Jeff Greens owns most of West Palm Beach but not all of it (yet). One thing he doesn’t own is City Place, which is still trying to find itself after years of struggles. They have a revolving door of retailers and restaurants, and have had security issues. But as one of only two entertainment areas in the City’s Downtown area, it is already an enduring institution despite it being only 15 years old. There is a lot of excitement and hope about the hotel being built across the street. The hope is that many new large convention groups and tourists will walk across the street and boost the businesses at City Place. Meanwhile, a significant growth plan is being hatched on the current site of Publix. Related Cos, the owner of City Place, is hoping to relocate them across the street on some land they own. And then on that site build another 450,000 SF of retail space. Then another 400 apartments and 50,000 SF of more retail space will be built on this site and just North of it. The North part of the expansion will finally link to Clematis Street, something that has long been envisioned. But what the area really needs is more office space not more retail. City Place cannot fill the existing retail they have and adding 500,000 SF of more retail space will not help and will hurt the existing retailers. But it will create some jobs and it will increase and enhance the mixed use feel of the area which is great. I wish them the very best with the expansion but I have some reservations. This is one of those cases where I truly hope I am wrong. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Monday, December 7, 2015
As you know, I am very bullish on Florida’s prospects regarding the potential trade and tourism with Cuba. I told you that the tourism would begin with large cruise ships because Cuba doesn’t have the hotel infrastructure to handle large volumes of tourists. But what I didn’t think about was all the smaller sea traffic that would be permitted. This article examines what could soon be a flood of luxury boats to Cuban ports with the loosing of travel restrictions, which can happen without lifting the embargo. Not only U.S. yachts are expected in this flood but also luxury vessels from other places as well. For one of these sleek yachts it is just a 4 hour trip from Florida’s Key West to Hemmingway Marina in Havana. These boats have all the trimmings, including satellite television, bedrooms, bars, etc. They are truly floating luxury hotels and pretty soon they will be able to travel freely to Cuba. Right now only certain permits have been granted to sailboats, ferry companies, 4 cruise lines and one yacht broker. That is expected to grow rapidly once large scale sea travel is authorized by the U.S. government. So we will soon essentially step back in time, before the embargo, when people traveled to Cuba freely from Florida for short weekend trips. I think this will go a long way towards helping Cuban citizens economically while also furthering our capitalistic market aspirations there. It should also foster more trade, and good will I am sure. It is very exciting, the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. One that should greatly benefit South Florida for years to come. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.