Boynton board to take first vote on apartments, condos, hotel

newsengin-17416471_ocean-oneResidents in the downtown area of Boynton Beach have heard few details of a proposed Ocean One project that would bring apartments to the area and then later a hotel and condos.

On Tuesday night, the developer will present the plans for the first time. Davis Camalier’s development team will go in front of the city’s planning and development advisory board, who will vote on four requests including rezoning the land and a new site plan. Their votes will serve as recommendations to the City Commission, who will vote on the project at a later time.

Phase 1 of the development at the southeast corner of Federal Highway and Boynton Beach Boulevard proposes an eight-story building of 231 apartments and 8,575 square feet of stores. Phase 2 is on the south half of the property and would have a condo building likely taller than eight stories and a hotel. The project would have public green spaces and a seven-story parking garage.

Meanwhile, Camalier is negotiating with the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency over financial incentives to build the project:

  • He wants a small piece of land owned by the CRA — appraised in 2015 for about $460,000 — for free.
  • He wants about $4.2 million over eight or 10 years in property taxes generated by the first phase of the project and about $3.6 million from phase two. The CRA would keep an estimated $6 million in tax revenues generated by the project, documents show.

CRA officials, who are the city commissioners, have not yet made a final decision on the incentives.

The planning and development board meeting is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 100 E. Boynton Beach Blvd.

FHP: Boynton Beach woman dies five days after crash on west coast

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A 60-year-old Boynton Beach woman died Thursday, five days after she was involved in a car wreck on the state’s west coast north of Fort Myers.

On Feb. 18, Lissette Maradiaga was driving a 2016 Mini Cooper A heading west on County Road 74, also known as Bermont Road. She was stopped at the intersection of State Road 31. Hussein Al-Khazraji, 32, of Orlando was heading south on State Road 31 and was approaching the intersection with County Road 74, according to a Florida Highway Patrol crash report.

Read: City commissioner: Wawa wants to open in Boynton Beach

Maradiaga tried to cross State Road 31 and entered the southbound lane of the road, directly into the path of Al-Khazraji and his 2007 GMC 7000. Al-Khazraji couldn’t avoid the crash, and the front of his truck collided with the right side of Maradiaga’s car. The Mini Cooper landed on its left side in a ditch.

“Gouge marks were located in the area of collision as well as furrows from (both vehicles),” the report says.

Maradiaga, who was wearing a seat belt, was brought to Lee Memorial Hospital. Al-Khazraji was not injured.

Troopers, who are still investigating the wreck, said alcohol did not play a role in the crash.

 

 

 

City commissioner: Wawa wants to open in Boynton Beach

Wally the Wawa mascot stands in front of sign during a groundbreaking ceremony at the southeast corner of Belvedere Rd. and Australian Ave. July 13, 2016 that marked the construction of the first five Wawa locations in Palm Beach County. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post
Wally the Wawa mascot stands in front of sign during a groundbreaking ceremony at the southeast corner of Belvedere Rd. and Australian Ave. July 13, 2016 that marked the construction of the first five Wawa locations in Palm Beach County. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Wawa in Boynton Beach. It could happen.

Boynton Beach Commissioner Joe Casello told The Palm Beach Post he met with Wawa representatives this week to discuss the company opening a location in Boynton.

Casello couldn’t give many details, but said the property they hope to build on is south of Boynton Beach Boulevard.

Read: Wawa sets date for South Florida openings

Wawa is a family-owned chain of Pennsylvania-based convenience stores. The stores are known for their sandwiches, and they are also gas stations.

“I’m excited about it. Whether it happens or not we’ll have to see,” Casello said. “They’re very interested in coming to Boynton Beach.”

Officials are planning for at least five Wawa stores in Palm Beach County and five more in Broward County by spring.

Here are the locations where Wawa already plans to open:

  • The intersection of Belvedere Road and Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach 
  • The southwest corner of Lake Worth and South Jog roads in Greenacres
  • The northeast corner of Lake Worth Road and Congress Avenue in Palm Springs
  • At Blue Heron Boulevard and Garden Road in Riviera Beach
  • At Hypoluxo and High Ridge roads west of Boynton Beach 

 

 

 

Judge rules fired FAU prof James Tracy’s lawsuit is about ‘right to free speech’

Former Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy (Contributed)
Former Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy (Contributed)

BOCA RATON — A federal judge on Tuesday rejected Florida Atlantic University’s attempt to dismiss a free-speech lawsuit filed by fired professor James Tracy, best known for his controversial conspiracy claims about the Sandy Hook shooting.

It was the Boca Raton-based university’s second attempt at dismissing the high-profile lawsuit, which will now move into several months of discovery, including interrogatories, document production and depositions of the parties and witnesses, according to Tracy’s attorney, Louis Leo IV, founder of the Florida Civil Rights Coalition, which specializes in civil rights defense.

He expects the case to go to trial, although a date hasn’t yet been set.

» READ: Dalmatian thrown from a car in Boca Raton recovers at local animal shelter

Florida Atlantic attempted to have the case tossed, arguing it didn’t belong in federal court because Tracy was fired for breaking university policy. Tracy’s lawsuit argues he was fired in retaliation for using his personal blog to share conspiracy theories regarding domestic mass casualty incidents, which often cast a national spotlight on the former tenured professor.

“This is a case about the First Amendment right to free speech,” Judge Robin L. Rosenberg ruled in her order denying FAU’s motion to dismiss.

Tracy, who was fired in January 2016, is suing for reinstatement as a tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University and compensatory damages.

The lawsuit alleges that high-ranking university officials — including the President John Kelly, deans and members of the faculty union — conspired to fire Tracy.

The university has said Tracy, who once taught in the School of Communications, was fired for failure to submit paperwork that detailed his activities outside the university, including unpaid, online activities.

Tracy, who for years taught a course titled “Culture of Conspiracy,” was first cast into the spotlight four years ago he publicly claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre — which left 26 dead at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school on Dec. 14, 2012 — was staged. He went on to share conspiracies about other mass-casualties, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., and the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif.

 

Boynton Beach police chief cancels Town Hall meeting for this week

Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz (center) speaks to members of the media about the city's recent gun violence Wednesday, January 25, 2017 as Mayor Steven B. Grant (left) and District 4 Commissioner Joe Casello (right) look on. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz (center) speaks to members of the media about the city’s recent gun violence Wednesday, January 25, 2017 as Mayor Steven B. Grant (left) and District 4 Commissioner Joe Casello (right) look on. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz’s Town Hall meeting has been cancelled.

The meeting was supposed to be Thursday at Seagate of Gulfstream.

Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said the meeting was cancelled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

The department is working to reschedule.

Delray Beach will replace unsafe 100-foot Christmas tree for nearly $800,000

People line up to go inside the Delray Beach Christmas Tree Saturday night, December 3, 2016 in Delray Beach. Volunteers set up the 100 foot Christmas tree in November for the holidays. (Yuting Jiang / The Palm Beach Post)
People line up to go inside the Delray Beach Christmas Tree Saturday night, December 3, 2016 in Delray Beach. Volunteers set up the 100 foot Christmas tree in November for the holidays. (Yuting Jiang / The Palm Beach Post)

DELRAY BEACH — City leaders have agreed to replace the iconic 100-foot Christmas tree for nearly $800,000 after they learned the current tree is unsafe and structurally unsound.

The city commission on Tuesday evening approved the purchase of a new, aluminum tree without discussion. The walk-through Christmas tree, placed each year at Old School Square in downtown Delray Beach, has been holiday tradition in Delray Beach for 20-plus years.

The replacement tree will cost $790,000, as well as $6,200 on structural engineering for the tree’s foundation.

Two residents spoke during the meeting to discourage the city from dropping such a large sum on the tree.

It isn’t “cost-effective,” said Jackie Jones. “That money can be put toward infrastructure.”

» RELATED: Delray’s iconic 100-foot Christmas ‘unsafe’ and needs to be replaced

Timothy Boykin echoed the concern.

“That’s a slap in the face to a lot of working people,” Boykin told the commission. “I think it’s actually wasteful spending.”

In late January, city leaders learned the steel frame of the tree was rusting, bending and cracking. They’re opting now to purchase an aluminum tree because it’s easier to maintain.

“That means that we have been very lucky in putting up a tree that is structurally unsound … ” Mayor Cary Glickstein said at the time. “We all feel that the tree is certainly iconic, the tradition is important, but we’ve got public safety issues.”

Residents will not only see a new tree, but also a new location for holiday festivities.

The tree is usually placed on the front lawn of Old School Square, visible from Atlantic Avenue. But, per city request, Old School Square agreed to move the Christmas tree so it’s no longer on the front lawn.

Video: Dalmation thrown from car in Boca recovers at local animal shelter

Buster, an emaciated Dalmation, was tossed from a black SUV near Camino Real Road in Boca Raton on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. (Contributed)
Buster, an emaciated Dalmatian, was tossed from a black SUV near Camino Real Road in Boca Raton on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. (Contributed)

Buster, a malnourished yet rambunctious young Dalmatian, sprinted inside a fenced play area at Tri-County Animal Rescue on Thursday, just days after the pup was tossed from a moving vehicle.

The animal shelter, on Boca Rio Road west of Boca Raton, is nursing Buster back to health while the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office searches for clues in Buster’s abandonment.

The Dalmatian was thrown from the passenger window of a black SUV on Camino Real Road over the weekend, according to a witness, Lisa Gabrielle, who took the dog in and cared for him. She named him Buster.

» READ: This popular Davie-based nitrogen ice cream shop just opened in Boca

Buster, about a year-and-a-half old and 23 pounds underweight, must be healthy before he can be adopted.

“He’s doing much better,” said Jackie Lawton, assistant director at Tri-County.

The shelter unfortunately sees cases like this often, despite the fact that it accepts unwanted pets based on it’s space availability, Lawton said.

Tri-County is currently home to about 100 cats and dogs of all ages and breeds.

Anyone with information on Buster’s abandonment is asked to contact the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office at 561-992-1133 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

For information on adoptions at Tri-County Animal Shelter, visit the shelter at 21287 Boca Rio Road, or call (561) 482-8110. The shelter is also seeking donations and volunteers.

 

Restaurateur Louie Bossi to hold Delray fundraiser for addiction treatment

Louie Bossi, chef and part-owner of popular Fort Lauderdale-based Louie Bossi's restaurant (Contributed)
Louie Bossi, chef and part-owner of popular Fort Lauderdale-based Louie Bossi’s restaurant (Contributed)

DELRAY BEACH — Louie Bossi, the chef behind the popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant by that name, is in his ninth year of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. He aims to celebrate by raising money for the Delray Beach treatment center that paved that path.

On June 3, Bossi is hosting “A Taste of Recovery,” a culinary festival planned at Old School Square in downtown Delray Beach. Guests will get to taste foods prepared by several restaurants and chefs and enjoy live performances, according to a news release from Bossi.

The proceeds will benefit nonprofit Crossroads Club, a niche for recovering addicts since the 1980s. The facility, on Lake Ida Road at Congress Avenue, is not a live-in treatment center, but rather hosts 12-step programs, Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and life training programs.

» RELATED: Photos: A look inside Boca Raton’s first downtown hotel opening soon

“Almost every family, including my own, has been impacted by addiction and I’m proud to be in my ninth year of recovery, which might not have been possible without the support of the Crossroads Club,” Bossi said in an email.  “The restaurant industry in particular has large numbers of employees in recovery and this event will be a tribute to these brave individuals and will help support them and others who need assistance in overcoming substance and alcohol abuse.”

“A Taste of Recovery” is still in the planning stages, but several high-profile restaurants from Big Time Restaurant Group, of which Bossi is a partner, are slated to participate, including Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar and City Oyster & Sushi Bar. Mario’s Ocean Ave in Lantana and The Grille in Boca Raton will also participate.

Louie Bossi's restaurant (contributed)
Louie Bossi’s restaurant (contributed)

The final restaurant lineup will be announced in late spring. Participating chefs will compete for cash prizes for “Best Bite” and “Best Dessert.”

» READ: Several Delray festivals cancelled, paying double after city policy changes

 

Tickets will cost $60 per person.

The festival is planned for Saturday, June 3 at Old School Square, on Atlantic and Swinton avenues and just across the street from a planned two-story Louie Bossi’s restaurant slated to open in 2018.

Louie Bossi’s, which currently has just one restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, will open a 10,400-square-foot eatery in the building that currently houses Cafe Bleu, at 44 E. Atlantic Ave.

Another Louie Bossi’s restaurant is also planned at the newly opened Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Boca Raton. That location is expected to open in late March.

This popular Davie-based nitrogen ice cream shop just opened in Boca

phenomenon-nitrogen-ice-cream-boca
Phenomenom Nitrogen Ice Cream & Bake Shop (Contributed)

BOCA RATON — The liquid nitrogen ice cream craze — which allows patrons to peer through a barrier and watch their ice cream freeze in real-time — has made its way to Boca Raton.

Phenomenom Nitrogen Ice Cream & Bake Shop, a popular Davie-based eatery, recently opened its doors at Boca Raton’s newly built Park Place plaza, on Military Trail between Yamato and Clint Moore roads.

Phenomenon NItrogen Ice Cream & Bake Shop (Contributed)
Phenomenom NItrogen Ice Cream & Bake Shop (Contributed)

Phenomenom specializes in flash-frozen ice cream using liquid nitrogen to create an ultra-creamy frozen treat. A shear divider makes it possible to watch employees freeze the ice cream before serving. Along with nitrogen ice cream, Phenomenom is also known for its large, fresh-baked cookies.

» READ: See 800 illuminated lanterns at first Chinese Lantern Festival west of Boca

Phenomenom opened to a packed shop on Feb. 6. It joins other newly opened or soon-to-open eateries at Park Place, such as Rappy’s Deli, Habit Burger and The Fresh Market.

Market with organic vegetables, juices opens in Boynton Beach

The Campo Produce in Boynton Beach. Photo taken Feb. 13. 2017 by Alexandra Seltzer
The Campo Produce in Boynton Beach. Photo taken Feb. 13. 2017 by Alexandra Seltzer

A small market that sells fruits and vegetables recently opened on Boynton Beach Boulevard in Boynton Beach.

The Campo Produce opened about one week ago at 126 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., just west of Seacrest Boulevard. The store is co-owned by Cristian Argel and Jhoel Pabon.

Campo is open seven days a week. It offers organic juices, coffees, pasta, and organic vegetables and fruit.

 

The Campo Produce in Boynton Beach. Photo taken Feb. 13, 2017 by Alexandra Seltzer
The Campo Produce in Boynton Beach. Photo taken Feb. 13, 2017 by Alexandra Seltzer