
Northbridge Center (aka Darth Vader Building) has space for least at $30 – $35 per sqft. Now that’s not technically “Class A” but it has the added amenity of being just upstairs from the Butcher Shop, so I’m throwing it in the list of possible targets for our relocation.
I can’t see any scenario where we would pay the $65 – $75 for space at One Flagler.
But that’s okay. I understand that One Flagler is not really meant for growing West Palm Beach-based companies like ours. This is a world class building and is designed for corporate relocation of companies who are willing to pay Manhattan prices for West Palm Beach office space.
Class A Office Space or Fulfillment of Flagler Financial District?
One of the key points to the argument for One Flagler is the need for “Class A Office Space”. In a presentation for One Flagler the example of Mercedes Benz was given. The company was moving its USA headquarters from New Jersey and viewed West Palm Beach as a possible target for their relocation. According to the pitch, due to the lack of Class A office space, they passed on our city (but then went on to build their own 200,000 sqft building outside of Atlanta).
Understanding the target tenants for One Flagler is key to deciding whether or not One Flagler will actually fulfill our need for Class A office space. When the next “Mercedes Benz” comes to West Palm Beach looking for Class A office space, will they pick One Flagler?
I think the City and Related Group understand that this building is even too “boutique” for companies looking for “Class A” office space. They have started referring to this building as “Class A+” (seriously).
Over the years there have been many discussions as to what it would take to encourage corporate relocation. The Business Development Board founded a Hedge Fund Task Force to identify things the city would need to create to encourage corporate relocation. On this list was Class A office space and better schools.
I’m going to put forward that this building is NOT being built to answer the need for general Class A office space, this building is being built to fulfill the vision of the “Flagler Financial District”. As Mayor Jeri Muoio said at the launch, “We can be the financial capital of South Florida,” and with One Flagler, we will be well on our way to fulfilling her vision.
What About the Traffic?
The people who are against this project make a big deal about the traffic that it will generate. The Related Group has done a good job at explaining that this is not a normal office building and will not have the same impact that a regular office building of its size will have.
The church and reading room currently creates almost NO traffic. So to make an argument for One Flagler, you would have to create a scenario where the historic church was knocked down and a developer built a building “by right”. In this hypothetical scenario, a developer could, by right, build a 5 story office building with 300,000 sqft of space.
The two options as displayed on the One Flagler website
A bit of searching on Google and I see that an office building expects to generate around 25 trips KSF (per 1000 sqft) of office space. Related Group uses 36 trips KSF to explain that a 300,000 sqft building could generate 11,095 trips per day, whereas One Flagler will only create 8.25 KSF trips to get them to their promised 2266 trips per day.
Because, as explained above, this is not a regular Class A office building, I accept Related Group’s explanation on the traffic impact this will have.
Let’s extrapolate this a bit further. If there are only 8.25 trips per 1000 sqft, and everyone comes and goes once a day (people could probably walk to Cityplace for lunch), we’re talking about 4.1 people per 1000 sqft. And with 274,000 sqft we have a total of 1,123 people who work at One Flagler.
The bridge issue.
The one item that the Related Group has touted as a possible solution is changing the timing of the bridge during peak hours. Related is proposing to open the bridges every hour instead of twice an hour. In their presentation, they frame this argument as, and I’m paraphrasing, “We open the bridge every half hour to let multi-million yachts go through.”
This is a total misrepresentation of the boat traffic on the Intracostal. Yes, multi-million dollar boats need to have the bridge open to pass through, but the vast majority of the traffic through the Intracoastal that require the bridge to open are boats that probably cost as much or less than many of your cars.
I have many friends in the sailing community and know many people who make the trip from up north each year. The ability to navigate through the Intracoastal waterways via a small sailing vessel with bridges that open on a frequent schedule powers a ton of marine industry in South Florida.
Access through our waterway and the scheduling of the bridges is done in coordination between the Coast Guard and FDOT. Related Group can say what they want, but it is very presumptuous for any developer or even municipality to think that they can change this and hold up Intracoastal boat traffic to favor their plans for building.
Is the Financial Future of West Palm Beach in Jeopardy?
One of the most disturbing arguments for One Flagler was made by Western Community resident, John Mike, in Related’s full page ad in the Sunday paper.
“Our city requires growth if we are to pay for necessary services without raising property taxes, and this world class building proposal by Related Cos. would add millions to our tax base each year.”
For West Palm Beach to remain a healthy city we need to learn how to balance our budget.
Please do not accept the argument that the city is in such poor financial state that the city needs to rely on new development to “pay for necessary services”.
This is not a financial plan; it’s a Ponzi scheme.
Is this the Only Option for the Preservation of the Church?
The preservation of this church is an important part of Related Group’s One Flagler pitch. Unfortunately, it is pitched as a binary option. The two options, as described in the promotional material are: Build One Flagler, or destroy the Church.
This building has huge historical significance, and despite the alarming story Related tells to make their argument for the development of One Flagler, there is no scenario where this building is demolished. I am not just making this up.
With the parishioners of the Church of Christ Scientist quickly dwindling, cities around the country are being faced with what to do with these beautiful buildings. Guess what? They are not being destroyed, instead cities, individuals and foundations are finding creative uses for them.
Wikipedia has a list of 97 former Christian Science churches, and what they have been turned into. Other churches, temples and synagogues, public and private libraries, music halls, professional offices, retirement homes, bed and breakfasts, condos, and theaters.
These beautiful churches have huge intrinsic value, they are not knocked down.
Check out these amazing apartments built inside a Christ Scientist Church. Or the Internet Archive, which preserves an archive of the entire internet inside a preserved Christ Scientist Church. Or, my favorite, “Town Hall Seattle” which is “is used by dozens of organizations for their concerts, lectures, meetings, and performances.”
Please watch this video and be inspired about the possibilities this space has.
I for one would rather see the private or not-for-profit sector preserve and find a new use for this church as opposed to it being preserved in perpetuity as a mausoleum to a church which has no parishioners.
If you made it this far, I appreciate it. As with all big decisions like this, there are so many nuances it makes it almost impossible to get the whole picture from one source. I hope this article either helps to answer questions, or gives you questions to ask next time you’re having this discussion.
West Palm Beach has a bright future, and I am not one to say that one specific event or development project will derail the course of the future of this great City. However, the slippery slope of allowing exceptions to our City Master Plan is something that should be a concern to the City leaders as well as the citizenry.
I believe our City leaders need to take a stand regarding the development of this City. Yes, we are a growing city, but we have a master plan and there is plenty of money to be made developing within it. We should focus on the development of our city as a whole by building Class A and “Class A+” office space where it is already zoned.