Southeast Florida Roundup
Villa Del Ray Golf Course makes way for homes
- Miami-based 13th Floor Homes acquired the closed 120-acre Villa Del Ray Golf Course in Delray Beach, where it plans a 436-home, 55-plus development called Delray Trails. 13th Floor, the home-building division of Miami-based 13th Floor Investments, specializes in converting golf courses into home communities.
- Manley Storage Ventures, Rosemurgy Properties and Sentry Self Storage plan a 128,635-sq.-ft. self-storage and retail center on Federal Highway in north Boca Raton.
- Aztec Group arranged an $18-million refinancing of 39 acres at Tuttle Royale, Tuttle Development’s proposed 200-acre, mixed-use project in Royal Palm Beach. The development will have 1,100 rental apartments, 500,000 square feet of offices, a charter school and a lifestyle center with dining, a 100-room hotel, bank and grocery store.
- To speed the $1-billion expansion of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/ Broward County Convention Center, the county decided last year to close the center until 2021. It closed in February before the impact of the virus was manifest.
- Delray Beach-based Ed Morse Automotive Group acquired three dealerships and a truck and accessory store in Texas and Oklahoma. Terms weren’t disclosed. Ed Morse has 20 dealership locations and 33 franchises.
- Make-AWish Southern Florida chose as its board chairman Boca Raton resident Richard Weissman, co-founder, chairman and CEO of the Learning Experience, which operates preschools. He’s a longtime Make-A-Wish board member who has raised more than $2 million through various events. His company also partners with Make-A-Wish in teaching philanthropy to young children.
- The Broward community has launched iLoveLocal2020.com, a Six Pillars Broward 90-day strategic initiative to provide an economic stimulus to businesses in Broward County. iLoveLocal2020 will help restart Broward County’s economy, which was shut down beginning in mid-March in response to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. This buy local campaign is a community collaborative engaging businesses, chambers, non-profits, educators, cities, the arts community and other organizations to work cooperatively to promote safe work environments, instill consumer confidence to jump-start local consumer spending and to sustain local businesses while promoting Certified Small Businesses as new sources for products and services. Six Pillars Broward is Broward County’s long-range strategic visioning initiative for economic development.
- Judith Mitchell, the only CEO the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach has had, retires at year-end after 30 years. She started as development director in 1989, when the center was under construction, and was CEO for its first full season in 1992. A search for her successor began in March.
- Azure Development began building its $9-million, 24,000-sq.-ft. Addison Medical Centre in suburban Delray Beach.
- The Vero Beach City Council took steps that allow Elite Airways to resume passenger service.
- The federal Agriculture Department awarded Treasure Coast Food Bank $397,000 to increase production at its processing facility five-fold to handle 5 million pounds of locally and regionally grown fruits and vegetables.
- Ahead of the August primary for Clerk of Courts, the Miami- Dade State Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges against Broward Clerk of Courts Brenda Forman. Forman, elected in 2016, faces her husband and predecessor as clerk, Howard Forman, former Circuit Judge Paul Backman and former teacher Christopher Hugley in the primary. Brenda Forman had been investigated for perjury involving allegations she made against an attorney-blogger to the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Florida Bar. Because Brenda Forman used to work for the Broward State Attorney’s Office, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Miami-Dade prosecutors to review the case. Brenda Forman won her office on the strength of name recognition when Howard Forman, whom she met while an employee of the clerk’s office, decided against running for re-election. He later filed for divorce.
- J. Seward Johnson Jr., 89, sculptor and former chairman and CEO of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, now a branch of Florida Atlantic University, died March 10 at his home in Key West. He succeeded his father, Harbor Branch founder J. Seward Johnson Sr., as head of the institution from 1994 to 2003. His grandfather was Robert Wood Johnson, founder of Johnson & Johnson.
- Tri-Rail cut service but made rides free. Ridership dropped 60% in the first week in March.
- Palm Beach County officials appeared ready to abandon efforts to convince voters in two $150-million referendums in November to raise taxes to fund environmental and housing causes.
- Among businesses poised to open when the new coronavirus hit: Hard Axe Lounge in Fort Pierce, the second ax-throwing bar on the Treasure Coast, had to delay its opening. The Canopy Hotel by Hilton, a new hotel in West Palm Beach, finished construction but delayed its grand opening. It donated $4,000 in food inventory at its restaurants to non-profit The Lord’s Place.
- Lacrossewear in Coconut Creek converted production to masks.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida, which expanded into the upper Treasure Coast in the last year, booked rooms at local hotels there so that staffers didn’t have to go home.
- Restoration St. Louis, potential re-developer of the Gulfstream Hotel in Lake Worth Beach, delayed acquisition of the hotel property into the fall. It reported a number of potential lenders had lost interest because of the coronavirus lockdown’s impact on the economy.
- AutoNation furloughed 7,000 workers nationwide and cut pay. All its stores remained open for sales and service, and 18,000 workers remained on the job. Sales were off by half in the last two weeks of March.
Read more in Florida Trend's June issue.
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