Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This one warms my heart. As you may recall from my long ago review of Cabo Flats, there are no Mexican places in West Boca (fast casual places don’t count like Chipotle, etc.). I am very happy to report that that has now changed! This place finally opened in the former Compagnolo location on Glades Rd. West of the Turnpike. They have one location in Wellington and this is their 2nd. The wife and I decided to throw caution into the wind Saturday and head over there without a reservation, something we never do. I tried to get one but got some weird response from the person who answered the phone. When we got there it was packed and we were told there would be a 35 minute wait, even at 7:00. Undaunted, I found a couple of seats at the bar and we decided to eat there. They give you chips and salsa free, which I think is great and it is one of my favorite foods. It was very good and a little spicy. The wife got some guacamole and enjoyed that as well. I saw something here that was so strange it deserves mention. People were ordering drinks that looked like margaritas but had a little plastic holder attached to the side of the glass. That held either a small Corona or bottle of wine that was served with the bottle upside down in the drink. Seemed popular as many people had these but we didn’t have interest. Which leads me to the wines by the glass, which was a real weak point. They only had 2 choices of vineyards, which was very limiting. Luckily one of them was Kendall Jackson which is OK, so I had that. I had a hard time making a dinner choice since there were a lot of options and then even combinations of the options to choose from. So I bailed out and just went with a chicken burrito. Wife had a taco salad. This was one of the best burritos I have ever had! It was so good I went back for lunch the following week and had it again! Wife enjoyed her taco salad as well, and also her margarita. Prices for both food and drink were extremely low, but the service was lacking. I would strongly recommend this place and am very happy to finally have a Mexican place in West Boca. I look forward to going back again soon. I would love to hear about your favorite place or one that you have recently enjoyed. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Four Seasons Hotel and Residences on Tap for Fort Lauderdale


If you have been catching up with us on social media you will see some familiar themes here, 2 in particular. First is that there is so much development going on at Fort Lauderdale beach that soon it will be hard to tell Miami from Fort Lauderdale from the air. The second is that the record tourism has created a feeding frenzy of acquisition and development of hotels. The announcement of the Four Seasons building a 23 story luxury hotel here is big news. It is the first luxury hotel to be built in 8 years and will be the nicest one of all. It will feature 150 hotel rooms and 95 residences, similar to what they did at The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale in 2007 back when it was called St. Regis Resort & Residences Fort Lauderdale. The residences will range from 800 to 6,000 square feet in one to three bedroom apartments. Prices have not been released. There will be separate entrances and pools for the hotel and residences. The project is being developed by Merrimac Partners and Fort Partners. How hot is the hotel market? Hotel occupancy has grown for 60 consecutive months in Broward. Over 12 hotel sales were recorded in 2014. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Obama Budget Gives Boost to Everglades


Why might you ask do I care about this? Very simply, the Everglades are many things to many people but at the most basic it is the water supply to over 7 million people. I drink a lot of water and I am also very concerned about the environment. I think Florida is a true paradise and want to see it stay that way. This money will go a long way towards that. Specifically, it will go towards ongoing projects that include 2 reservoirs and a 4,353 acre conservation area in Broward as well as restoring the headwaters of the Everglades in Kissimmee Valley. Goals include restoration of the of natural waterflow to the River of Grass, preventing flooding, protecting threatened wildlife and providing clean water supplies to South and Central Florida. Another feature of these projects is to filter out polluted runoff water from both farms and cities while storing water so it can be released when needed in dry months. These projects provide many jobs for long periods of time. It is very reassuring that both the state and the national government are taking the Everglades so seriously and more important putting their money behind it. With any luck one day these projects will be completed and we can rest easy knowing that we will have clean water to drink. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015



Well this one shouldn’t be too surprising given that we announced that Miami International Airport had set passenger records this year (and so did Palm Beach International Airport BTW) and that 97 million people visited Florida last year. It is also the 5th consecutive year of record breaking passenger numbers. But it is still amazing and worth noting, as there are trends here that will continue to fuel growth for years to come. First the numbers, in 2014 24.6 million passengers visited Broward, up from 23.5 in 2013. Domestic traffic increased thanks to added flights from JetBlue, Spirit, Delta and Silver. But here is where it gets interesting, and you won’t be surprised if you have been reading this blog. International traffic was up 26%, or 4.65 million passengers. Broward saw the debut of Azul, Copa, Norwegian, TAME, and Volaris airlines. More importantly, new routes were added to San Paulo, Brazil; Panama City, Panama; Quito, Ecuador; Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico; and Lima, Peru. As conditions deteriorate in these areas more and more people will travel to Florida, and traffic estimates are high once again for 2015. Once the airports expand they will be able to handle even more capacity, and see further increased travel as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal. It really would be a good time to learn Spanish, I always say. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport sets record for passengers

Monday, March 16, 2015



There are finally some cracks in the glass ceiling that FLP has imposed on Florida to prevent us from using and benefiting from solar energy. This despite the fact that we have more potential for solar than anywhere else in the U.S. and that we are called the Sunshine State. Florida is one of just 5 states in the U.S. that bans other companies, other than utility companies, from selling electricity direct to consumers. We have a perfect 2 for 1 blog opportunity on this subject, dealing with 2 new solar projects that will hopefully be the first of many more to come. Yes with prices of solar panels way down, FPL is finally building its first community project in Davie. They will install two 50 kilowatt solar canopies in the parking lot of the Young at Art Museum and Broward County Library. That would provide enough power for 100 classrooms for a year and also provide electricity for sale in the community (by FPL of course). In the 2nd article, it was announced that FPL will be installing over 5,000 solar panels on a canopy type structure at Daytona International Speedway. This will provide shade for fans and cars in the parking lot and also generate up to 1.7 megawatts of energy. That will power the entire speedway facilities and enough for FPL to sell to customers around the state. It will be the 5th largest U.S. sports facility for solar capacity. The price of the project will be $7 million dollars and is part of a $400 million dollar upgrade and expansion for the speedway. It should be noted that FPL did announce that it would be investing $400 million dollars to triple statewide solar capacity by 2017. Currently Florida gets less than 1% of its power from solar energy. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

FPL to launch community-solar program in Davie

FPL to install $7 million solar project at Daytona speedway

Friday, March 13, 2015


Well this could be our last update until the deal is finally fully approved. The new stadium is that close to fruition now. And from what could be seen at something called the Governor’s Baseball Dinner, it looks like a done deal. On hand were Rick Scott of course, new Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, and even David Sampson, president of the Miami Marlins. Oh and the mayors of Palm Beach County and West Palm Beach too. It is really hard to believe all of this would be happening if it were not getting approved. What is in the way of that happening you might ask? A bill must be passed by the legislature to eliminate a required setback next to a canal that supplies drinking water next to the site. But with a governor seemingly taking a premature victory lap it is all but assured of passing. Rob Manfred got on stage at the event and was gushing about the Astros and Nationals new home. He was quoted with this bold statement “getting their new spring training site approved.” In truth this is a big deal and that is part of why I have been so interested in it. It has kept spring training baseball on the East Coast and the millions of dollars and tourists it brings to each city as a result. It will transform a landfill in a terrible neighborhood in West Palm Beach into a gleaming new tourist attraction that will have baseball 8 months out of the year. We will be back with a final update when the deal is formally approved but I think you could start making your plans to see baseball in West Palm Beach in 2017. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Good vibes at baseball dinner due to spring training dessert

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Coral Springs is a tough place to find good restaurants but it happens to be right in the middle of West Boca, where I live, and Plantation, where my cousin lives. After doing some research I found a couple of highly rated Indian restaurants and settled on this one. It is easy to find, right on West Sample Rd., where the majority of the restaurants are located. Turns out it is a takeout place, with just 5 or 6 tables. Never one for pomp and circumstance, it suited us just fine, despite the plastic silverware and plates.

This place has a long and incredible menu. They have an enormous selection of vegetarian dishes, more than anything else on the menu, which I love. It took quite a while to choose things, but the waiter was very nice and helpful. We settled on some naan bread, tandoor roti (another bread, whole wheat, which I had never tried), chana masala (chickpeas), shrimp vindaloo, chicken tikka masala and some black lentil dish. If this sounds like a lot of food for 2 people you are correct. Anyway, they couldn’t have been more accommodating since I like things very spicy and my cousin doesn’t like spicy food at all, they agreed to split each dish and make half spicy and the other half not. I have never seen this before and was very impressed with it. But not nearly as much as the food, which was really awesome. I got the food at a 7 out of 10 level spicy and it was plenty spicy, but not too much. Every dish was excellent except for the shrimp, which was just good, not excellent. Cousin even had some food to bring home, sadly I didn’t because I ate it all. I would strongly recommend this place and look forward to going back there again. I would love to hear about your favorite place or one that you have recently enjoyed. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Boca's Downtown Profile to Rise: Tower One Fifty-Five approved for 12 stories

Boca Raton is proving that rules for new development are not set in stone. Yesterday the City Council approved a new condominium project called Tower One Fifty-Five, which will be built on the 100 block of East Boca Raton Road. Two years ago this project was approved for 9 stories, but is now allowed to go 12 stories. It is the first ever development allowed to break the maximum height restriction of 100 feet on a lot less than 2 acres. In exchange for the extra height, the developer agreed to reduce the amount of units by 39, so as to create less traffic. Clearly this is setting the tone for more projects to be built like this in the future. The City Council has made it clear that they desire more projects and density for East Boca. I think they are feeling the competitive heat from the enormous amount of development taking place now in Broward and Dade counties. Hopefully this will not lead to overbuilding, a serious problem in the past. But the new population numbers show that this new supply will be absorbed so it just has to be done intelligently so as not to ruin the quality of life. Added traffic, which is already at record levels, could deter people from the city and lead them to choose other places to live. It will be interesting to see what happens, you know I will be watching. And then blogging about it. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Monday, March 2, 2015



What do you do if you are a residential multifamily developer in Miami to set yourself apart from all the other new luxury residential projects that are being built at the same time? Daniel Kodsi, the developer of the new Paramount Miami Worldcenter, thinks he has the answer. His project will be the first in the U.S. to feature an outdoor regulation soccer field in a high-rise residential development. It will be part of a 2 acre sports complex on the 9th floor of the 60 story building. The sports complex will also feature tennis courts, a running track, yoga room, fitness center, boxing studio and basketball court. There will also be a fully equipped music studio called a “jam room” where residents can use the drums, guitars, piano and recording studio. Finally, there will be private pool cabanas and a top floor indoor lounge. There will be 473 apartments between 1,300 – 2,300 square feet selling for an average of $700 per square foot. Occupancy is slated for late 2018 and will break ground in 2015. Who might be interested in living in a place with these kinds of amenities you might ask? That is made clear by Peggy Olin Fucci, the president and CEO of OneWorld Properties, “We have already received tremendous feedback from South American, European and Asian buyers.” And in truth that is who all of these new luxury residential projects are being marketed to. It is part of the increasing internationalization of Miami, which is in full swing these days as you can see here. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.